AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

eNNOUNCER December, 2010

link to the AAPT Career Center

AAPT National Election Results

The results are in! The new Executive Board officers beginning in 2011 are:

  • Gay B. Stewart, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, will begin a four-year commitment as AAPT’s next Vice-President.
  • Diane M Riendeau, Deerfield High School in Illinois, will begin a three-year term as the High School At-Large Member.
  • Steve Iona, University of Denver, will continue with a two-year term as Secretary.

These three officers will begin their service following the AAPT Winter Meeting in Jacksonville, FL in January 2011.

AAPT 2010-2013 Strategic Plan

The Association recently completed and approved a new 2010-2013 Strategic Plan. Both the version with strategies and the version without strategies are available for members, sections, and committees to review as they align their programs and activities with the goals of AAPT.

2011 Winter Meeting in Jacksonville, FL

January 8-12, 2011
Register for the meeting today!
This is your chance to come together with over 800 of your peers to discuss current physics teaching techniques and learn firsthand what teachers around the country are doing to improve physics education.
Highlights of the 2011 Winter Meeting’s program include:

Professional Development Workshops

  • Using the Wii for Fun and Physics
  • Grant Writing 101: Grant Writing Workshop for New Faculty
  • SACS Friday H.S. Teacher Workshop: Nuclear Education Coastal Georgia College Camden Campus
  • And many more to choose from...

AAPT Symposium on Education Policy: Having an Impact, Improving the Landscape, featuring

  • U.S. Congressman and Physicist, Vernon J. Ehlers
  • Michael Lach - Special Assistant for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Dahlia Sokolov - Research and Science Education Subcommittee , House Committee on Science and Technology
  • Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado, Boulder, Symposium Chair

Featured Sessions

  • Rutherford: His Life and Legacy
  • Using Robotics to Teach Physics
  • Extended Investigations in 5-9 Classrooms
  • Status of Women in Physics

Plenary Speakers

  • Fred Dylla (AIP), Ernest Rutherford and the Accelerator: "A Million Volts in a Soapbox"
  • Lee Peddicord (Texas A&M University), "The State of the Art in Nuclear Power: Breeder Reactors and Beyond"
  • Nancy Mendenhall (Proton Therapy Institute), "State of the Art Nuclear Medicine: Proton Therapy"

Special Events

Book your room at the Hyatt Regency for the low conference rate. Cutoff date for reservations at the group rate is December 16, 2010.

Also, in an effort to keep costs low, American Airlines is offering a 5% discount on airfare for our attendees. Enter the promotional code: 5511AQ. Get 2011 Winter Meeting updates by following us on Twitter (@physicsteachers) and be sure to use the conference hashtag #aaptwm11 in your tweets! You can also find meeting updates and more on our Facebook page.

Save the Date:
Summer Meeting 2011, July 30-August 3 (Omaha, NE)
Winter Meeting 2012, February 4-8 (Ontario, CA)
Summer Meeting 2012, July 28-August 1 (Philadelphia, PA)

Seeking New Editor for the American Journal of Physics

The American Association of Physics Teachers is seeking a new Editor for the American Journal of Physics to transition into the post by January 2012. See the press release for more information.

Two-Year College New Faculty Experience

AAPT presents a 18-month experience designed specifically for Two-Year College Physics Faculty in their first five years of teaching.
The experience will equip participants with techniques that are:

  • Engaging
  • Hands-On
  • Proven at Two-Year Colleges
  • Based on Physics Education Research
  • Design for Promoting Active Learning

For more information and an application please visit our website at http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/newfaculty/tyc.cfm

Are You a New Physics Teacher? Could You Use a Little Help?

The AAPT ementoring program is designed to connect pre-college physics educators in need of additional guidance with experienced pre-college physics educators. eMentoring logoBased on each mentee's profile, the program will find the most qualified mentor to fit the needs of that mentee. Once the mentee is matched with their mentor, they can start communicating through email, voice chat, telephone, or in some cases face-to-face. All participants will have an opportunity to grow professionally and connect with colleagues at a regional or national level. Learn more at http://ementoring.aapt.org.

U.S. Physics Team Registration and Exam Dates

The U.S. Physics Team program is a competition for high school students to represent the United States at the annual International Physics Olympiad Competition. Preliminary exam dates are January 18-28, 2011. See www.aapt.org/physicsteam for registration information.

PhysicsBowl Registration

Each year, approximately 10,000 students take a 40-question, 45-minute timed, multiple-choice test under their school’s supervision. The 2011 exam will be given between March 30 and April 13, 2011. Exam questions are based on topics and concepts covered in a typical high school physics course.

  • T-shirts awarded to the five top students in the top scoring school in each region
  • Certificate of Participation provided as a printable PDF for all teachers and students competing
  • Additional awards to be announced

Register Online.

Need a Great Science Intern?

The AAPT Career Center is now offering a FREE online-only posting to employers recruiting seasonal interns. Get the word out and reach the future of the science community—AAPT's membership, as well as the members and student members of APS, AVS, and the IEEE Computer Society (if a computer-related internship). Your intern posting will also appear on the Physics Today Jobs site. Login to or create your Employer account at http://careers.aapt.org/hr/index.cfm to get started. Free posting valid on 60-day internship postings ONLY. "Internship" Job Level must be selected when posting to access this offer.

Local AAPT Section Hosts Physics Day at the 2010 NSTA Area Conference

AAPT offers a full day of physics content at the NSTA Area Conferences. Physics Day consists of presentations on physics topics of current interest, physics demonstrations for the pre-college classroom and a make-and-take session. AAPT will be hosting a booth in the exhibit hall with giveaways and a raffle drawing!
2010 Area Conference in Nashville - Friday, December 3, 2010

Visit ComPADRE in Jacksonville!

comPADREWe will have our many collection sites up and running for you to take a test drive and review. There will be materials for you to take away and share with colleagues, as well as editors and staff to answer any questions you may have. Please stop by Booth #116 and see what ComPADRE has to offer.
If you aren't familiar with ComPADRE, you can visit the main portal site, and any of our focused collections @ http://www.compadre.org.

Featured Journal Articles

American Journal of Physics

Resource Letter PTG-1: Precision Tests of Gravity
This Resource Letter from Clifford M. Will provides an introduction to some of the main current topics in experimental tests of general relativity as well as to some of the historical literature.

The Physics Teacher

Experiments with Helium‐Filled Balloons
The concepts of Newtonian mechanics, fluids, and ideal gas law physics are often treated as separate and isolated topics in the typical introductory college‐level physics course, especially in the laboratory setting. To bridge these subjects, a simple experiment was developed that utilizes computer‐based data acquisition sensors and a digital gram scale to estimate the molar mass of the gas in an inflated balloon.

Physics Store Features

2011 CalendarAAPT High School Physics Photo Contest Calendar (CAL-10)

The 2011 AAPT Calendar is now available. Each month showcases one of the top 100 entries (photo and essay) from the 2010 AAPT High School Physics Contest. This high quality calendar makes a great holiday gift for yourself, a friend, colleague, or student. Creative as well as educational, it's the perfect addition to any classroom. Order yours now, while supplies last! $4.99 AAPT Members. Fax your order to 301.209.0845 or order online at The Physics Store.

DDD T-shirtDon't Drink and Derive - Black T-shirt - Med, Large, X-Large, XXL (TS-7B)

Black shirts with white print "Don’t DRINK and Derive" and many incorrect physics formulas printed on the back. AAPT logo printed on front. Comes in M, L, XL, XXL size. Excellent gift idea. $10 AAPT Members. Fax your order to 301.209.0845 or order online at The Physics Store.


AAPT Don't Drink and Derive TumblerDon't Drink and Derive Tumbler (M-2)

Keep moving with AAPT's new 7" thermal tumbler embossed with the popular "Don't Drink and Derive" motto and AAPT logo. Clear tumbler over stainless steel liner gives a modern, metallic look. Features double wall construction, stainless steel thumb-slide lid, and blue lettering. $12 AAPT Members. Find it at The Physics Store.


Members in the News

Issaquah Teacher Wins New Physics Award

Tom Haff receives awardIssaquah High School students are not the only ones who hold physics teacher Tom Haff in their high esteem. The Washington chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers awarded Haff with an Outstanding High School Teacher Award Oct. 9 at its state meeting.
This is the first time the chapter has given the award, and it will now be called the Tom Haff award, in honor of its first recipient.
Photo: Issaquah High School physics teacher Tom Haff holds the first Outstanding High School Teacher Award given by the American Association of Physics Teachers. Issaquah School District Executive Director of Secondary Education Patrick Murphy (left) and Associate Superintendent Ron Thiele (right) honored Haff in his classroom. Photo by Sara Niegowski.
More at: http://www.issaquahpress.com/2010/11/02/issaquah-teacher-wins-new-physics-award/

Arlington High School Teacher Heads to South Pole in Name of Science, Education

Katherine ShireyKatherine Shirey will spend a month working at the South Pole on an experiment investigating the production of cosmic rays and tiny, elusive particles known as neutrinos. It's an inquiry on the frontier of modern science—the kind of project that doesn't often invite 29-year-old high school teachers to participate. Students in her 11th-grade physics class at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, VA worked diligently, wrapping reflective Mylar around cardboard boxes, thinking through the physics of their creations: solar ovens. The best oven will be shipped with Shirey to the South Pole for scientific research, directing the sun's rays to a frozen pizza bagel at Earth's southernmost point.
Photo: Katherine Shirey works with students at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, VA. (Dayna Smith/For The Washington Post)
Washington Post article http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/10/AR2010111003462.html

Physics with fizz

Rutgers is one of the top producers of physics teachers, thanks to a professor who doesn't believe in "teach" or "lecture."
In the ongoing debate about improving teacher quality in a global economy, perhaps nowhere is the need so keenly felt as in the field of Newton and Einstein.
Of the more than 23,000 physics teachers in public and private high schools, just one-third majored in physics or physics education, according to the American Institute of Physics. Each year, the typical teacher education program graduates at most one teacher who specializes in physics; zero is more common.
So what's the deal at Rutgers University?
The New Brunswick, N.J., campus is regularly among the nation's top producers, graduating six to eight physics teachers a year. Almost all of them stick with the profession, and many come back to Rutgers for optional, twice-monthly support sessions long after they've graduated.
The reason is a slender but unyielding force named Eugenia Etkina, and she does it with Rollerblades. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magazine/20101115_Physics_with_fizz.html

Wittenberg Teacher Wins Ohio Professor of the Year

A Wittenberg University associate professor of physics has been named Ohio Professor of the Year. Dan Fleisch received the honor from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The U.S. Professor of the Year program is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate education. http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/news/2010/11/18/wittenberg-professor-named-ohio.html

Freshman Physics Class Really Taking Off

Last month, they made the rockets, and on Monday morning, the students in Riverhead High School teacher Greg Wallace’s freshman physics class got to fire them off. Read more... http://riverheadnewsreview.timesreview.com/2010/11/4495/freshman-physics-class-really-taking-off/

Section News

Section News Online

See the July 2010 Section News here. http://www.aapt.org/Sections/upload/Section-News_July2010.pdf
To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org.

In Memoriam

Wilbur A. Miner

Wilbur A. Miner, "Will" passed away at Joliet Area Community Hospice Home, October 24, 2010. He was 77. Miner taught physics at Joliet Township High School from 1962 until 1965 and Joliet Junior College from 1965 until his retirement in 1994. He served as Illinois Section AAPT (ISAAPT) Secretary/Treasurer for 8 years (1981-1988), longer than any other person in this position. More information at http://www.aapt.org/Membership/inmemoriam.cfm

Gerard P. Lietz

Gerard P. Lietz passed away on Friday, November 26 at the age of 72 after a year long battle with battled leukemia.
An Emeritus member of AAPT, Lietz joined the organization in 1968. He served on Chicago, Illinois, and national AAPT committees and wrote a number of articles that were published in The Physics Teacher. Lietz was Associate Professor of Physics at DePaul University until his retirement. He was a member in its first year of the NSF-supported Illinois State Physics Project ~ISPP, designed to bring college and high school teachers together to improve physics teaching quality in Illinois. Although after three years the funding ran out, Harald Jensen decided it was too good to die, and it has survived for 30 years. Lietz hosted the ISPP at DePaul every year since 1968, and was co-chair since 1990. More information at http://www.aapt.org/Membership/inmemoriam.cfm

4th IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics

The U.S. team leaders are now accepting applications for the U.S. delegation to the 4th IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The conference will feature discussions of the progress and challenges in increasing the numbers and advancement of women in physics around the world; highlight exciting physics frontiers; and feature successful strategies for attracting girls to physics, helping young women launch physics careers, and promoting more women into leadership positions. Numerous opportunities are planned for networking, professional development, exploring international collaborations, and sharing research interests and results. More information about the conference may be found at: http://www.acitravel.co.za/event/index.php?eventID=20. The U.S. team leaders are seeking funding to help cover most, but not necessarily all, of the travel costs of selected delegation members. More information about the application guidelines and submission process is available at http://www.uswip.org. The deadline for submitting applications is midnight, EST, on January 7, 2011. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

PASCO FREE Online Training Series Final Sessions

PASCOJoin PASCO trainers live online for free interactive training on the use of PASCO probeware, curriculum, and software solutions. Register now for the FREE public online trainings or schedule a custom online training series for your school or district.

NEXT SESSIONS for December:

  • High School Math with DataStudio - December 8
  • Middle School Math with DataStudio - December 14
  • MiddleSchool Math with SPARK Science - December 14

For more information on our web trainings, go to PASCO's Professional Development page.

Research Based Undergraduate Science Teaching: Investigating Reform in Classrooms

June 19-21, 2011
Bryant Conference Center
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL

The focus of the conference is on reforms in teaching undergraduate science and their impact on student outcomes both short term and long term.
The National Study of Education in Undergraduate Science (NSEUS) has begun soliciting proposals for sessions (research papers, symposiums, forums) for the conference. To be eligible for selection a proposal must: (1) Report results research activity, (2) Address themes relevant for the teaching and learning of undergraduate science (3) Bridge the gaps between theory and practice and/or research and practice, (4a) Address the concerns and needs of college and university faculty and students or (4b) Address the science concerns and needs of pre-service teachers long term outcomes as teachers of science K-12, and (5) Be of interest and engage the target audience.
For more information: http://nseus.org/?page_id=112
The Conference is funded under the National Science Foundation Grant TPC 0554594.

U.S. Found to Recruit Fewer Teachers From Top Ranks

Countries with the best-performing school systems largely recruit teachers from the top third of high school and college graduates, while the United States has difficulty attracting its top students to the profession, a new report finds. Singapore, Finland, and South Korea draw 100 percent of their teachers from the top third of the academic pool, write the authors, Byron Auguste, Paul Kihn, and Matt Miller, of the management-consulting firm McKinsey & Co., based in Washington. But only 23 percent of U.S. teachers come from the top third of college graduates—and in high-poverty schools, that rate drops to 14 percent.
Education Week article
McKinsey report

Physics Trends Flyers

The AIP Statistical Research Center (SRC) has published the Fall 2010 set of Physics Trends flyers. These are printable flyers suitable for display.
This set of flyers depicts:
1) What physics bachelor’s are doing in the winter following the year in which they received their degree.
2) The skills regularly used by new physics bachelor’s who accepted employment in the private sector.
3) Typical stipends of first-year physics graduate students.
The flyers can be downloaded from the SRC website: www.aip.org/statistics/trends/phystrends.html

Physics for the 21st Century

Physics for the 21st Century is an on-line course exploring the frontiers of physics. Designed for adult learners including high school teachers, undergraduates and the interested public—college graduates who were non-science majors, the course will look at advances in physics and physics research and their potential impact on everyday life.

Council on Undergraduate Research Registry of Undergraduate Researchers

The Council on Undergraduate Research hosts a Registry of Undergraduate Researchers. The purpose of this registry is to facilitate matchmaking between undergraduates who have research experience and a desire to pursue an advanced degree, with graduate schools seeking high quality students who are well prepared for research. The Registry is open to students and graduate schools in the fields of Anthropology/Archaeology, Arts/Humanities, Biology/Biochemistry, Business, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Economics, Education, Engineering, English and Linguistics, Environmental Studies, Geosciences, Health Professions, History, Journalism and Communications, Mathematics/Computer Science, Physics/ Astronomy, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work and Sociology.
Any undergraduate may go to www.cur.org/ugreg/ to fill out a simple curriculum vitae form. There is no charge to the student and records will be made available to bona fide Graduate Schools that contract with CUR for this service. Organizations or companies seeking the students’ information for other marketing purposes will not be granted access. Graduate School representatives may contact students to invite applications or visits to the campus and laboratory, or to share information about their research programs and financial support opportunities.

New, Interactive Website - Hurricanes: Science and Society

The University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (URI/GSO) has launched one of the most comprehensive Internet resources on hurricanes, Hurricanes: Science and Society (HSS; http://www.hurricanescience.org). The HSS website and its associated educational resources provide information on the science of hurricanes, methods of observing hurricanes, modeling and forecasting of hurricanes, how hurricanes impact society, and how people and communities can prepare for and mitigate the impacts of hurricanes.
In addition to in-depth science content, the website includes educational resources, case studies, and a historical storm interactive. Information is tailored for specific audiences, including middle school through undergraduate educators and students, the general public, and the media. All content has undergone rigorous peer review by an esteemed panel of hurricane experts.

Science & Engineering Apprenticeship Program for High School Students: Deadline is January 7, 2011

The program places academically talented high school students with interest and ability in science and mathematics as apprentices in Department of Navy laboratories for eight weeks during the summer. These students work with scientists and engineers who act as mentors. The program offers students a unique and positive experience in their fields of interest, thus encouraging them to pursue careers in science and engineering. Find more information here: http://seap.asee.org/program_details

Symposium on Horizons in Astronomy and Physics Education

Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
December 28-29, 2010

The UNC-BEST program invites North Carolina physics (and other) teachers to join us for a symposium on current advances in physics, astronomy, and the teaching of these subjects in secondary schools. The symposium will feature talks by leaders in the field about astronomy and physics research, the application of physics in a variety of contexts, and physics and astronomy pedagogy.

Toyota International Teacher Program

The Institute of International Education is pleased to announce the inaugural Toyota International Teacher Program to South Africa! The program will take place July 24 – August 10, 2011. Full-time classroom teachers of all subjects and librarians, grades 7 – 12, are now invited to apply online.
The deadline to apply is January 23, 2011.
Teachers can visit our website at www.iie.org/toyota for application instructions, FAQs, and to apply online.

Workshop on Active Learning with Video Analysis

June 20-24, 2011, at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY
The LivePhoto Physics project is offering an NSF-funded 5-day workshop for university and college faculty interested in using digital video analysis in student research, lectures, tutorials, homework assignments, and laboratories. The workshop will cover both normal and high speed capture and analysis techniques for a range of topic areas such as mechanics, thermal physics, wave propagation, electricity, magnetism, and optics.
For more information visit: livephoto.rit.edu/workshops/ or contact Robert.Teese@rit.edu.

"Make Waves - Discover Science" Poster Series

Educational outreach is one of the most important and significant ways OSA supports local communities and assists educators in inspiring tomorrow's young scientists. To that end, we have developed a variety of materials and programs to address the needs of students from elementary school through university studies.
In addition to the exciting free resources offered below, we invite you to check out the many other materials we provide through the OSA Foundation and on our website Opticsforkids.org. All materials can be requested using our quick and easy online request form.
Brand new in 2010, this four-part poster series explores lasers, cross-polarization, acoustics and echolocation. The posters are available in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Turkish and Mandarin. The Turkish translation and supplemental pamphlets including definitions, experiments and career profiles can be downloaded online here.
Request Your Free Set of Posters Today!

Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellowships Deadline is January 12, 2011

The application process for 2011 Teaching Fellowships is now open. Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) Science and Mathematics Teaching Fellows are chosen from among young men and women who have earned or are in the process of earning a degree in science, mathematics or engineering from a recognized institution of higher education.

Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research: Puget Sound Conference

March 17-20, 2011 on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State
The conference will provide a forum for examining and articulating the current state of the field, exploring future directions, and discussing ways to pursue promising avenues of research.

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AAPT's eNNOUNCER is a service to members of the American Association of Physics Teachers and is produced by the AAPT National Office. All issues are archived here. Other stories of significance appear in our Announcements Archive and our archive of Press Releases. E-mail suggestions, news items, comments, and unsubscribe requests to: aapt-news@aapt.org
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Copyright © 2010, American Association of Physics Teachers