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eNNOUNCER February 2012          

eNNOUNCER February 2012


Going to Ontario?


The 2012 Annual Winter Meeting and Exhibit Show will provide strategies on ways to engage and inspire your students to their maximum potential.  This dynamic meeting will provide valuable face-to-face connections to enhance your daily activities as a physics educator.
          Registration is still available online and on-site!

          Looking for hotel reservations. Reserve a room!


AAPT Award Winner Book Signings in the Exhibit Hall
          Brian Greene, our Richtmyer Memorial Award winner, will sign his books The Hidden Reality, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and The Elegant Universe in the exhibit hall Tuesday, Feb. 7, 11 a.m.-12 noon at the AAPT booth.


Kip Thorne, our John David Jackson Award for Excellence in Graduate Physics Education winner, will sign his books Black Holes and Time Warps and The Future of Spacetime in the exhibit hall Tuesday, Feb. 7, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the AAPT booth.


Save the Date:
        Summer Meeting 2012, July 28-August 1 (Philadelphia, PA)
        Winter Meeting 2013, January 5-9 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
        Summer Meeting 2013, July 13-17 (Portland, Oregon)


Plenary Sessions and Award Lectures will be streaming live online from the Winter Meeting in Ontario. Watch the video streams. Follow the meeting on twitter #aaptwm12 for times.


Physics Teacher Education Conference


The PhysTEC 2012 Conference will be held February 3-4 in Ontario, California with the theme "New Paradigms in Physics Teacher Education." More information


AAPT Partners with The Celebration of Teaching & Learning


AAPT is a proud sponsor of "The Celebration of Teaching & Learning" being held March 16-17, 2012 in New York City.  This seventh annual Celebration will bring together global experts, advocates, practitioners, and academics with more than 10,000 educators to create a unique professional development experience where knowledge meets inspiration. The 2012 Celebration will honor teachers as global professionals and provide the opportunity for knowledge sharing across classrooms and cultures. Read online.       


Apparatus Competition


The Apparatus Competition was established to recognize, reward, and publicize worthwhile contributions to physics teaching through demonstration and experiment. With huge advances in technology, many physics apparatus are now commercially available. But even with these advances, physics research still requires the inventive spirit of designing and building experimental apparatus one's self.
          Whether developed to pique the interest of students, used in lecture and demonstration, or simply used to help teach physics in new or fascinating ways, teachers are continually engineering apparatus to aid physics instruction. The Apparatus Competition is where teachers can share their apparatus with others.
          The Competition is held annually during AAPT's summer meeting and is open to all members. More information.


New PER Users Guide: Evidence Based Resources for Teaching Physics


AAPT is proud to announce that a new web resource, http://perusersguide.org, is now up and running.  The site is a valuable resource for finding research-based curriculum materials addressing wide variety of student audiences. The site provides a synthesis of decades of physics education research in a format that is easy for busy physics instructors to understand and apply. Some highlights of the site include the Top 10 Results of PER that Every Physics Instructor Should Know, Frequently Asked Questions about PER, and a Methods and Materials page, which lists dozens of PER-based teaching methods, curricula, and techniques, and allows users to filter these methods according to their individual learning environment and goals.       


SPIN-UP Workshop


Austin, Texas • May 4-6, 2012
Do you want to grow your undergraduate physics program? AAPT, in cooperation with APS and AIP, and with support from the National Science Foundation invites faculty teams from physics departments to attend a May 4-6, 2012 workshop in Austin, Texas. The goal of the SPIN-UP Regional Workshop program is to enable physics departments in a wide variety of institutions to build the departmental infrastructure that will produce long-term improvements in undergraduate physics programs and to enhance both the number of students studying physics and the quality of student learning.
Each workshop invites teams of 2-3 faculty members, including the chair and/or the associate chair for undergraduate education, to work with an experienced group of physics faculty members, including representatives from departments that have recently seen large increases in the number of undergraduate majors. Each department will analyze its current situation and where they would like to be and then develop plans to implement sustainable change to meet the department's goals.
Participating departments will cover their own travel expenses in order to demonstrate a commitment to making real change. The NSF grant will provide support for hotel accommodations. Departments may apply for a limited number of travel support supplements as well. For the May, 2012 workshop, preference will be given to teams from colleges and universities in Texas and nearby states, but other teams will be accepted if space is available.
More information here or contact Ruth Howes at rhowes@bsu.edu phone: (505) 955-0836. Program details and registration information will be available beginning in early February 2012.

PhysicsBowl Registration


Registration for the 2012 PhysicsBowl is now open.
PhysicsBowlEach year, approximately 10,000 students take a 40-question, 45-minute timed, multiple-choice test under their school’s supervision. The 2012 exam will be given between March 28 and April 11, 2012. Registration deadline is March 5. More information online.


Teacher Education in Physics: Research, Curriculum, and Practice


PhysTEC announces the publication of this new book dedicated to teacher education in physics. A compendium of research articles on the preparation of physics and physical-science teachers, the book includes new reports that reflect cutting-edge research and practice, as well as reprints of previously published seminal papers. A free pdf version of the book is now available.
          Details and access to free pdf copy.       


Biennial Physics Department Chairs Meeting


AAPT and APS will be hosting the biennial Physics Department Chairs Meeting June 8-10, 2012 in College Park, MD.  The meeting provides an opportunity for department chairs to learn about recent developments in physics education, research activities, and science funding and to talk with other department chairs about a broad spectrum of physics department issues.  APS will organize an optional Congressional visit day on June 7.  Program information and registration details will be available in February 2012.
            Past meetings.


Call for AAPT Awards Nominations


Recognize excellence in physics education! The Awards Committee is seeking nominations for all of our awards, citations, and medals. AAPT members are urged to review the descriptions on the AAPT website and then, following instructions, to nominate individuals who should be considered for any of these awards. Nominations remain active for five years.


The Physics Educator


AAPT is introducing an online, members-only site known as The Physics Educator (TPE).  With a mission to stimulate discussion on key topics of professional development, TPE aims to promote interest in and the advancement of physics education at all levels.




ComPADRE Member Filing Cabinet


Did you know that you can build and share your own personal, online reference library on ComPADRE? Any ComPADRE registered user can create their own personal collections of resources for their classes or other use, organized and annotated in a way that suits you best. Select from our large library of editor vetted resources or link to your favorite materials online. Users of Google Docs, Dropbox, YouTube, or other services "in the cloud" can also link to your personal materials. Once created, you can share individual collections or even collaborate with others in putting together a collection as a group.
          To start your collection, log in to compadre.org and any of the ComPADRE resource collections, and click on "Filing Cabinet." Registration at ComPADRE is free and only requires an email address. Be assured your information will not be distributed to third parties. Sign up today!       


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. Learn more.


What is the Story Files Project?


AAPT is preserving audiovisual files from members on topics including the teaching and learning of physics, collaborations and interactions between members, historical and personal reminiscing about physics related experiences and careers, the value of being an AAPT member, and much more. If you're going to the Winter Meeting in Ontario, stop by the AAPT booth to schedule an appointment or contact Dave Wolfe for details.


Section News


March Meetings
        Maine Physics and Physical Science Meeting, March 9, 2012
          University of           Maine, Orono, ME
Kentucky Section, March 17, 2012
          with the Kentucky Academy of Science Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
  KAPT online
          Central Pennsylvania Section, March 23-24, 2012
          Joint Spring Section Meeting of the Central Pennsylvania Section and the Western Pennsylvania Section with an all day PTRA Workshop on March 23. Penn State University
  AAPTCPS online
          Western Pennsylvania Section, March 23-24, 2012
          Joint Spring Section Meeting of the Central Pennsylvania Section and the Western Pennsylvania Section with an all day PTRA Workshop on March 23. Penn State University
  AAPTWPS online
          North Carolina Section, March 30-31, 2012
          Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, NC
  NCSAAPT online
          Idaho-Utah Section, March 9, 2012
          Brigham Young University Idaho, Rexburg, ID
  Idaho-Utah online


To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org. See the July 2011 Section News.


Science Magazine Science Prize


Science Magazine has announced the publication of the first winner of the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction (IBI).  It is the "Light, Sight, and Rainbows" module, created through a collaboration of Dickinson College and the Rochester Institute of Technology authored by AAPT members, David P. Jackson, Priscilla W. Laws, Scott V. Franklin.
          IBI will be replacing the SPORE contest in 2012-2013.  The next round of the IBI prize opens for entries is now open.  This year AAAS is expanding the prize to include advanced high school and engineering modules. Read online.


AIP Releases the Enriched GradschoolShopper.com


Prospective graduate students have a new and powerful tool to help them evaluate and select the graduate program that best meets their needs and academic goals. The American Institute of Physics' (AIP) newly enhanced and updated GradschoolShopper.com is a comprehensive one-stop resource for researching graduate programs in physics, astronomy, and related fields. The site is designed to provide easy access to the most thorough, specific, relevant, up-to-date, and authoritative information on graduate programs and research in physics and related fields.


Teaching Physics with Google Earth


Google Earth has a number of educational uses ranging from flight simulators to undersea exploration. Now a researcher has suggested extending the virtual globe's applications to physics. Fabrizio Logiurato, a postdoctoral physics researcher at the University of Trento in Italy, proposed using Google Earth for teaching wave phenomena in a paper published on the arXiv preprint server. Logiurato argues that real-life examples engender more enthusiasm from students compared to traditional drawings of waves. Read online.


National Governors Association  Report on STEM Education


In December the National Governors Association released a 44-page report that they hope governors nationwide will use to shape STEM education in their state. From Building a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education Agenda:


Although many simultaneous actions are needed to grow participation and outcomes in STEM education, this report focuses on six key steps that states are or should be taking across the entire K–postsecondary education continuum:

  • Adopt rigorous math and science standards and improved assessments;
  • Place and retain more qualified teachers in the classroom;
  • Provide more rigorous preparation for STEM students;
  • Use informal learning to expand math and science beyond the classroom;
  • Enhance the quality and supply of STEM teachers; and
  • Establish goals for postsecondary institutions to meet STEM job needs

In addition to pinpointing strengths and weaknesses, the report also provides concrete examples of model programs in a number of areas, including STEM schools, informal programs, teacher training, and career pathways.
          Read the full report.       


Annotated Listing of Astronomy Apps for Phones & Tablets Published in Astronomy Education Review


An annotated overview of 98 astronomy applications for smart phones and tablets has been published in the on-line journal "Astronomy Education Review."  Compiled by Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College), the list features a brief description and a direct URL for each app.  It may be especially useful for everyone who got a phone or tablet for the holidays and is looking for something fun or educational to do with it.
          Access the article FREE of charge.


PAN Free Residential Summer Program


The Physics of Atomic Nuclei (PAN) free residential summer program for science teachers and high school students is now accepting applications for summer 2012. PAN participants will learn about scientific research in nuclear astrophysics at National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and conduct their own experiments. Teachers can earn continuing education credit for this program. The teacher program will run from July 30 – August 3, and students will follow from August 6-10. Applications are due by April 30. Learn more and online application. Or email: pan@nscl.msu.edu.


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Copyright © 2012, American Association of Physics Teachers


In this issue


Featured Journal Articles


The Physics Teacher


Inertial Navigation: A Bridge Between Kinematics and Calculus
                                Read online


American Journal of Physics


Chaotic motors
                              Read online


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Members in
the News


Two AAPT members have been nominated for APS Fellowship. Noah Finkelstein,
University of Colorado, Boulder and Chandralekha Singh,
University of Pittsburgh.

Read online


In Memoriam


AAPT joins the Ohio State University Department of Physics and AAPT members in Ohio in mourning the passing of William "Bill" R. Riley who died on December 28, 2011 at the age of 89.

Read online


Physics Store Features


in Mechanics


Preconceptions in Mechanics


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Insights into
                                  the Universe


Insights Into the Universe


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