AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

eNNOUNCER February, 2010

link to the AAPT Career Center

2010 APS/AAPT Joint Meeting

Register Now!

Join your colleagues in the physics community from February 13-17, 2010 at the Washington Marriott, Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. This joint meeting will not only have everything that makes National Meetings so great, but also feature concurrent and jointly planned sessions with the American Physical Society (APS).

Program Guides are now available online at www.aapt.org/conferences/wm2010/program.cfm.

You can still sponsor an event!

Participate in the 2010 APS/AAPT Joint Job Fair in Washington, DC. Register now to recruit or be recruited at this exciting event: http://www.aapt.org/Events/wm2010/jobfair.cfm

Check the events calendar for future meetings.


Follow Us and Participate on Facebook and Twitter

Join us on Facebook and Twitter during the meeting. AAPT national office staff will be tweeting and posting important information, photos, and other exciting news. Participate in the discussion on Facebook and become a part of the twitter feed by including the hashtag #apsaapt in your tweets. You can always get to our social network pages using the links in the footer of every page on AAPT.org.



Secrecy, Physics, and America

Saturday, Feb 13 2010, 10:45AM

Room: Thurgood Marshall West

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

SecrecyAt 10:45 am on Saturday February 13 at the AAPT/APS meeting in the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, three eminent speakers will talk about government secrecy. The speakers have extensive experience with this topic: Professor Peter Galison of Harvard's Department of the History of Science and Department of Physics, has made an important movie on secrecy; Dr. Steven Aftergood directs the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy; and physicist Professor Will Happer of Princeton University has a long association with the Jasons, a group of leading scientists who provide high level science advising and consultation—much of it dealing with classified matters—to the US Department of Defense.

You will also want to see SECRECY, the excellent movie made by Galison and his colleague Robb Moss. http://www.secrecyfilm.com/about.html Its interviews and historical footage vividly show who likes secrecy, who does not, and why. The movie is a valuable adjunct to the speakers' session, and the American Association of Physics Teachers will show it three times during the meeting: Sunday: February 14, 9‑10:30 pm; Monday, February 15, 4‑5:30 pm; Tuesday, February 16, 7‑8:30 pm. All showings are in Park Tower 8209 of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Don't miss this exceptional chance to learn more about "…the vast, invisible, expanding world of government secrecy in the United States."

The federal government did not always shroud so many of its activities and deliberations in secrecy. In part because physicists played a major role in the expansion of government secrecy, the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society's Forum on History of Physics and its Forum on Physics and Society are co‑sponsoring this session. The speakers will describe the background, some of the consequences of secrecy, and efforts to find a balance between secrecy and healthy openness.

Matters of national security require secrecy, but secrecy brings with it dangers not only to American democracy and freedom but to the creation of effective policies and rational use of limited resources. From its earliest days, secrecy has been used to hide misbehavior and failure of government officials. It has been used to misdirect public opinion for political purposes. To appreciate the urgency of finding the right balance between secrecy and sunshine to assure the accountability of American government to its citizens, attend this session; see this movie.

2010 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference

PTECThe 2010 Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) Conference will be held in Washington, DC, in conjunction with the APS "April" Meeting, and the AAPT Winter Meeting. The theme will be Diversity in Physics Education: Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century. The conference is the nation's largest meeting dedicated to physics teacher education, and will feature workshops, panels, and talks by national leaders in physics teacher education as well as time for networking. Deadline for registration is Feb. 5.
Register now at www.PTEC.org/conferences/2010!

PTEC Topical Workshop: Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Max Allison PTECRutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

April 19-20, 2010

Rutgers University, in cooperation with the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC), invites you to attend a workshop that will change how you think about preparing physics teachers. This two-day topical workshop will highlight the unique Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)-based curriculum developed at Rutgers. For more information, please see www.ptec.org/conferences/PCK2010.

Executive Officer Applications and Nominations Sought

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) seeks an experienced physicist/educator to serve as its Executive Officer.

To guarantee full consideration, applications must be completed by February 15, 2010. Interested persons should send a resume and cover letter by email to the Search Committee at LAdair@aapt.org. Nominations are welcome and should also be sent to that email address.

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 online-only internship postings ONLY. “Student/Internship” Career Level must be selected when posting to access this offer.

Betty Preece SEES Memorial Fund: Treat a Student to Physics, Fun, and Food

A dedicated AAPT member and physics educator, Betty Preece was an inspiration to many. Every year during the winter meeting, Betty would purchase lunch for a group of underprivileged students from nearby schools and introduce them to the SEES (Students Exploring Engineering and Science) program, which offers hands-on physics experiments as well as career guidance and some take-home goodies. AAPT is asking for donations, no matter how small, to help bring these students a fun-filled day and the gift of science education.

Donate Now and choose the Betty Preece SEES Memorial Fund to help provide lunch for local DC students.

U.S. Physics Team Selection Process Begins

The 41st International Physics Olympiad is set to take place July 17-25, 2010 in Zagreb, Croatia. Preliminary Exam dates for selection of the U.S. Physics Team were in January 2010. Support the 2010 Team with a donation. http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2010/donate.cfm


Registration for the 2010 Physicsbowl is available now! See www.aapt.org/programs/contests/physicsbowl.cfm for more information.

Topics and Units @ ThePhysicsFront.org

comPADREThese focused sets of materials are organized by topic and selected by the Physics Front editors as exemplary resources within each category. Specific resources are included based upon quality of content, ease of use, and alignment with suggested "best practices" for the teaching of physics and physical science, with the new teacher in mind. Courses include Physical Science, Physics First, Conceptual Physics, Algebra Based Physics, and AP/Calculus Based Physics

The Physics Front is a web-based area for teachers of Conceptual, AP, and Algebra-based physics as well as teachers of Physics First and Physical Science. This material is meant to serve as resources to enrich the high school physics experience.

AAPT 2010 Calendar2010 High School Physics Photo Contest Calendar

Get your 2010 High School Physics Photo Contest Calendar now. Each month showcases one of the top 100 entries (photo and essay) from the 2009 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 while supplies last!

Members in the News

AAPT Member, Noah Finkelstein, to Testify at Congressional Hearing

College Park, Maryland, January 28, 2010—Noah Finkelstein, Associate Professor of Physics and Co-director of the Integrating STEM Education Initiative at the University of Colorado-Boulder, will testify on Strengthening Undergraduate and Graduate STEM Education before the US House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Science Education at a hearing on February 4, 2010. An active member of AAPT, Finkelstein is a member of the Colorado/Wyoming AAPT Section, the Physics Education Research (PER) Group, and the PER Leadership Organizing Council.

Section News

Chesapeake Section

On February 15, 2010 the Chesapeake Section of AAPT will hold its 2010 Spring Meeting at the APS/AAPT Joint meeting at the Washington Marriott, Wardman Park in Washington D.C.

Email Deonna Woolard dwoolard@rmc.edu or David Wright dwright@tcc.edu for details.

Texas Section, AAPT/APS/SPS

On March 18-20, 2010, The University of Texas at Austin and Austin Community College in Austin Texas, will host the Spring 2010 Joint Meeting of the Texas Sections of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the American Physical Society (APS), and Zone 13 of the Society of Physics Students (SPS). Please check the meeting website below for hotel reservation deadlines. Meeting Website: http://www.ph.utexas.edu/TSAAPTSpring2010/

Tennessee Section

On March 26-27, 2010 the Tennessee Section of AAPT will hold its 2010 Spring Meeting at the University of Tennessee at Martin in Martin, TN.

Email Cahit Erkal at cerkal@utm.edu for more information.

Section News Online

The December 2009 Section News is now online at: http://www.aapt.org/Sections/upload/Section-News-12-2009.pdf

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

In Memoriam

Laird C. Brodie - July 31, 2009

AAPT was recently informed of the death of Laird Brodie. We join members of the Oregon Section and Portland State University in celebrating his life and contributions to physics education. Brodie was Professor Emeritus with the Portland State University Department of Physics. He first joined AAPT in 1958 and remained an active member and contributor to the Association throughout his life.

Lawrence Edison Banks, Jr.

Lawrence Edison Banks, Jr. (71) passed away on January 6, 2010 after a brief illness. Born in Lawton, OK, he received his B.S. and Ph.D from the University of Oklahoma. He became one of two physics faculty members in the "Science Department" of, then, Southwest Missouri State College (now Missouri State University) in 1961. In 1968 he became head of the new "Physical Science" Department and, upon its division in 1972, he became the first Head of the Department of Physics. During his tenure the Department developed a strong physics major, an Astronomy minor, and a masters degree in materials science. Its faculty expanded to 15 members. In 1994 he became Dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, from which he retired in 2006.

Banks was a dedicated teacher and was active in guiding undergraduate students in research projects. These included early work with lasers leading to the development of a holography laboratory. He was an enthusiastic student of the application of computers in physics and developed an early course on their use. This eventually led, in cooperation with the Mathematics Department, to the creation of a new Computer Science Department. He was also an active supporter of the education of teachers in the sciences and aided in the development of a special physics course for pre‑secondary teachers. In 2000 he was awarded the "Distinguished Service Award" from the Science Teachers of Missouri. He was a longtime member of AAPT and active in the Missouri Section from almost its inception, serving several times as President. He will be remembered with affection by his former students, his colleagues, and many friends.

Laserfest 2010Laserfest

Watching your favorite movie on DVD. Surfing the web. Scanning barcodes at the grocery store. For the past 50 years, lasers have revolutionized the way we live. This milestone marks one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century! Through a series of events and programs, LaserFest will help to showcase the prominence of the laser in today's world. Learn more about celebrations and resources, including free posters for your classroom.


New Web Exhibit Tells Story of Laser's Invention

Military agencies wanted a death ray, and they were willing to pay for it. That was one of the forces spurring scientists in a race that ended with the invention of the laser in 1960, fifty years ago this May. A new exhibit on the award-winning Web site of the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics (AIP) tells the remarkable story of the laser's invention using the voices of the scientists themselves. Find it at: http://www.aip.org/history/exhibits/laser.

APS Minority Scholarship Deadline: February 5, 2010

The American Physical Society is pleased to offer the APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors. This excellent, highly competitive scholarship program not only provides funding to students, but also a great deal of student support. We encourage all eligible students to apply right away using our new online application. Additional information, including the online application form are available at www.aps.org/programs/minorities/honors/scholarship/.

Physics Research and Education: Experimental Research and Laboratories in Physics Education

Gordon Research Conference June 6 – 11, 2010

Chairs: Chandralekha Singh & Enrique J. Galvez

Vice Chairs: Peter Shaffer & Chris Impey

Location: Mount Holyoke College, Mount Holyoke, MA

The 2010 Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education, the sixth in this series of conferences, will focus on the expanding and deepening role of and connection between experimental research and laboratories in physics instruction, with particular emphasis on undergraduate education. The purpose of this conference is to have a serious discussion about cutting-edge experimental research in physics and physics education and laboratories in physics education and how students’ learning experiences can be leveraged by incorporating contemporary research in physics and physics education. The format of the conference—which will include invited plenary sessions, contributed poster presentations, and generous amounts of unscheduled time for informal discussions—is specially designed to promote dialogue and cross-fertilization of ideas between educators and researchers at the forefront of their fields, including researchers in physics education. College and university faculty, research associates (postdocs), laboratory-based physics textbook authors, curriculum and educational material developers, and graduate and undergraduate students are invited to participate.


Research & Development Council of New Jersey Posters

SCIENCE: MAKE IT HAPPEN, HERE!: Discover a Career in Science

After polling more than 100 science teachers, students, and R&D Members, an educational series of five posters was created and distributed free of charge to science teachers across New Jersey. The concept is to promote a series of futuristic fictional discoveries that kids today can relate to and then to point out that this is not only a very real possibility but that they can be a part of this process. All five posters in the series are available at http://www.rdnj.org/q/site/9CFCOEWFAX=non,poster. Science Teachers and school administrators who would like to receive a FREE set of posters for display in their classroom can contact: Kim Wozniak, Executive Director at 973.274.8330 or via email at kwozniak@rdnj.org

Invitation to Participate in National Lab Day

On Nov. 23, President Barack Obama announced the establishment of National Lab Day, an effort supported by AAPT and more than 200 other organizations representing more than 6.5 million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals. The first National Lab Day is tentatively set for early May 2010 and will be part of a large, ongoing STEM initiative called "Educate to Innovate."

We invite you to join other AAPT members in providing high quality, hands-on, discovery-based lab experiences to middle and high school students in our local communities. Visit the National Lab Day website at www.nationallabday.org/groups/aapt to join us in this exciting new initiative.

Physics World Webinar: Green Energy Simulations

This webinar will demonstrate some of the many applications where Green Energy Simulations are crucial to engineering success. Examples cover solar, wind and hydropower. You will see how to handle the coupled effects that are constantly present in Green Energy Simulations. Topics to be covered:

  • Producing biofuels
  • Manufacturing solar panels
  • Wind-loading on a solar array
  • Optimizing batteries and fuel cells

Date: Thursday 25 February 2010

Time: 10 a.m. BST (11 a.m. Central Europe, 5 a.m. East Coast US)

Where: Online - registration is FREE at http://physicsworld.com/cws/go/webinar7

Physics of Aerial Skiing

United States Olympic aerialist Ryan St. Onge and science reporter Henry Fountain break down the "double full full full," a jump St. Onge may perform in Vancouver. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/sports/olympics/olympics-interactives.html#tab1


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
Deliverability of this publication depends on your e-mail address being current. If you have recently changed providers, jobs, or schools, please update your profile online at www.aapt.org as soon as possible. Adding ennouncer@aapt.org to your address book will also help ensure that your copy is delivered to your mailbox.
Note on External Links
Links to non-AAPT sites are intended as a service to readers interested in AAPT, physics, and education. These links do not reflect an endorsement of any content or product. Also, due to the evolving nature of websites, some external links referenced in the eNNOUNCER may expire over time.
Thanks for your readership and your support of AAPT.
Copyright © 2010, American Association of Physics Teachers