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eNNOUNCER January 2012          

eNNOUNCER January 2012


2012 AAPT Winter Meeting

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.
            Register by January 4 and Save!

            Hotel reservations deadline for the Radisson  and  the Doubletree is January 13, 2012. Reserve a room!

Plenary Speakers
          Ron Henderson will present "Waves in Animation." He manages the FX Tools group at DreamWorks Animation where he develops physical simulation and procedural modeling tools. These systems have been used for key visual effects in recent films such as Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens.


Richard A. Muller of U.C. Berkeley will discuss "Real World Problems: Physics for Presidents." Muller is a renowned course developer and author of "Physics for Future Presidents."


AAPT Symposium on Education Policy: Physics Education Research and Public Policy with speakers Helen Quinn, Howard Gobstein, and Patricia Heller, with Moderator, Noah Finkelstein. This session will bring together individuals who play pivotal roles in helping to shape policies and who provide information to policy makers.

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 from the Summer Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska can now be viewed online. Watch the videos.

New Paradigms for Physics Teacher Education


The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) 2012 Annual Conference will be held February 3-4 in Ontario, California in conjunction with the AAPT winter meeting.  The conference theme of New Paradigms in Physics Teacher Education will be addressed through workshops in topical strands on Teaching Methods, Learning Assistants, Recruitment & Retention, and Equity & Diversity, among others. More information


Middle Tennessee State University Takes on Physics Teacher Preparation


Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) has not traditionally been a powerhouse of physics teacher preparation. But that is changing fast, thanks to concerted efforts by Ron Henderson, the MTSU physics department chair, and his colleagues, and a little help from the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC). PhysTEC is a project led by APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), with the goal of improving the preparation of future physics teachers. In 2010, MTSU became a PhysTEC funded site, joining 19 other such sites the project has funded since 2001. Read more.        


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.


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.


AAPT Partners with The Celebration of Teaching & Learning


AAPT is a proud sponsor of The Celebration of Teaching & Learning to be 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.


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.


Budget Sequestrations Threaten Future Funding of Science


Last November we asked you to contact your congressional representatives and your voices made a difference. Congress restored Fiscal Year 2012 funding for NSF, NIST, and NASA Science during final House-Senate negotiations on the appropriations bill covering Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS).
However, budget sequestrations threaten future funding of science. During the next year we encourage you to continue to contact your representatives in Congress and share your own stories about why science funding is important. Doing so through visits, phone calls, and letters will let them know their constituents care about these issues. Watch for advocacy alerts from AAPT throughout the year.  When we combine our voices with others in the physics community we can make a difference.




Visit ComPADRE in Ontario!


Coming to the AAPT Winter Meeting? We 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 #307 and see what ComPADRE has to offer.
          The ComPADRE Digital Library is a network of free online resource collections supporting faculty, students, and teachers in Physics and Astronomy Education. If you aren't familiar with ComPADRE, you can visit the main portal site, and any of our focused collections @ http://www.compadre.org.


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


February Meeting


Alabama Section, February 24-25, 2012
          ALAAPT 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.


AIP Seeking Applications for Congressional Fellows Program


Members of the physics community who want to spend a unique year learning about the inner workings of Congress in Washington DC should consider applying to the American Institute of Physics Congressional Science Fellowship Program, cosponsored by the Acoustical Society of America. The application deadline is January 15.


Read online.


APS Minority Scholarship Announcement


The American Physical Society is once again pleased to announce the APS Scholarships for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors.  African American, Hispanic American, and Native American students who are college freshmen or sophomore physics majors, and who are US citizens or permanent residents are invited to apply.  The deadline is February 3, 2012.  Awards are $2000 and $3000 per academic year.
        More information.


Physics World Reveals Its Top Ten Breakthroughs for 2011


The top ten breakthroughs in physics in 2011, selected by Physics World magazine, have been announced. The top spot in the list belongs to Professor Aephraim Steinberg and his colleagues at the Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control at the University of Toronto for their work using weak measurements to map photon trajectories in the double-slit experiment. The group was chosen by the judging team because their work uses state-of-the-art weak measurement techniques to shed further light on an old and well-known paradox of quantum mechanics. 2011 Winners.


Newton Papers at the Cambridge Digital Library


Cambridge University Library holds the largest and most important collection of the scientific works of Isaac Newton (1642-1727). They have made an initial selection of Newton's manuscripts available, concentrating on his mathematical work in the 1660s. Over the next few months they will be adding further works until the majority of their Newton Papers are available.
          Read online.


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.


Call for Articles


The Journal of Student Research, an affiliate of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), is seeking submissions of Research Articles and Review Articles by undergraduate or graduate students. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2012.
          Read more


Congratulations to Presidential Award Winners


On November 15 President Obama named nine individuals and eight organizations as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The mentors will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later this year.
          Administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring is awarded by the White House to individuals and organizations in recognition of the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering--particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. By offering their expertise and encouragement, mentors help prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers while ensuring that tomorrow's innovators reflect and benefit from the diverse talent of the United States.
  Read more.


Knowles Science Teaching Fellowships


KSTF awards Teaching Fellowships in the three disciplinary areas of biology, mathematics, and physical sciences to individuals who demonstrate exceptional content knowledge in the area they intend to teach, a commitment to teaching high school in U.S. schools, professional ability, and the potential for leadership.
If you are passionate about teaching high school math and science, and dedicated to challenging and supporting all students, the KSTF Teaching Fellowship could help you succeed in ways you've never imagined.
        Learn more. Apply online. Deadline:  Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 5:00 p.m.


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Copyright © 2012, American Association of Physics Teachers


In this issue

  • PhysTEC
  • F=ma Contest
  • PhysicsBowl
  • Celebration of Teaching & Learning
  • Award Nominations
  • Lotze Scholarship
  • ComPADRE
  • eMentoring
  • Story Files
  • Section News

Featured Journal Articles


The Physics Teacher


Teaching Galileo? Get to Know Riccioli! What a Forgotten Italian Astronomer Can Teach Students About How Science Works
                        Read online


American Journal of Physics


Modeling the exit velocity of a compressed air cannon
                                Read online


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A free e-mail alerting service is available for the American Journal of Physics (AJP)  and The Physics Teacher (TPT). By subscribing to this service, you will receive table of contents alerts as new journal issues are published.


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Meet a Modeler: Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz
Twenty two years ago I began teaching physics… I unearthed my old physics books, bought some new ones, and discovered what I had missed completely the first time around. Physics is the foundation. It is why chemistry and biology exist. It is both a context and a rationale for mathematics.


Read online


Dan Fullerton has published a new physics book aimed at high school students.  With topics including Newton's laws of motion and gravity, magnetism, energy, power and microelectronics, as well as modern physics, Fullerton said his book, A Plus Physics, is different from most high school textbooks. The book is designed to be easily readable and it helps students learn by using a variety of multimedia methods on the accompanying website, APlusPhysics.com, Fullerton said in a press release.


Read online


Physics Store Features


2012 High School Physics Photo Contest Calendar


Bang! The Complete History of the Universe






Cliff's Nodes:
                                  Editorials from
                                  The Physics Teacher


AAPT Baseball Cap






What the Best College Teachers Do


The Role of Toys in Teaching Physics



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