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eNNOUNCER July 2011


2011 Summer Meeting in Omaha, NE

The 2011 AAPT Summer meeting will be held on the campus of Creighton University, July 30 - August 3, 2011. At this meeting we will focus on the art (possibly even the science?) of communicating physics outside the classroom.

The Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center Omaha-Downtown will serve as the 2011 AAPT Summer meeting headquarters hotel.
A block of rooms have been reserved for July 26, 2011 - August 5, 2011. The special room rate of $129 single/double will be available until July 8th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. Make a reservation now!

Program Preview

Astronomy Workshop


Visit aapt.org for travel information and accommodations.


Pre-Conference Workshop
Communicating the Physics of Climate Change


Learn how to communicate the facts about climate change from one of the foremost experts,  James E. Hansen, Klopsteg Memorial Award recipient.


Little Shop of Physics


Learn about the hands-on, traveling, outreach program Little Shop of Physics from Program Director Brian Jones, Robert A. Millikan Medal recipient.


Summer 2011 Awards Information



Strategies to Help Women Succeed in Physics Related Professions


This workshop was specifically cited by a 2010 Summer attendee as having provided her the strategy that allowed her to negotiate at 6.4% increase in base pay for her first position after graduating with a BS in physics. Talk about taking your career to the next level!


Teaching Physics for the 1st or 50th Time


Physics Union Mathematics for Middle and High School




Don't Put That Phone Away: Personal Electronics in the Classroom


The Big Bang Effect: Representation of Physicists in Popular Culture


The Physics of Sports


Energy and the Environment


Educating the Larger Public about Science: Lessons from Public Institutions


Special Events


Cracker-Barrel—New Methods of Teacher Evaluation


Plenary—Jim Stith, Reaching Out to the Public - A Necessary Dialogue


Plenary—APS Division of Condensed Matter Physics: Frontiers of Nanoscience with Barbara Jones and Jeremy Levy


If you attended the Richtmeyer Lecture in Jacksonville you already saw some of Barbara Jones' amazing images of a quantum corral.


We Want You!


If you're a high school physics teacher who has never attended a meeting, we’ve prepared a special day for you on Tuesday, August 2nd. High School Physics Teacher Day for First-Time Attendees is only $75 for One-Day Registration. We’re confident that once you see what AAPT has to offer, you’ll become an active AAPT member.


Register now!       


Search for Associate Executive Officer

AAPT is currently advertising for an Associate Executive Officer. The candidate will be involved with many aspects of AAPT including many of the grant funded programs (the New Faculty Workshop, ComPADRE, PhysTEC, etc.), monitoring state and federal policies that affect STEM education to alert membership about important legislation, communicating with appropriate bodies about AAPT's priorities on education issues, raising funds for existing and new programs, serving as AAPT's representative to other science and education associations as well as a number of other responsibilities. The position description is available on the AAPT Careers website.

Physics Team Heads to Bangkok

With coaches Paul Stanley and Warren Turner,  Physics Team members Lucy Chen, Andrew Das Sarma, Ante Qu, Eric Spieglan, and Brian Zhang  will represent the U.S. in Bangkok, Thailand at the 42nd International Physics Olympiad.


Read the Press Release


Read about IPhO 42


High School Physics Teacher Grant

The grant(s) are given each year to teachers whose proposal meets the goal of the grant. That is, the procedure should result in better teaching practice, student understanding and interest, and/or increased enrollment. Also, the proposal should contain some innovative ideas. For example, the proposal may use a new teaching method or an adaptation of an existing idea. Proposal guidelines are online.

Call for Nominations for AAPT Awards


The Awards Committee is seeking nominations for the Oersted Medal, the Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award, the Melba Newell Phillips Medal, the J. D. Jackson Award for Excellence in Graduate Physics Teaching, and the AAPT Distinguished Service Citation.  All AAPT members are urged to review the descriptions of these awards on the AAPT website and then, following instructions available at a link on that website, to nominate individuals deemed worthy of consideration for any of these awards.


100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Superconductivity


In year 2011, the worldwide superconductivity community will celebrate the 100 anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity by Heike Kamerling Onnes and his collaborators in Leiden, The Netherlands. This discovery was made on April 8, 1911. Read the  Physics Today article. For teaching ideas visit  Physics Central
        Also, visit American Journal of Physics Resource letter Scy-3:Superconductivity.


Come learn more about the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Science Literacy Maps!


Wednesday, August 3, 2010, from 12-5 p.m. at The Magnolia Hotel, Omaha Nebraska

Ted Willard, the primary developer of Project 2061's Atlas of Science Literacy, Volume 2 will provide an half-day introduction to the Science Literacy Maps, an online concept browsing interface provided by the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).

NSDL logoThe workshop has been arranged so that educators attending the 2011 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Meeting in Omaha, NE can come to it once they are done with the AAPT sessions.  The workshop is free, lunch is provided, and you do not need to be registered with the AAPT Meeting to attend.

The NSDL Science Literacy Maps, which are based on maps published in AAAS Project 2061's two-volume Atlas of Science Literacy, provide easy access to a wide array of education resources for teaching K-12 science. They also offer insights that can help you see how your students are likely to make progress-or have problems-in their learning from grade to grade, how to help them understand relationships among important ideas, and how to keep the "big picture" of science learning in mind as you select and use the NSDL resources.

If you would like to find out how to take full advantage of the online Maps, please join us for lunch and a free workshop at The Magnolia Hotel, Omaha (1615 Howard St. Omaha, Nebraska) from 12 noon to 5 p.m. on August 3rd, 2011.

To apply to attend the workshop, fill out this brief online survey by July 10, 2011.  Although we would like to accommodate everyone who has an interest in attending, space in the workshop is limited to 25 people. Participants who are selected to attend will be notified by July 15, 2011, and will get a free copy of the two-volume Atlas of Science Literacy.


Read online


eMentoring logo


Welcome to the NEW LOOK for The Physics Front! Digital Library Collection in ComPADRE       


Search, save and share over 1800 evaluated and cataloged teaching resources for physics and physical science classes at all levels! Find us here: http://www.compadre.org/precollege/


We've completely redesigned The Physics Front for you to:

  • Gain easier access to our most popular features
  • Connect to Topics and Units
  • Rapidly find editor selected “best practices” and high quality resources

Zip in to resources that allow you to:

  • Organize by topic and resource type
  • Access New Features that include
    • Our Top Picks—Resources that stand out, and are filtered to include only those of the highest quality
    • Technology Tools—that meet the requirements of the best for 21st century schools
    • Teaching Modules—feature the best standards-aligned learning sequences created by YOU and your colleagues, these model units are gleaned from the best that teachers have to offer

Be sure to visit us at http://www.compadre.org/precollege/ for these features and MUCH MORE…


eMentoring logo


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.


Fizz - A Novel About Physics - Offer of Free Classroom Pilot


June saw publication of Fizz, which tells the history of physics, from Aristotle and Galileo to Einstein and Hawking, in a novel about a time-traveling young woman, following the genre of the highly successful Sophie's World. The Physics Teacher is planning a review of Fizz which was published on the 100th anniversary of Einstein's seminal prediction that gravity bends light. AAPT has secured the author's commitment to provide free books for one or two classroom pilots—high school, senior year, or college freshman year. The pilot will investigate whether a historical novel provides a helpful introduction and motivation to new students of physics. Interested teachers and lecturers may contact the author, Dr. Zvi Schreiber, directly via the Fizz book web site.


NSF logoNational Science Board Requests Comments on Draft NSF Merit Review Criteria


More than 5,100 individuals responded to a National Science Board task force when it requested input on the criteria that is used to evaluate proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation.  Now the task force is asking the science community to review proposed clarifications to the two criteria.  Comments are to be submitted by July 14 to meritreview@nsf.gov.


The foundation receives approximately 45,000 proposals every year.  About 11,500 of these proposals receive new funding awards.  Future awards will be determined using the new criteria if they are adopted.


Read online.


Feedback on Circular A-21 Invited


Seven years ago the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released “Circular A-21,” a document that established key principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements between the Federal Government and educational institutions.  The principles were designed to ensure that the Federal Government covered its fair share of these institutions’ total costs. But the document’s requirements also created administrative burdens that this Administration believes could likely be reduced without undermining the effectiveness of the Circular.


An interagency task force under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) is focusing on possible improvements to Circular A-21 with the goal of recommending to the NSTC and OMB specific revisions and clarifications. The task force’s work is part of the Administration’s larger effort to minimize unnecessary economic and related burdens through review and reform of regulatory processes.


To assist it in its work, the A-21 Task Force is seeking input from faculty and staff at educational institutions, members of relevant professional societies, and others including the general public. For further information and to submit comments, please read the formal Request for Information (RFI) submitted by the National Institutes of Health on behalf of the Task Force.


Read the Blog about this effort posted by Sally Rockey, NIH's Deputy Director for Extramural Research and a co-chair of the A-21 Task Force.


Responses to this RFI must be submitted by July 28, 2011.


AAAS Mentor Awards


The AAAS Mentor Awards honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the science and engineering, PhD workforce.

For more information, the criteria, and the submission form, read online.

All nominations are due by July 31, 2011.


2012 Professional Skills Development Workshops Now Accepting Applications


APS will offer another year of Professional Skills Development Workshops for Women Physicists.  The March 2012 Meeting workshop in Boston will focus on postdoctoral associates and senior faculty and scientists.  The April 2012 Meeting workshop in Atlanta will focus on postdoctoral associates and early-career faculty and scientists.  Senior graduate students are also encouraged to apply. Read online


Advanced Placement Summer Institute


The University of Georgia is hosting a College Board-endorsed Advanced Placement Summer Institute on June 20-24, 2011. AP Summer Institutes offer 30-plus hours of subject-specific professional development for AP teachers. Seats are still available for AP Physics B/C (combined). The course will provide an overview of AP Physics, teaching methods, syllabi and plans, and participants will have the chance to network with their peers to learn best practices from them. Learn how to participate.


International Newsletter on Physics Education


The Spring 2011 issue of the International Newsletter on Physics Education is now available.  Read about Physics Education in Japan, Physics Education in Argentina, Fobinet: an internet supported platform for physics teacher training in Germany, and more. Read online


Physicists Create a Living Laser


To date, lasers have been built from inanimate materials, such as purified gases, synthetic dyes or semiconductors. But now physicists in the US have shown how to induce lasing in a single living biological cell. By shining intense blue light onto fluorescent protein molecules in a cell, the team made the molecules generate intense, monochromatic, directional green light. This phenomenon could potentially be used to distinguish cancerous cells from healthy cells, claim the researchers. Read online


PASCO logoSPARKscience Online  Boot Camp!


Join our trainers live online for interactive training to:

  • Become a confident user of the SPARKscience Learning System or SPARKvue software
  • Understand the variety of probeware experiments available in your subject area
  • Prepare to implement a probeware activity in your classroom

Check online for dates and times.


Modeling Workshops Nationwide


Modeling Workshops for high school physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers will be offered in summer 2011 at 28 sites in 20 states. Modeling Instruction Workshops for Summer 2011


ASU Graduate Program for High School Teachers of the Physical Sciences


For Those Looking for a Dynamic Opportunity to Volunteer Abroad


The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is home to 500 orphaned and vulnerable Rwandan teenagers.  The Village provides a stable and loving environment, medical and psychological care, and a quality education for its young people.  We are currently seeking an experienced teacher to staff our Science Center where students learn science in a practical, hands-on setting after school.  Candidates should have significant experience in the areas of computer engineering, mechanics, electronics, and optics.  The science instructor will be part of a group of ten volunteers who spend one year living and working in the Village in collaboration with permanent Village staff.  The volunteer fellowship covers the cost of the flight to and from Rwanda, health insurance, emergency evacuation insurance, room and board, and a small monthly stipend. Read online.


Honor Harger: A History of the Universe in Sound


Artist-technologist Honor Harger listens to the weird and wonderful noises of stars and planets and pulsars. In her work, she tracks the radio waves emitted by ancient celestial objects and turns them into sound, including "the oldest song you will ever hear," the sound of cosmic rays left over from the Big Bang.  Watch the talk.


Second Round of i3 Provides $150 Million to Continue Scaling-Up, Validating and Developing Effective Education Innovations


New Priorities Include Improving Educational Opportunities in Rural Schools and STEM


The U.S. Department of Education announced that $150 million will be available for the next round of Investing in Innovation (i3) grants to continue support for evidence-based practices in education. Individual school districts, groups of districts, and nonprofits in partnership with districts or a consortium of schools are invited to apply. Read online.


In the Footsteps of Galileo


This Hands-on Workshop on Astronomy for Teachers in Grades 3 – 12 (and those who work with them) is part of the 122nd Annual Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific being held Saturday and Sunday, July 30 - 31, 2011, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  at the Tremont Plaza Hotel, 222 St. Paul Pl., Baltimore, Maryland.

Read online.


Fall 2011 Student LED Challenge


Do you want to get kids excited about technology?  Here's an opportunity you shouldn't miss.  EE Times and the Innovation Generation (iGen) team have just started the "Fall 2011 Student LED Challenge" and teachers can register a team until July 31.  This Challenge gives students an opportunity to use a free kit of parts--LEDs, resistors, transistors, switches, and so on--along with a free Microchip Technology MCU development kit. Total value $US 150. (Teachers and teams don't have to buy anything to register and compete in the Fall Challenge.)  Read online


University Administrators, Faculty and Consultants


A sweeping review of research and data—now available for immediate digital download from The Chronicle of Higher Education—reveals what college will look like 10 years out. Indispensable data for planning and management in academe.

The College of 2020: Students


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Thanks for your readership and your support of AAPT.


Copyright © 2011, American Association of Physics Teachers


In this issue


Featured Journal Articles


The Physics Teacher

An Inexpensive Mechanical Model for Projectile Motion Read online


American Journal of Physics


How to twirl a hula hoop Read online


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Members in the News


Congratulations to Greg Mulder and the Linn-Benton CC team who came in 3rd place at the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) 10th Annual International Competition!
The event was hosted by the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Greg's team completed all four missions with time to spare.  This years mission task were very demanding, my team was not able to fully complete one task . Read online


Physics Teacher Wins Grant
Saranac Lake High School physics teacher Christopher Gosling has been awarded a federal Fulbright teaching grant to conduct research in Argentina next spring. Read online


Finalist for Presidential Teaching Award
                              Dean Andrew Baird, a physics teacher at Rio, was among six secondary teachers nominated Friday as 2011-12 California finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The national winners will be named next year by the White House. Read online


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