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eNNOUNCER March 2012          

eNNOUNCER March 2012


Winter Meeting Highlights


Sunny Ontario, California was the home to the 2012 Winter Meeting of AAPT, hosted by the Southern California Section. The Meeting Theme was The Wave Nature of Light & Matter.
          By the end of the week, attendees were greatly enriched by the talks we heard on a wide variety of topics. The discussions we shared and the active participation  helped us become even better teachers at every level. We faced some of the changes coming with the new  Elementary and Secondary Education Act  (ESEA), considered how to evaluate the teachers we prepare, and supported undergraduate research at Two-Year Colleges.
  Read the highlights. Watch the videos. Enjoy the photos.


Summer Meeting in Philadelphia
          July 28 - August 1, 2012
          Physics: The Experimental Core


The AAPT 2012 Summer meeting will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home of the first great American experimental physicist, Ben Franklin.  Physics is an experimental science.  Encouraging and empowering the next generation to embrace the art of experimentation that lies at the core of  physics, will ensure that our field remains vibrant and alive.
          Now accepting contributed and poster abstracts.
Submit yours now!


Save the Date:
        Winter Meeting 2013, January 5-9 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
        Summer Meeting 2013, July 13-17 (Portland, Oregon)


Is Your Membership Up-to-date?


It may be time to renew and ensure continuity of your benefits, services and valuable AAPT journal content. Log into your member record at AAPT.org, using your ID and password.  You can verify your status from your profile page and use the link provided there to renew.  If you have any questions, or concerns or need further assistance, feel free to contact Member Services at 301-209-3333, or by e-mail at membership@aapt.org.


FY 2012 STEM Education Budget Request


"Even as we find ways to cut spending, what we can't do is cut back on investments like education that will help us create jobs and grow our economy." - President Barack Obama
          "In these tough budget times, the Obama Administration is making a clear statement that high-quality education is absolutely critical to rebuilding our economy. If we want to strengthen the American workforce, we must continue to invest in education." - US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
          There are more than 100 federal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs administered by different government agencies. The Department of Education and the National Science Foundation administer much of the funding for STEM education. Learn about the Department of Education Discretionary Funding (non-Pell Grant) and National Science Foundation Funding in the February 17 issue of FYI, a publication of the American Institute for Physics at http://www.aip.org/fyi/.
          FYI is part of your benefits as a member of AAPT. Subscribe to FYI by sending a blank e-mail to fyi-subscribe-request@listserv.aip.org.
          You may also subscribe via RSS by sending a blank e-mail to fyi-subscribe-request@listserv.aip.org.


AAPT/PTRA Advisory Committee


The AAPT/PTRA Summer Leadership Training Institute will not be held this summer.  The Committee will be planning for PTRA activities in future summers to ensure the best use of the limited funding available for in-service physics and physical science teacher professional development opportunities.  PTRA’s are encouraged to plan and present local workshops to help grow the PTRA Continuation Fund and seek additional funding opportunities. Information about the future plans for AAPT/PTRA will be shared as it becomes available.


AAPT Takes Action on Bill Requiring Disclosure of Proposals and Peer Reviewers


The American Institute of Physics (AIP) along with 83 other organizations, including four of its Member Societies: the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Astronomical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the Optical Society, signed a letter sent by the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) to every member in the House of Representatives regarding the GRANT Act. Read online.


Workshop for New Physics and Astronomy Faculty


Physics Department Chairs may nominate faculty members for the June 25-28, 2012 Workshop for New Physics and Astronomy Faculty. Program information and registration details will be available soon. The deadline for nominations is March 16, 2012.


Videos for the TYC Community


Contributors to the Physics in Two-Year Colleges email discussion list shared these cool physics videos.
          Quantum Levitation
          Correlated Magnetics: Non-contact attachment
          Lisa Harouni: A primer on 3D printing
          Ketchupbot + 20th Century Fox Theme on a Flute
          Subscribe to these email discussion lists.       


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 oneself.
          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.


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. 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.
  Program details and registration information.


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.


High School Physics Photo Contest


The 2012 High School Physics Photo Contest opens in March. High school students in grades 9-12 can submit entries that will be judged on the quality of the photo and the accuracy of the description of the physics displayed. The top 100 are displayed and voted on at the summer meeting to determine the overall winners. Prizes are awarded.
          More infomation 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.


The Physics EducatorThe 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. The first article discusses "Physics and the Revised MCAT." Login and read it now.




2012 Conference on Laboratory Instruction Beyond the First Year of College


ALPhA, the Advanced Laboratory Physics Association, invites you to its 2012 Topical Conference on Laboratory Instruction: Beyond the First Year (BFY) of College. The conference will be held at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, Wednesday, July 25 - Friday, July 27, 2012.
          This conference offers an unusual and excellent opportunity for hands-on exposure to a broad selection of contemporary instructional labs appropriate to Modern Physics, Electronics, Optics, and Advanced Lab courses, as well as to key instructional labs in Statistical Physics, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, Quantum Mechanics, etc.  Conference participants will share their laboratory expertise and materials in a variety of venues, including structured opportunities to discuss specific laboratory topics and curricular models that are effective at different types of institutions. Commercial vendors of advanced laboratory equipment will be present to provide working demonstrations of their products.


Section News


March and April Meetings
Ohio Section, March 3, 2012
          Stark State College, North Canton, OH
          OSAAPT online
          Texas Section, March 22-24, 2012
          Spring Meeting with Texas APS and Zone 13 SPS
          Angelo State University, San Angelo, TX
          TSAAPT online
          Arizona Section, March 24, 2012
          Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
          AZAAPT online
          Long Island Section, March 30, 2012
          Physics Olympics, Farmingdale State College Farmingdale, NY
          April 21, 2012 - Amusement Park Physics, Adventureland, Farmingdale, NY
          LIPTA online
          Indiana Section, April 13-14, 2012
          Brigham Young University Idaho, Rexburg, ID
          Northern California-Nevada Section, April 21, 2012
Lake Tahoe Community College, South Lake Tahoe, CA
NCNAAPT online
              Southern California Section
, April 21, 2012
          CSU San Marcos, San Marcos, CA
          SCAAPT online
          New England Section, April 27-28, 2012
          Thayer Academy, Braintree, MA
          NEAAPT online
Southern Ohio Section, April 27-28, 2012
          Ohio University-Lancaster, Lancaster, OH
          SOSAAPT online

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


Call for Entries for the KAVLI Science Video Contest


Grades 6-12 students compete for the chance to win $2000 (first prize) and a travel stipend to Washington D.C. to attend the 2nd USA Science and Engineering Festival. The winners are also honored in an awards ceremony, hosted by Bill Nye, as part of the festival. Enter by March 21, 2012. Submit entries.


Registration Open for Plasma Camp


Plasma Camp is a one-week intensive workshop which provides teachers with the opportunity to study plasma physics and fusion energy in our state-of-the-art laboratories. Participants will investigate the basic properties of plasmas through lectures and experiments performed in collaboration with laboratory scientists. Plasmas are ideal to illustrate many concepts in high school physics curricula including waves, atoms, nuclear reactions, relativity, electricity and magnetism. An integral part of the program will be the development of new plasma-based lesson plans, student-led investigations and demonstrations.
          The workshop is directed towards high school or advanced middle school teachers. Applications for the 2012 program, which runs from July 23-27, 2012, will be accepted until May 1, 2012.
        Read online.


AFCEA Educational Foundation Scholarships


The AFCEA Educational Foundation is offering 50 scholarships of $5,000 each to students actively pursuing an undergraduate degree, graduate degree or credential/licensure for the purpose of teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) subjects at a U.S. middle or secondary school. Application deadline is April 1, 2012. More information and application.


2012 Modeling Workshops


Modeling Workshops in high school physics, chemistry, and/or physical science will be held in summer 2012 at sites in approximately 20 states. Modeling Workshops are peer-led. Content is reorganized around basic models to increase its structural coherence. Participants are supplied with a complete set of course materials and work through activities alternately in the roles of student or teacher, as they practice techniques of guided inquiry and cooperative learning.
          Modeling Instruction is one of two K-12 science programs designated by the U.S. Department of Education as EXEMPLARY. Some sites have stipends, usually for in-state teachers. Graduate credit is available at most sites. Read online.


STEM Videos


The University of Colorado, Boulder has put together a short video on effective group work in the college classroom. The video features Carl Wieman discussing the research-recommended best practices, an inside look at various types of group work in action, and interviews with instructors and students as to their rationale and reactions to these instructional techniques. On the same page are also a series of videos on the effective use of clickers and peer instruction, as well as links to a free instructor's guide and various resources on clicker use.
          Watch videos.


World Conference on Physics Education


The first World Conference on Physics Education to be held in Istanbul 1-6  July 2012. The conference theme is "The Role of Context, Culture, and Representations in Physics Teaching and Learning." The final deadline for submissions to Tuesday MARCH 20, 2012.
          Read more.


Ten80 Student Racing Challenge: NASCAR STEM Initiative®


A National STEM League & Curriculum for Summer Camps, Classes, and Clubs.  Standards-based curriculum highlights science, technology, engineering and math through real-world, project-based learning using motorsports to engage students.
          Learn more.


Leveraging Uncertainty: Toward a New Generation of Undergraduate Research


The Council on Undergraduate Research will host "Leveraging Uncertainty: Toward a New Generation of Undergraduate Research" at The College of New Jersey on June 23-26, 2012.
          This conference will bring together faculty, administrators, policy makers, representatives of funding agencies and other stakeholders with an interest in doing and promoting undergraduate research. With over 100 presentations and social interactions, this promises to be an outstanding conference.
  Read more.




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Thanks for your readership and your support of AAPT.


Copyright © 2012, American Association of Physics Teachers


In this issue


Featured Journal Articles


The Physics Teacher


Water Pearls Optics Challenges for Everybody
                                Read online


American Journal of Physics


Experiments with a Malkus–Lorenz water wheel: Chaos and Synchronization
                              Read online


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