AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

eNNOUNCER May, 2010

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US Physics Team Announced

2010 Physics Team LogoWith all the bad press that the US education system has received, it is good news that the U.S. is competitive in physics at the highest level. Over the past ten years, every U.S. Physics Team member traveling to the International Physics Olympiad has returned with a medal.

This year twenty students from across the U.S. have emerged through a rigorous exam process that began last January with approximately 3,300 students who participated in the Fnet=ma exam to become the 2010 U.S. Physics Team. These students will continue to train for the mentally grueling exams and lab tests they'll face at the 41st International Physics Olympiad to be held from July 17 – 25, 2010 in Zagreb, Croatia, where more than 400 student scholars from 90 nations will test their knowledge in physics, competing with the best in the world. Meet the team members and their coaches at http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2010, and learn how you can support this program.

Support the U.S. Physics Team! Your donation will further the academic excellence of U.S. Students through preparation for and participation in the International Physics Olympiad.

From AAPT Executive Office

AAPT's Associate Executive Officer, Philip W. Hammer, known to many as "Bo," is leaving AAPT to join the American Institute of Physics as Associate Vice President for the Physics Resources Center. Bo joined the AAPT Executive Office one year ago, after spending eight years as a vice president at the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. Over the past year, Bo launched AAPT's government relations program, leading to AAPT influencing important science education policy and legislation coming out of Washington, DC. In addition, Bo, Warren Hein (AAPT Executive Officer), and the Executive Office staff have dramatically increased membership revenue and restructured AAPT's marketing program. Bo is also co-principle investigator, with APS, on the PhysTEC and Noyce Scholars programs, both of which are increasing the number of qualified U.S. high school physics teachers. Bo will be working with the Physics Resources team on advancing its broad portfolio of programs and he will be leading AIP's industrial outreach and development programs.

Summer Meeting in Portland, Oregon

Join your colleagues in the physics community from July 17-21, 2010 at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower in Portland, OR.
Register Now at: http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/sm2010/registration.cfm.

The 2010 "Professional Vaudeville Demo Show" sponsored by Vernier promises to be a fusion of comedy and physics.

Past Successes and Future Directions: A National Two-Year College Physics Meeting will take place Saturday, July 17, 2010 in tandem with the AAPT Summer Meeting. This national gathering of TYC physics instructors will include sessions on creating a virtual TYC community, the role of TYCs in teacher training, innovations in laboratory and distance education, adopting and adapting PER-based curriculum, and more. For more information, please see http://www.instruction.greenriver.edu/aapt/tyc/TandemMeeting071710.htm.

Workshop on Active Learning with Video Analysis
July 12-16 in Portland

The LivePhoto Physics project is offering an NSF-funded 5-day workshop for university and college faculty interested in using digital video analysis in student research, lectures, tutorials, homework assignments, and laboratories. The workshop will cover capture and analysis techniques for a range of topic areas such as mechanics, thermal physics, wave propagation, electricity, magnetism, and optics.
For more information visit: livephoto.rit.edu/workshops/ or contact Robert.Teese@rit.edu.

Physics Education Research Conference 2010
The 2010 PER Conference will be July 21-22 in Portland, Oregon following the 2010 AAPT Summer Meeting. The Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) provides an opportunity for those in the field of physics education research and allied fields to share their research, obtain feedback, explore diverse perspectives and discuss issues relevant to the community. Various session formats afford the opportunity for maximum interaction. The focus at PERC is on feedback and discussion with others engaged in physics education research, rather than on dissemination.

New Faculty Training Experience for Two-Year Colleges

New Faculty Training Experience for two-year college physics faculty

Call for Authors

The American Association of Physics Teachers seeks individuals interested in preparing a state-of-the-art, next generation manuscript for the American Journal of Physics or The Physics Teacher that takes full advantage of cutting edge technology, innovation, and R&D in electronic publishing. The selected individuals will be part of a working group that will design the features and determine what resources are needed to produce online manuscripts incorporating currently available digital technology. Example features could include, for example, animations embedded directly in the manuscript, accessible data tables associated with figures, capability to re-plot and analyze graphical data in different ways, access to intermediate derivation steps between equations, tags on symbols that reveal what the symbol stands for, and the ability to view the manuscript with different levels of detail. Individuals who are interested in participating in the working group to develop a manuscript should send a vita, a description of a proposed manuscript, and information on any prior relevant experience to Marilyn Gardner, Director of Communications, (mgardner@aapt.org) by May 31, 2010.

2010 High School Physics Photo Contest

The popular High School Physics Photo Contest, sponsored by Vernier, is underway! The deadline for entries is May 15. The contest is open to high school students in grades 9-12 (or equivalent international grade level). Photos may be entered in one of two categories: Natural and Contrived. Submit your entries online today! http://www.aapt.org/Programs/contests/photocontest.cfm

AAPT Announces e-Mentor for New Pre-College Physics and Physical Science Teachers

Are you a new physics or physical science teacher or do you know a new physics or physical science teacher who could benefit from mentoring by a master teacher?
To participate, register at http://www.aapt.org/Resources/ementor.cfm.
A mentor familiar with the subjects being taught will be assigned by the e-Mentor coordinator.

Team America Rocketry ChallengeTeam America Rocketry Challenge logo

The scores are in! 669 teams competed in this year's challenge and only 100 made the cut. These TARC teams will participate in the National Finals, May 15, in The Plains, Virginia. This event is open to the public. Feel free to check out the competition and visit the exhibits. As an educational partner AAPT will be there handing out giveaways and resources to participants! http://www.aapt.org/Programs/contests/rocket.cfm


Results coming May 7th.
Check http://www3.delta.edu/michaelfaleski/PhysicsBowl/ for more information.

The ComPADRE Digital Library

comPADRE ComPADRE is filling a stewardship role within the National Science Digital Library for the educational resources used by broad communities in physics and astronomy. This partnership of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the American Institute of Physics/Society of Physics Students (AIP/SPS), and the American Physical Society (APS) helps teachers and learners find and use high quality resources through collections and services tailored to their specific needs. Many authors and organizations are creating this rich educational content and faculty training opportunities, but wider accessibility and dissemination are needed. Authors are developing simulations, curricula, and multimedia for a wide range of topics and all education levels; science education researchers are developing research-based models of effective teaching and learning; organizations are providing workshops for teachers to improve their knowledge and skills; and students are communicating about learning physics. ComPADRE is supporting these author/user communities through discovery, organization, description, and sharing of their resources to achieve greater effectiveness for physics and astronomy education.

Give the Gift of Membership

Want to thank an educator, honor an outstanding student, or mentor a new teacher? Give a gift that has a lasting professional impact—an AAPT membership. Gift membership forms are available for download.
For fastest service, fax to (301) 209-0845.

Member in the News

Dr. Jaime Taylor Named New Dean of APSU College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Jaime Taylor was named as Dean of the Austin Peay State University (APSU) College of Science and Mathematics in April. He became interim Dean in 2008 and was selected by the University search committee after a nationwide search for the best candidate. http://www.theleafchronicle.com/article/20100406/NEIGHBORHOODS08/4060313

Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) awarded to Marina Milner-Bolotin

The Canadian Association of Physicists has awarded the 2010 CAP Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate teaching to Dr. Marina Milner-Bolotin, for her unceasing enthusiasm in engaging students to discover physics with a masterful integration of an array of successful teaching methods, for her influence on shifting institutional culture toward active learning, for her dedication to physics education research and her commitment to the continual professional development of physics educators across the nation. http://www.cap.ca/medal/publicity/press.php?year=2010&medal_id=1

US Physics Team Semifinalist Flies High

Sabrina Pasterski, of Chicago, has soared past many accolades—in a plane she built and piloted solo before her 17th birthday. This hyper-competitive Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy senior has nearly perfect SAT and ACT scores. But what stands out to principal Eric McLaren is Sabrina's standing as one of just 23 women named as a U.S. Physics Team semifinalist, an honor afforded to a pool of about 300 students.

The experience made Pasterski aware of the under-representation of women and minorities in the sciences. She is now working on a documentary to encourage them to study science. The documentary includes interviews with three Nobel Laureates, the Department Head of MIT Physics, the Head Tutor and former Chair of Harvard Physics, the Undergraduate Chair of the University of Chicago Physics Department, and the Director of Active Physics. The completed documentary will be presented to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

"She certainly has a lot of abilities in math and science and she's taken what she knows and applied it to real-world things," said McLaren. "But the most compelling thing for me is that she is committed to creating a path for other young women and other minorities to pursue science."

Read more at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/elections/ct-met-allstate-pasterski-20100501,0,6172038.story

Section News

Arizona Section

The Arizona Section of the AAPT held its spring meeting at Northern Arizona State University, March 27, 2010.

For information see http://sites.google.com/site/azaapt/meetings/past-meetings/spring-meeting-2010

British Columbia Section Annual General Meeting

May 8, 2010 at Langara College, Vancouver, BC
Email: Marina Milner-Bolotin

Section News Online

Deadline for the July 2010 AAPT Section News is June 30. Submit reports from your spring meeting to mgardner@aapt.org.
To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org.

Teaching Medical Physics: Innovations in Learning

July 22-25, 2010
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
This program includes four nationally-recognized master physics teachers, one expert in problem-based learning, and one nationally-recognized speaker on making effective presentations. Several other speakers and topics will be covered in the summer school, which will also include the opportunity to develop a Self-Directed Educational Project on becoming a more effective teacher.

Modeling Workshops Nationwide

Modeling Workshops in high school physics, chemistry, and/or physical science will be held this summer in 25 locations: Arizona, Alabama, Miami FL, Georgia, Chicago IL, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, New Orleans LA, Maine, Michigan, Minneapolis MN, Missouri, New Jersey, Albuquerque NM, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pittsburgh PA, northern Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Dallas TX, Spokane WA, and Wisconsin. (And possibly in San Diego.)
Modeling Workshops in 11th grade biology will be held in Pittsburgh, PA and Tennessee, for teachers in Physics First/Capstone Biology sequences.
Visit http://modeling.asu.edu for details. Click on "Modeling Workshops Nationwide in Summer 2010".

ASU Modeling Workshops in Physics, Chemistry, and Physical Science

Three‑week Modeling Workshops (June 14‑July 2, July 6‑23, 2010) for high school physics, chemistry, and grades 8 and 9 physical science teachers nationwide are offered by Arizona State University in Tempe. The program can lead to a Master of Natural Science degree. Arizona teachers can apply for free tuition and free housing. Good low‑cost family housing. Modeling Instruction is designated as an Exemplary K‑12 science program by the U.S. Department of Education. E‑mail Jane.Jackson@asu.edu. http://modeling.asu.edu/MNS/MNS.html

Summer Physics and Engineering Teaching Opportunities

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth seeks energetic instructors and TAs to work in summer programs, featuring:

  • 3-week academic programs
  • Highly-talented students, grades 2-12
  • 29 locations (U.S. and international)
  • Competitive salaries plus room and board (at residential locations)

2010 Programs dates:

Session 1: June 24 - July 17

Session 2: July 17 - August 7


For more information email ctysummer@jhu.edu, or call 410-735-6185.

New "Discoveries in Planetary Science" Classroom PowerPoints Available

The DPS Education Subcommittee announces the 3rd release of "Discoveries in Planetary Science" Classroom Powerpoints, covering five new topics:

  • Venus' Active Volcanism
  • Martian Glaciers
  • Titan Lakes
  • Explaining Iapetus
  • Waterworld at 40 Lightyears?

These are succinct summaries of discoveries too recent to appear in "Intro Astronomy" college textbooks; each set consists of just three slides to be shown: the discovery itself, a basic explanation based on good planetary science, and the "big picture" context. Another page for further information is provided as well. Powerpoints and pdf's can be downloaded from http://dps.aas.org/education/dpsdisc.
For more information, contact Nick Schneider & Dave Brain at dpsdisc@aas.org

focus on High School Physics Availability

The AIP Statistical Research Center has recently posted a new publication:
focus on High School Physics Availability
You will find a link to it at the top of this page:
In our first report from the 2008-09 Nationwide Survey of High School Physics Teachers, we examine the availability of physics in high schools in each U.S. state. We consider factors that affect availability, including the size of the high school and whether it is public or private.

USA Science and Engineering Festival

The Inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival will be the country’s first national science festival and will descend on the Washington, D.C. area in the Fall of 2010. The Festival promises to be the ultimate multi-cultural, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary celebration of science in the United States. The culmination of the Festival will be a two-day Expo in the nation’s capital that will give over 500 science & engineering organizations from all over the United States the opportunity to present themselves with a hands-on, fun science activity to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.


Be sure to drop by the booth we will be sharing with SPS and Laserfest.

Activity Based Physics Chautauqua Short Course

Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, June 19 ‐ 21, 2010
This hands‐on course is designed for those interested in making learning in their introductory course more active. Participants will be introduced to research‐based strategies for each component of the course: lecture, lab, problem solving, analytic mathematical modeling and video analysis. Graduate credit is available. For more information and to register: http://uoregon.edu/~sokoloff/chaut1.htm

I Love Science

Your students have the chance to win a trip to see Stephen Hawking live and in person!
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is sponsoring a video contest to challenge high school students to use their creative genius, and in 30 seconds or less, explain why “I Love Science” in a thought-provoking, creative and entertaining manner. The entry period for the contest is April 10 – May 10, 2010.
The two Grand Prize winners will receive an all-expenses paid round-trip to Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, and be part of the June 20th "Hawking at the Perimeter" television special, featuring Professor Stephen Hawking.

Laserfest 2010Laserfest

SpectraSound—ONLY $10 for the first 500 Sold!
As part of the 50th anniversary of the laser, LaserFest created a kit called SpectraSound that allows you to transmit sound from your music player through a laser pointer to speakers across the room or further. With mirrors, you will be able to send your music anywhere! Find out how to get your hands and ears on your own SpectraSound kit.
LaserFest Video Contest—Win $1,000!
Do you love lasers? Ever wanted to unravel the mystery of the stimulated emission? Then the LaserFest video contest is for you. Take any laser you want and use it to somehow express a physics concept. Shine, lase, bounce, and wave your way into physics history. The winner will receive a trophy lovingly made by APS staff from some of our favorite laser toys as well as $1,000 cash. All entries must be received by May 16th at midnight. http://www.laserfest.org/events/involved/contest.cfm

National Lab Day This Month

National Lab Day (www.nationallabday.org) is a movement to bring hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to students nationwide. National Lab Day is the ultimate educational matchmaker bringing together teachers, educators and students with STEM industry volunteers to encourage today’s students to be competitive and competent citizens. But National Lab Day is more than just a day—learn more at www.nationallabday.org

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