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eNNOUNCER May 2011


2011 Summer Meeting in Omaha, NESM11Omaha

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.


Post deadline for abstracts is May 24.


Early bird Registration deadline is May 18! Save $$, register today!


Program Preview


Visit aapt.org for travel information and accommodations.


Pre-Conference Workshop
Using Astronomy to Teach Physics
July 27–30, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Fifty astronomers and physicists will work together to identify materials derived from astronomy, astrophysics, and space science suitable to use in physics instruction. Read online


Summer Meeting Highlights


July 30 – August 3, Omaha, Nebraska




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.


Communicating the Physics of Climate Change


Learn how to communicate the facts about climate change from one of the foremost experts in this arena. James E. Hansen, is the 2011 recipient of the Klopsteg Memorial Award. He will receive the award and give his talk on August 3 at the 2011 AAPT Summer Meeting. The 2010 winner of the Sophie, Prize for his "key role for the development of our understanding of human-induced climate change," Hansen authored the book, "Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity," which was published in 2009 by Bloomsbury USA.


Read more


AAPT National Office Wants Your Feedback

AAPT is conducting a Membership Needs Survey.  Since the last survey was conducted in 2001 many changes in physics education have occurred.  As a member of AAPT your opinions are very important to us.  Your response to the survey will help define the services and resources that the association may provide in the future.

If you haven't already done so, please take a few minutes to consider the questions included in the survey and submit your response.  If you are having difficulty accessing the survey through the link, you can cut and past the following URL. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3N3WTX2

Thank you for helping us keep AAPT relevant to your needs as a physics education professional.

Team America Rocketry ChallengeTARC logo

The 9th Annual Team America Rocketry Challenge National Finals Fly-off occurs Saturday, May 14, 2011 at Great Meadow, The Plains, Virginia. The top 100 teams from across the U.S. will compete in the world's largest rocket contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR). Read online

4th International Conference for Women in Physics

Executive Officer, Beth Cunningham, represented AAPT at the 4th IUPAP International Conference on Women In Physics in Stellenbosch, South Africa.  The Conference provided a forum for both scientific presentations and for discussion of issues related to attracting, retaining and improving the status of women in physics.  During the conference Beth gave a poster presentation on AAPT’s New Faculty Workshop Programs for two-year colleges and four-year colleges and universities.  She also was a presenter during two workshops.  The first workshop’s topic focused on making the transition to leadership positions, and Beth presented some tips as women (and others) consider stepping into leadership positions on their campuses or beyond.  The second workshop was on dual career couples, and Beth talked about her own personal experience as well as how she has helped dual career couples in her previous roles. Finally, she was part of a group participating in an outreach program to 14 - 18 year old girls in Stellenbosch vicinity.  Marina Milner-Bolton, AAPT Chair of Section Representatives also presented at this outreach activity. Read online.

Webcasts of plenary sessions from the 4th IUPAP International Conference on Women in  Physics, held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 5-8 April, 2011, are now available  online:

These webcasts are not yet complete, due to the tragic loss on April 13 of Michele Dufault, a  Yale senior and astrophysics major who was editing and posting the webcasts in  New Haven. Her work will be completed and the webcasts are dedicated on behalf of women in physics to Michele, who had a long record  of increasing the participation of women and girls in physics through the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics conferences, Girls' Science Investigations, and her steadfast support and  mentoring of young women at Yale and elsewhere.

Physicsbowl 2011

The 2011 Physicsbowl results are being tallied. Keep checking the physicsbowl website to see who this year's winners will be.

Thanks to the sponsors of the 2011 Physicsbowl: Vernier, Texas Instruments, Frey Scientific, Wiley, PASCO, Educational Innovations Inc., and Princeton University Press.

U.S. Physics Team

Keep checking the U.S. Physics Team website to find out who made the team this year and has a chance to represent the U.S. at the International Physics Olympiad Competition in Bangkok, Thailand.

2011 High School Physics Photo Contest


High School Physics Photo Contest logoEntries are now being accepted for the popular High School Physics Photo Contest sponsored by Vernier! 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! Registration ends May 15. Read online


2011 Six Flags America Physics Day


Physics Day RollercoasterAmusement parks all over the country will open their gates exclusively for physics students! The students have access to one of the world's largest laboratories for carrying out real-world science experiments. Throughout the day there are opportunities for students to collect data using accelerometers on selected rides, participate in demonstrations, and enter contests for prizes. Read 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.


ComPADREPERC 2011 Conference Site Live @


This year's PERC will take place on August 3rd and 4th in Omaha, NE  and PER Central is again the web home for the conference. Visit the site to see a list of speakers and talks, or to submit an abstract. While you are there, browse through the previous PERC proceedings and the PER Central resource library to help with the creation of this year's abstracts and presentations.


The theme of the 2011 PER conference will be Frontiers in Assessment: Instrumentation, Goals & Practices. We hope this theme will generate productive dialogues about issues of assessment and help our field grow by highlighting assessments that go beyond traditional approaches.       


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.


2011 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference


Plenary speakers: Carl Wieman, Eugene Levy


The 2011 Physics Teacher Coalition  (PhysTEC) Conference will be held May 23-24 at the AT&T Conference Center in  Austin, TX, and will focus on Building Sustainable Teacher Education Programs.  It features workshops, panel discussions and presentations by national leaders  as well as excellent networking opportunities. This year's conference will be  held jointly with the UTeach-NMSI Institute Annual Conference being held May  24-26. PhysTEC conference attendees are invited to attend the UTeach  conference at a reduced rate. Learn more and register now.       


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 to get started. Free posting valid on 60-day internship postings ONLY. "Internship" Job Level must be selected when posting to access this offer.


ASU Modeling Workshops in Physics, Chemistry, and Physical Science


Six 3-week Modeling Workshops (June 13-July 1, July 5-22) for high  school physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers nationwide  are offered by Arizona State University in Tempe. Read online


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. Read online


Last Workshop in the Series of Active Learning with Video Analysis


June 20-24, 2011, at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. The LivePhoto Physics project is offering the last NSF-funded 5-day workshop in the current series for university and college faculty interested in using digital video analysis in student research, lectures, tutorials, homework assignments, and laboratories. The workshop will cover both normal and high-speed capture and analysis techniques in mechanics, thermal physics, wave propagation, electricity, magnetism, and optics. Learn more.


A Workshop for Two Year College Faculty Preparation of NSF TUES Proposals


July 19–22, 2011, Reno, NV


The Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (TUES) program within the Division of Undergraduate Education of the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides grant support for projects designed to strengthen undergraduate STEM teaching and learning.  The overall goal of the TUESTYC workshop project is to increase the number and quality of proposals submitted to the TUES program from biology, engineering, physics faculty at two-year colleges. Participants in the project will attend a 2.5 day workshop in proposal preparation led by a team of facilitators with experience with grant writing, NSF programs, and the development and implementation of STEM education innovations. Follow-up mentoring will be provided to help participants develop and complete a proposal for submission to the to TUES program in May 2012. The project will provide all participants with travel expenses, lodging, meals, and a stipend. Read online.       


Summit on Science, Entertainment, and Education


The Science & Entertainment Exchange is seeking proposals to establish collaborative partnerships among scientists, entertainment industry professionals, and educators to develop educational products or services that effectively leverage the resources of the entertainment community (including film, television, and video games) to improve educational outcomes in science classrooms. A total of $225,000, generously provided by The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, will support the development of one or more innovative ideas. Request for proposals.


New Web-based Tool for Accessing STEM Education Data


The National Science Board is pleased to present STEM Education Data and Trends, a web-based statistical tool for the STEM education communities. The new tool provides easy access to data for parents, students, guidance counselors, teachers and other stakeholders in pre-college and undergraduate STEM education.  This is the first tool for accessing data from Science and Engineering Indicators that focuses on the STEM education stakeholder communities. Access the tool.


You can access the complete Science and Engineering Indicators report and related statistical resources on the National Science Foundation website.       


Ten80 Student Racing Challenge: NASCAR STEM Initiative


A National STEM League & Curriculum for Class, Camps, and Clubs


This serves as the 'practice league' through which future engineers, scientists, marketing and creative professionals actively embrace their present and prepare for their futures. Learn how to participate.       


New "Discoveries in Planetary Science" Classroom Powerpoints Available


The DPS Education Subcommittee announces the 4th release of "Discoveries in Planetary Science" Classroom Powerpoints, covering six new topics:

  • A Thousand New Planets
  • Buried Martian Carbonates
  • The Lunar Core - A Six Planet System
  • Martian Gully Formation
  • Propellers in Saturn's Rings

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. Download Powerpoints and PDFs here.


FREE Residential Summer Program for Science Teachers


The Physics of Atomic Nuclei (PAN) free residential summer program for science teachers and high school students is now accepting applications for summer 2011. Teachers can earn continuing education credit for this program. The teacher program will run from July 31 – August 5, and students will follow from August 7-12. Applications are due by April 30. Read online


April 2011 Physics World


The April 2011 issue of Physics World celebrates the centenary of the discovery of superconductivity – that mysterious yet bizarre phenomenon that we still do not truly understand. For a limited time only, you can download a PDF of the issue free of charge at physicsworld.com.


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Thanks for your readership and your support of AAPT.


Copyright © 2011, American Association of Physics Teachers


In this issue

  • Survey
  • TARC
  • Women in Physics
  • Physicsbowl
  • Physics Team
  • Photo Contest
  • Physics Day
  • AAPT Awards
  • PERC 2011
  • eMentoring
  • PhysTEC
  • Career Center
  • Workshops         

Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6


Thank you teachers for all your hard work! Read article


Featured Journal Articles


The Physics Teacher

Rolling the Black Pearl Over: Analyzing the Physics of a Movie Clip. Read online


American Journal of Physics


A memorandum that changed the world. Read online


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Members in the News


Charles Allen Skinner selected as St. Mary's Co. Teacher of the Year. Read online


Physics Store Features


Demonstration Handbook for Physics, 2nd Edition


Role of the Lab in Teaching Introductory Physics


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This month $24.50




Flying Circus
      of Physics


Role of the Lab in Teaching Introductory Physics


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