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eNNOUNCER October 2011                                          

eNNOUNCER October 2011


2011 Nobel Physics Prize Winners


Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Reiss share the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae." Read more.
          AIP is making available, free of charge, a selection of research papers these Nobel Laureates have published in their journals, Conference Proceedings, and Physics Today magazine. View these materials.


Call for Action to Support NSF Funding


If you live in the United States, AAPT and the nation need your help.  AAPT members are urged to contact their senators and urge support for the full requested level of funding for NSF for the 2012 fiscal year.  See the full  Call for Action!
        The sample Letter of Support is a downloadable document designed to be personalized prior to sending.


WM2012, The Wave Nature of Light and Matter


Registration is now live for the 2012 Winter Meeting. The Early Bird Registration Deadline is December 7.
            Register early and save!

          Winter Meeting 2012 logoBecause of the popularity of this location you are strongly encouraged to make your hotel reservations early.  The deadline comes at the beginning of January, right after the start of the new year.  By making your reservation now you can check that off your holiday "To Do" list.
          This meeting will feature a special High School Teachers' Day for those teachers who are attending their first AAPT Meeting. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce your colleagues to AAPT.
          The Southern California Section has developed a presentation designed to be shared during Fall Section Meetings.  It has some very helpful answers to questions about the Ontario area and plans for the Winter Meeting.         Read online.
        Workshop information and session topics are available under the Program tab on the WM2012 web page.
                        Follow the development of this meeting.
          You can submit a session abstract for the pre-deadline program through October 10, 2011. Submit an abstract.
          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.

Physics and Astronomy Featured in Sept/Oct Issue of Imagine


AAPT members will find a wealth of unique tools in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth's recent issue of Imagine including a feature photo from the 2011 AAPT High School Physics Photo Contest and an interview about the U.S. Physics Team with 2011 Gold Medalist, Brian Zhang.  Looking for a way to tell prospective students what Physics is?  You will want to read, "Physics Is" and share it with your colleagues, guidance counselors, media specialists, students, and their parents.
        Read online

AAPT National Election


The election of officers for Executive Board service beginning in 2012 is in progress until midnight (eastern daylight time) November 4. This is a totally electronic election. If you have an email address on record the information with instructions on how to access the ballot and vote electronically arrived via your email box. If you don't have an email address, your  instructions on how to vote electronically were mailed to you in September.
          Nominations are open for the 2013 election. Information on positions up for the 2013 election, including a link to the Nomination Form, is available at http://aapt.org/aboutaapt/nominate.cfm.

Call for Editor


Physical Review Special Topics: Physics Education Research
        The American Physical Society (APS), in coordination with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the APS Forum on Education (APS FEd), is conducting a search for a successor to the current Editor of Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research (PRST-PER).
The initial appointment is for three years with renewal possible after review. Salary is negotiable. The desired starting date is 1 January 2012. The APS is an equal employment opportunity employer and specially encourages applications from or nominations of women and minorities. The search is not limited to residents of the United States.  Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be sent by 15 November 2011 to: Paula Heron, Search Committee Chair, edsearch-per@aps.org.
Read online.

AAPT Recognized with GuideStar Exchange Seal


AAPT received the GuideStar Exchange Seal, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. The Seal demonstrates to AAPT’s support-base our deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.
In order to be awarded the GuideStar Exchange Seal, AAPT had to complete the report page on www.guidestar.org, and file our annual report. Check us out and write a review.
Read online.

Registration for Colorado Learning Assistant Workshop Now Open


November 2-3, 2011 in Boulder, CO
The PhysTEC project will co-sponsor its third workshop focusing on the University of Colorado's Learning Assistant program. The workshop is free for representatives of PhysTEC Member Institutions and Affiliates (If your institution is not a member, learn how to join for free.) Please consider sending two representatives to facilitate local planning during the workshop. Register online.


2012 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference: New Paradigms for Physics Teacher Education


The PhysTEC Conference features workshops, panel discussions, and presentations by national leaders, as well as excellent networking opportunities. The 2012 conference will be held February 3-4, in conjunction with the American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Meeting. Proposals are due Oct. 10, 2011. Submit a proposal.


PhysTEC Solicitation for New Sites - Now Available


The 2011 solicitation for new PhysTEC sites is now available on  phystec.org. has a mission of improving the education of future physics teachers. PhysTEC will fund approximately three comprehensive sites ($100k/year for 3 years) and three targeted sites ($25k/year for 3 years).  Comprehensive sites will be expected to implement the full PhysTEC program and graduate a relatively large number of students qualified to teach physics.  Targeted sites will also be expected to establish effective physics teacher education programs, but on a smaller scale.  An initial proposal is due October 26 at 5 p.m. local time. A webinar on October 5 at 3 p.m. EDT will discuss the solicitation and provide an opportunity for Q&A.  If you cannot attend the webinar, a recording will be available for viewing at a later time (you should still register to get access). 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.       


        New Version of Minds on Physics!


The Physics Classroom has updated its Minds on Physics Internet Modules at ComPADRE. The recently revised Minds On Physics Internet Modules utilize a collection of carefully crafted questions to improve students' conceptions of physics. Interactive Shockwave files have been combined with web-based instructional resources to engage students in an exercise in thinking, reflecting and learning. Students will enjoy using these for practice and teachers can use them as homework assignments.
        Minds on Physics


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 wish to contribute your own video to this project, please contact Dave Wolfe for details.


Section News


AAPT Sections Host Physics Day at 2011 NSTA Area Conferences
AAPT offers a full day of physics content at these NSTA Area Conferences.
          2011 Area Conference in Hartford, CT - Friday, October 28
          2011 Area Conference in New Orleans, LA - Friday, November 11
        2011 Area Conference in Seattle, WA - Friday, December 9

October Fall Meetings
Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas Section, October 14-15, 2011
  AOK Section online
  Florida Section, October 21-22, 2011
  FLAAPT online
Western Pennsylvania Section, October 22, 2011
        WPAAPT online
Chicago Section, October 27-29, 2011
                          Joint meeting of CSAAPT, ISAAPT, ISTA, IACS and IABT                          
        ISAAPT online
Chesapeake Section, October 28-29, 2011
        CSAAPT 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.


Registration Now Open for the 2012 Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics


The Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWIP), three-day regional conferences for undergraduate physics majors, will be held January 13-15, 2012. The application deadline is November 15, 2011.
        Read online.

Podcast Friday: Don't Lecture Me!


Don't Lecture Me: Rethinking the Way College Students Learn tells the unexpected story of how a group of physicists became concerned about what their students were learning, what they did about it, and how their work is influencing a new generation trying to reinvent college so that students really learn.
        Read online.

Vernier Co-founders to Receive University of Oregon's Distinguished Service AwardVernier logo


Christine and David Vernier, co-founders of Vernier Software & Technology, based in Beaverton, Oregon, have been named as recipients of the University of Oregon's Distinguished Service Award. This recognition, the University of Oregon’s highest award for service, is presented each year to individuals who by their knowledge and skills have made a significant contribution to the cultural development of Oregon or society.


Vernier/NSTA Grant Rewards Innovative Educators Using Data-Collection Technology in the Classroom


Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA) are accepting applications for the annual Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. The awards, valued at $3,000 each, will recognize up to seven educators who demonstrate the best inquiry-based, hands-on learning activities using data-collection technology interfaced with computers, TI graphing calculators and other handheld devices such as the Vernier LabQuest.
        Read online.

Texas Holds Firm on Physics Closures


Texas higher-education officials delivered a stern message to physicists yesterday that the state is likely to stick to plans to phase out 'low-performing' physics programmes within the next year or two if they cannot demonstrate compelling plans to improve.
          Read online.


Science Education Experts Test New Teaching Method, Address Low Proficiency of US Students in Science


Science education experts are ditching traditional teaching methods for something new in an effort to improve students’ understanding of science. Standardized tests show that the nation is largely under-proficient in science. The new method asks students to act as scientists. They are assigned research questions, must gather data and develop an argument, and then must present the findings to their peers. Classmates review the material and challenge the results, just as scientists do in the real world.
          Read online.

AIP Statistical Research Center Releases


Roster of Physics Departments with Enrollment and Degree Data, 2010
          Academic year 2009-10 produced more physics bachelor’s and more physics PhDs than in  any other year in US history.  The 6,017 physics bachelor's degrees earned in the class of  2010 represent a 65% increase from the class of 1999 eleven years earlier.  The 1,558 PhDs  in the class of 2010 is up 43% from a recent low 6 years earlier.  Non-US citizens comprise  53% of the physics PhDs in the class of 2010.
          Read online.


AIP Invites Fellowship Applications


The American Institute of Physics is accepting applications for the 2012-13 State Department science fellowship term.  Applications are due November 1.
        For more information on AIP’s State Department Fellowship program and application instructions, please visit the website.  Application materials include a letter of intent and resume as well as three letters of recommendation.  Developing a clear, comprehensive and competitive application takes significant time.  Applicants are encouraged to start early and contact your references as soon as possible.

Microsoft Releases National Survey Findings on How to Inspire the Next Generation of Doctors, Scientists, Software Developers and Engineers


Microsoft Corp. has announced the findings of two national surveys of college students currently pursuing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees and of parents of K–12 students. The goal of the surveys was to gain insight about what can better prepare and inspire students to pursue post-secondary education in STEM subjects. The results provide implications for nurturing interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.
        Read the Article.


Balancing the Scale: NSF's Career-Life Balance Initiative


"If we're going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, then we have to open doors to everyone.  We can't afford to leave anyone out.  We need all hands on deck.  And that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering and math."  So explained First Lady Michelle Obama at a recent White House event promoting a new "NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative."  Designed to be implemented during the next ten years, the plan entails a series of policy changes increasing work-related flexibility to female and male researchers supported by the National Science Foundation. A major component of the new foundation-wide policy is the ability of a researcher to postpone or suspend a NSF grant for up to one year to care for a newborn, a newly adopted child, or other family obligation.
        Read the Initiative.

Marshall Plan Scholarships


Funded by the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, an academic exchange program was established to finance scholarships and fellowships for academic exchange between Austria and the U.S. with a special focus on universities of applied sciences and technical universities. Since funding is always an obstacle, the Marshall Plan Foundation offers up to 1,000 scholarships for American and Austrian students for the academic years 2008 to 2017. The funding will be up to € 10.000,- (at a minimum of € 3.000,-) for at least three months.
              The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation invites U.S. and Austrian universities of applied sciences and technical universities to take part in this program and nominate their students or students from partner institutions who are interested in doing academic research abroad. The program is focused primarily on research in the field of technical sciences.
              Read online

New Resources for Those Who Teach Astronomy


The Astronomical Society of the Pacific has new educational resources designed to support the teaching or explaining of astronomy.
        Read online

AAU STEM Initiative Announced


The Association of American Universities (AAU) has announced a five-year initiative to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at its member institutions. The goals of the initiative are to help institutions assess the quality of STEM teaching on their campuses, share best practices, and create incentives for their departments and faculty members to adopt the most effective teaching methods in their classes.
        Read online

Bring Science to Life in Your Classroom with Krucible and an Exclusive Offer


Some science concepts can be difficult to explain—and even harder to illustrate practically in-class. But by using real-time simulation, idoodlesoftware’s krucible virtual laboratories bring physics to life. For a limited time only, idoodlesoftware is offering to all AAPT members a special 50% discount off this amazing software. Offer ends Nov. 25.
        More information and a free 30 day download.

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Copyright © 2011, American Association of Physics Teachers


In this issue


Featured Journal Articles


The Physics Teacher

Launch of a Vehicle from a Ramp
    Read online


American Journal of Physics


Measuring radon concentration in air using a diffusion cloud chamber
      Read online


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Members in the News


AAPT Life Member Sean Duncan, who teaches physics and biology at Liberty Ranch High School, was recently chosen as Galt Joint Union High School District’s Teacher of the Year.

Read online


Robert Beichner Named as a Winner of the 2011 McGraw Prize in Education
Robert Beichner, Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University was one of three winners of the 2011 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.

Read online
  Beichner collaborated with the other prize winners, Mitchel Resnick and Julie Young, to author a white paper citing how education technology can cultivate human connections.


Physics Store Features


Physics of Sports


Role of the Lab in Teaching Introductory Physics


Members Only
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The Physics
of Hockey


Role of the Lab in Teaching Introductory Physics


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