AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

eNNOUNCER September, 2010

link to the AAPT Career Center

AAPT Launches eMentoring Program

The AAPT ementoring program is designed to connect pre-college physics educators in need of additional guidance with experienced pre-college physics educators. eMentoring logoBased on each mentee's profile, the program will find the most qualified mentor to fit the needs of that mentee. Once the mentee is matched with their mentor, they can start communicating through email, voice chat, telephone, or in some cases face-to-face. All participants will have an opportunity to grow professionally and connect with colleagues at a regional or national level. Learn more at http://ementoring.aapt.org.

AAPT ementoring will help science educators…

  • Improve teaching skills
  • Create a community of support
  • Provide new resources
  • Build confidence

AAPT National Election

The election of officers for Executive Board service beginning in 2011 will take place between September 20 and midnight (eastern daylight time) November 5. This will be 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 will arrive via your email box. If you don't have an email address, watch the mail for instructions on how to vote electronically! Candidate bios are also online at http://aapt.org/aboutaapt/organization/2010_elections.cfm.

Nominations are open for the 2011 election. Information on positions up for the 2011 election, including a link to the Nomination Form, is available at http://aapt.org/aboutaapt/nominate.cfm.

AAPT Executive Board Motion on Conceptual Frameworks for New Science Education Standards

In July 2010 the Committee on Conceptual Frameworks for New Science Education Standards (a committee of the National Research Council) released a draft report titled A Framework For Science Education that presented a vision of the scope and nature of education in science and engineering that is needed in the 21st century. The document described the major scientific ideas and practices that all students should be familiar with by the end of high school. Following a comment period and focus group at the Summer Meeting in Portland, Oregon, the AAPT Executive Board moved to encourage changes to the Framework document and commend the National Research Council on its work in preparing the document.

Read the Motion at http://www.aapt.org/Resources/policy/conceptualframeworks.cfm.

The NRC-Bose Draft Framework for Science Education is available at http://www.aapt.org/Resources/upload/Draft-Framework-Science-Education.pdf.

The NRC Science Conceptual Framework Focus Group Summary can be read on the AAPT website at http://www.aapt.org/Resources/upload/100815-Focus-Group-Report-on-Draft-Frameworks.pdf.

WM2011 JacksonvilleJacksonville 2011

Plan your winter escape with a January trip to the AAPT Winter Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida. Join the physics community January 8-12 for a week of learning, sharing, and collaboration as we celebrate 100 Years of Nuclear Physics (1911-2011). Special events include an evening with Marie Curie, a return of the 5k walk/run, and a visit to St. Augustine. http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/wm2011/
You can submit an abstract through September 19th, 2010. Submit an abstract.
Registration will be available in early October.

Save the Date:
Summer Meeting 2011, July 30-August 3 (Omaha, NE)
Winter Meeting 2012, February 4-8 (Ontario, CA)
Summer Meeting 2012, July 28-August 1 (Philadelphia, PA)

Betty Preece (SEES) Memorial Fund Supports Science Education for Minority Children

A long-time member of AAPT and Distinguished Service Award recipient, Betty Preece was an outstanding model of dedication and achievement within the science community. One of the many causes to which Betty gave her time and talents was the Students Exploring Engineering and Science (SEES) Program, which she founded. This program provides 100 minority, low-socioeconomic students with the opportunity to engage in three hours of hands-on science activities during the AAPT Winter Meeting each year. AAPT provides lunch, transportation, career information, and science materials.

AAPT established the Betty Preece SEES Memorial Fund in her honor. Given Betty’s history of caring for the education of minority children, we believe this gesture would have pleased her greatly. The endowment of this fund would ensure the sustainability and continuation of the program. All gifts to this fund will be used to sustain and expand this outreach to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in science activities.

If this program can change the direction of even one at-risk student’s life, that change would be priceless. It will take $24,000 to fully endow the Betty Preece SEES Memorial Fund. Honor Betty by making an investment in the lives of these students.

AAPT Award Nominations

The Robert A. Millikan Medal (http://aapt.org/Programs/awards/millikan.cfm) recognizes those who have made notable and intellectually creative contributions to the teaching of physics. Millikan medalThe recipient delivers an address at an AAPT Summer Meeting and receives a monetary award, the Millikan Medal, an Award Certificate, and travel expenses to the meeting. Preference in the selection of the recipient will be given to members of AAPT.

The AAPT Awards program recognizes several types of accomplishment with awards, medals or citations, some of which are presented every year and a few of which are presented only occasionally. Nominations for any of these awards can be submitted to the AAPT Awards Committee by printing and submitting a form that is available at http://aapt.org/Programs/awards/upload/AAPT-Awards-Nomination-Form2010.doc. Nominations remain active for a period of five years from the date of submission. Self nomination is not appropriate. Donations toward the endowment of AAPT Awards are accepted at http://iweb.aapt.org/iweb/Donation/FundsDirectory.aspx.

Local AAPT Sections will be hosting Physics Days at the 2010 NSTA Area Conferences

AAPT offers a full day of physics content at the NSTA Area Conferences. Physics Day consists of presentations on physics topics of current interest, physics demonstrations for the pre-college classroom and a make-and-take session. AAPT will be hosting a booth in the exhibit hall with giveaways and a raffle drawing!

2010 Area Conference in Kansas City - Friday, October 29, 2010
2010 Area Conference in Baltimore - Friday, November 12, 2010
2010 Area Conference in Nashville - Friday, December 3, 2010

AAPT Membership Video Contest

The AAPT Membership and Benefits Committee in conjunction with the membership department invites members to create original videos about why someone should join the association. Approved videos will then be posted on the AAPT YouTube Channel. Entrants will submit their videos together with copyright transfer/entry agreement form to AAPT between August 15 and November 15, 2010.

Length of Videos: 1- 5 minutes
Video Goal: explain, in a clear and entertaining way, why one should join AAPT.
The video itself should include the following:
1. The name(s) and affiliation of the submitter.
2. The category: University and Four Year College Faculty, Two Year College Faculty, High School Teacher, Pre-High School Teacher, or Student.
All content, including music, must be original. The video must contain only original material.
The prize for each of the 5 categories will be a $100 gift certificate to the Physics Store.

Judging Criteria
Each Judge will rate the video on each of the following criteria as (1) fair; (2) good; (3) very good; or (4) outstanding:
1. Relevance to Prospective Members—does the video make someone want to join AAPT?
2. Video Quality
3. Creativity

TARC logoTeam America Rocketry Challenge Registration Opens

Registration for the world's largest rocket competition, the Team America Rocketry Challenge, is open to student teams in grades 7-12 from any U.S. school, home school, or non-profit youth organization. Registration for the 2011 spring contest is opens September 8 through November 30. http://www.aapt.org/Programs/contests/rocket.cfm

TARC will be featured on the Food Network show "Ace of Cakes" on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 10pm EST! It's a rocket-powered week as Chef Duff plans to launch the first ever rocket cake. Will it survive its voyage into space and it's return to earth? First, it's high-flying hi-jinks with the Blue Angles as Duff gets some rocket lessons turning zero-G's in "Fat Albert." Be sure to tune in and spread the word! www.rocketcontest.org

Open Source Physics

comPADRE In collaboration with the AAPT, APS, and AIP, ComPADRE is exploring the possibility of creating new multimedia features connected to the American Journal of Physics (AJP) and The Physics Teacher (TPT). The September issues of AJP and TPT begin a one-year experiment to augment articles in these journals with computer simulations from the Open Source Physics (OSP) Collection in ComPADRE. Open Source PhysicsAlthough there are many well-organized websites and CDs of computer simulations that support textbooks, simulations associated with journal articles are more difficult to find and may be difficult to use and adapt. Even if an author submits a program to an online archive or posts a simulation or source code on a personal web page, the disparate operating systems, programming styles, programming languages, and user interfaces make it difficult for users to explore and modify the simulations. The OSP Collection seeks to address these problems with ready-to-use Java simulations for physics and astronomy teaching keyed to journal articles delivered through the ComPADRE digital library. The papers “Asymmetric rolling bodies and the phantom torque” by Leaf Turner and Ari Turner in AJP and “Calibration of a Horizontal Sundial” by Barbara Rovsek in TPT begin this experiment.

In Memoriam

Clifford E. Swartz

Clifford E. Swartz, a founding member of the physics department faculty at Stony Brook University (State University of New York at Stony Brook) and editor for almost 30 years of The Physics Teacher, a monthly journal published by the American Association of Physics Teachers, died August 14th at the age of 85. He died of complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Swartz was legendary for his lectures, demonstrations, and enthusiasm for teaching physics. In 1987, he was awarded the Oersted Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers – the association’s highest award, which recognizes “those who have had an outstanding, widespread and lasting impact on the teaching of physics.” Other recipients have included Victor Weisskopf, Charles Kittel, Richard Feynman, and Carl Sagan. In 2007, he was the tenth person to be honored with AAPT’s Melba Newell Phillips Award, presented only occasionally to an AAPT leader whose creative leadership and dedicated service have resulted in exceptional contributions to AAPT. More at http://www.aapt.org/Membership/inmemoriam.cfm

Ronald Newburgh

Ronald Newburgh, 84, died March 30th, 2010. Newburgh was a frequent contributor to The Physics Teacher. After retiring from the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories in Bedford, MA, in 1987, he started a second career—teaching High School physics. In 1991 AAPT certified Newburgh as a Physics Teaching Resource Agent. Teaching became his primary avocation and he produced many pedagogical papers. Read his obituary in The Boston Globe.

Timothy L. Battista

Timothy Louis Battista, 56, died Saturday, August 7, 2010 at Hospice of the Western Reserve.

A 1972 graduate of Ashtabula High School, he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Education from Malone College and his Master's from Youngstown State University. He had also taken numerous courses since then to further his education.

A science teacher at Riverside High School in Painesville for the past 25 years, he taught AP Physics, Physics, Chemistry, and General Science. He loved being a teacher and thrived on working with the advanced kids who really wanted to learn. He was voted into the #1 Club at Riverside on numerous occasions, an honor of recognition from graduating Riverside students who choose their favorite teacher during their educational career.

Tim was a long time member of AAPT and the Ohio Section of AAPT. He served for many years as a Physics Teachers Resource Agent (PTRA). Read the obituary at http://www.ducro.com/cgi-bin/ducro_obits_2009.pl?ID=1281292170&detail=1&Style.

Physics Store Features

Don't Try This at Home—The Physics of Hollywood Movies

Preconceptions in MechanicsTake a fresh look at the basics of physics through the filmmaker's lens. Written by physics teacher Adam Weiner, the book deconstructs, demystifies, and debunks popular Hollywood films through the scientific explanations of the action genre's most dynamic and unforgettable scenes. Sample movie sequence and related physics concepts: In "Speed," a city bus going over 50 mph jumps over a 50-foot chasm—successfully. An examination of force, acceleration, Newton's laws, impulse, momentum, and projectile motion follows. Retail $19.95, $14.49 AAPT Members. Find it at The Physics Store.

Teaching Introductory Physics—A Sourcebook

Preconceptions in MechanicsClifford Swartz, former editor of The Physics Teacher, and Tom Miner developed an ideal reference book for teachers giving an introductory physics course at either the high school or college level. The material ranges from practical hints about classroom management to tutorial essays. Some of the pedagogical suggestions are aimed at small class situations and others are concerned with lecture courses. Frequently the tutorials provide a summary of material that will prove extremely handy for classroom preparation. Retail $159, $117 AAPT Members. Find it at The Physics Store.

Members in the News

Stephanie V. Chasteen

Stephanie V. Chasteen, known on the web as sciencegeekgirl, has listed all of her posts from the AAPT Summer Meeting (#aaptsm10) and the AAPT PER Conference on one convenient page. Follow the links to learn more about sessions you may have missed at the AAPT Summer Meeting. Read the posts at http://blog.sciencegeekgirl.com/2010/08/23/all-my-posts-from-aapt-aaptsm10/.

Congressman and Physicist Vern Ehlers: A Champion for Science

One of the science community's own, US Representative Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), is retiring from Congress this year. Recognized widely as "Mr. Science" and the "smartest" Member of Congress, Ehlers was the first research physicist to serve in Congress and has been a tireless champion of science in this nation.Ehlers talks to Physics Team

Of particular importance to AAPT and AIP, Ehlers took time to serve young physicists by introducing a statement in the Congressional Record each year to honor the members of the team that represents the US at the Physics Olympiad. Many of those statements also specifically honored the coaches and teachers who supported the student team members. Ehlers met with the US Physics Team members each year on Capitol Hill and was always generous with his time and his praise for this small group of students. Read the Physics Today article at http://blogs.physicstoday.org/politics/2010/08/congressman-and-physicist-vern.html

Section News

Section Meetings in October

Illinois Section Fall Meeting
October 8-9, 2010
Sherrard High School, Sherrard, IL
Illinois Section website
Email: Christopher LaRoche

Texas Section AAPT, Texas Section of APS, Zone 13 Society of Physics Students
October 21-23, 2010
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Email: Tom O'Kuma

North Carolina Section Fall Meeting
October 22-23, 2010
Davidson College Charlotte, NC
North Carolina section website
Email: John Hubisz

Wisconsin Section with MN Area Association of Physics Teachers Fall Meeting
October 29-30, 2010
University of Wisconsin-River Falls, River Falls, WI
Wisconsin Section website
Email: Matthew Evans

Chesapeake Section Fall Meeting
October 29-30, 2010
Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA
Chesapeake Section website

Email: Rhett Herman

See the July 2010 Section News here. http://www.aapt.org/Sections/upload/Section-News_July2010.pdf
To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org.

AIP UniPHY: Connect, Collaborate, Create

This innovative physics tool is a free scientific social and professional networking site for physical scientists that allows them to search for collaborators, see what competitors are up to, communicate with colleagues, and exhibit their own latest work. It provides an exciting new view into the world of physical science research. The pre-populated literature network represents more than 300,000 scientist profiles. If you have authored at least 2 articles in the past 10 years in AIP Journals, you may already have a pre-populated profile within AIP UniPHY. Visit www.aipuniphy.org and become a member today!

Beginning a Research Program in the Natural Sciences at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution

Starting a successful research program and doing scholarly work at a predominantly undergraduate institution poses unique challenges for a beginning faculty member. A goal of the institute is to give pre-tenured faculty the opportunity to learn from and discuss with experienced faculty how to establish and manage a research program with undergraduates. While at the institute, participants will also prepare plans for starting and/or advancing their individual research programs at their respective campuses. Sign up for the November 19-21 Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Institute at Calvin College, Garden Rapids, MI. Application Deadline is October 1, 2010. For additional information about this Institute, or to register, please visit http://www.cur.org/institutes/newfaculty.html

The Colorado Science Conference: Science—What Works?

The Colorado Science Conference will be on Friday, November 19, 2010 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. The theme is "Science—What Works?" So you could come to share techniques, resources, assessments, about ideas teaching and learning that you have found to be been effective. While the theme, “What Works,” may make you think of work and energy topics, contributions on any physics topic would be welcome! If you would like to propose a session, please go to the following URL: http://www.coloradocast.org/professionaldevelopment.php?page=presenters

Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research

June 13-17, 2011 the fourth biannual conference on the Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research will be held on the campus of the College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, Maine. The conference will have a format much like a Gordon conference, with two plenary talks in the morning (1 hour each) followed by an hour's discussion, free time in the afternoon, and other sessions before dinner. We will have working groups and
targeted sessions for more detailed discussions outside the plenaries. There will be a lobster bake to open the conference and a sunset cruise to end it. Information about past conferences is available online at http://perlnet.umaine.edu/~FFPER/.

USA Science & Engineering Festival

Check out Laserfest's "Haunted" Exhibit (Booth 340) at the US Science and Engineering Festival October 23-24! Excite your imagination at the laser extravaganza, where AAPT, APS, and SPS will feature a LaserFest Haunted House and hands on demonstrations. Meet students and physicists who we guarantee will be fun, educational, and illuminating! http://www.usasciencefestival.org/

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

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