AAPT Winter Meeting 2021



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2021 Winter Meeting Workshops

AAPT is offering a number of virtual workshops in association with the upcoming AAPT 2021 Virtual Winter Meeting.  This is a great opportunity to gather with your colleagues and learn some new teaching techniques, while engaging in thoughtful discussion. Be sure and register early as these workshops can fill-up quickly. 


All workshops four hours and under will cost $50 for members and $100 for non-members. All workshops over four hours will cost $80 for members and $160 for non-members. Some workshops will reimbuse particpants for all or some of their workshops fees. Please read workshop description for details. 

Earn CEU hours for attending one of the AAPT workshops.  Earn 0.40 hours for a 1/2 day workshop or 0.80 for a full day workshop. Any workshop under 4 hours does not qualify for CEU hours. 

2021 AAPT Virtual Winter Meeting

The 2021 AAPT Virtual Winter Meeting will be held January 9-12.  Please click here to register. 



Saturday, January 2, 2021

Title: W17: Coding Integration in High School Physics and Physical Science
Date: Saturday, January 2 and Sunday, January 3 (Please note this is a two day workshop)
Time: 1
:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EST)
Organizer: Chris Orban
Richelle Teeling-Smith  
Cost: Please note the cost of this workshop is $70 for members and $120 for non-members. 
Ever wondered how to integrate a little bit of coding into a high school physics or physical science class without overwhelming your students or taking up lots of class time? This hands on workshop will provide an overview of simple, conceptually-motivated “STEMcoding” exercises where students construct PhET-like games like asteroids and angry birds using an in-browser editor that works great on chromebooks or whatever devices you have. To give participants more face-to-face interaction during the session we will spend significant time in zoom breakouts led by teachers who are experienced with using STEMcoding activities in their classes. The $20 surcharge on this workshop will be used in part to compensate these breakout leaders. You will also be able to set up an account on the STEMcoding learning management system (http://stemcoding.herokuapp.com) where you will be able to enroll an unlimited number of students in the courses you create. This learning management system helps to facilitate the grading of STEMcoding activities in a way that, for example, is not possible with the free versions of the activities that are available from the STEMcoding youtube channel (http://youtube.com/c/STEMcoding). The STEMcoding project is led by Prof. Chris Orban from Ohio State Physics and Prof. Richelle Teeling-Smith in the physics department at the University of Mt. Union.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Title: W20 Teaching Physics Toward Social Justice (Cancelled) 
Date: Sunday, January 3, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)
Organizers: Moses Rifkin and Daniel Doucette
Motivated by our shared desire to address under-representation in physics and support systematically marginalized groups, we have created a flexible, modular curriculum designed to help physics instructors bring conversations about science and society into our classrooms. Topics include: under-representation in STEM, systemic racism, implicit bias, stereotype threat, and the myth of meritocracy in a physics context. Attendees will experience the curriculum first-hand, and learn how to implement it in their own classrooms.

Title: W14: A More Healthy Option (Cancelled) 
Date: Sunday, January 3
Time: 1
:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
Organizer: Kathleen Falconer
Work Life Balance is ever present on people’s minds. With all of the rush to get done, everything we think we need to get done, we forget about stress affecting our ability to be productive in both professional and personal ways. A more-healthy option is to reframe the idea of work life balance and to look in detail about stress. We will look at practical ideas to reduce the grip that stress has on us. We will discuss healthy options for work, home and self-care.  

Title: W16: Cocktail Party Science: Communicating to any Audience
Date: Sunday, January 3
Time: 1
:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)
Organizer: Rebecca Thompson
Have you ever been at a social gathering and tried to relate an awesome physics topic with little success? Have you been asked to speak to a kindergarten class and struggled to come up with ways to talk about quantum mechanics to a group more interested in Frozen II? This hands on workshop will help you learn to communicate to any audience. We’ll use communications exercises to effectively define an audience, craft a message, tailor it to an audience, and use practical demos to illustrate physics concepts. Techniques taught will be general enough to help with everything from elementary school career day to a night at the pub.    

Friday, January 8, 2021

Title: W01: Astronomy Research Seminar
Organizer: Rachel Freed
Date: Friday, January 8

Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
Participants will learn how to conduct an Astronomy Research Seminar, including how to use online tools (Gaia Double Star Selection Tool; Washington Double Star Catalog, Vizier) to select a double star system to study, how to use the Las Cumbres Observatory telescope network to collect data, and the analysis software (AstroImageJ) and methods. This will be a hands-on workshop, where each participant will use their own computer to go through the whole process. There will also be a discussion of the process whereby students are taught how to write for scientific publication. After the workshop, online support will be provided to help participants start their own Astronomy Research Seminar with the end goal being to have students submit their own research papers for publication.

Title: W02: Get the Facts Out: Changing the Conversation around Physics Teacher Recruitment (Cancelled) 
Organizer: Drew Isola
Date: Friday, January 8
Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
In this workshop we will share strategies and resources for recruiting students into physics, chemistry, math and general science teaching careers. The strategies include recommendations for sharing facts about teaching, how to talk to students, listing of venues for reaching students, updated recommendations and resources for sharing the facts virtually. The online resources provided include student presentations, posters, brochures, program flyer templates and presentations for faculty and staff who advise students. All materials are professional quality, research-based and have been extensively user-tested. These materials have been developed as part of Get the Facts Out, an NSF funded project for changing the conversation around STEM teaching recruitment. The project is a partnership between the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, and AAPT led by the Colorado School of Mines. This workshop is fully funded by NSF #1821710 & 1821462. Participants who complete this workshop can be reimbursed for their workshop registration fee.

Title: W03: Resources for Teaching Physics Using Space Science Content
Organizer: Janelle Bailey
Date: Friday, January 8

Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)
Co-Organizers: Ramon Lopez, Brad Ambrose, Ximena Cid, Darsa Donelan, Rebecca Vieyra, Shannon Willoughby
Join this fully reimbursable workshop to engage in integrated activities appropriate for high school and introductory college physics and astronomy teachers who want to teach with integration and authentic NASA data. Attendees will use resources developed and tested by physics education researchers through the NASA Space Science Education Consortium, including labs, lecture tutorials, clicker questions, and diagnostic assessments. These materials address topics that integrate Physics, Earth Science, and Space Science, including (1) coronal mass ejection videos to understand both simple mechanics as well as accelerations of relativistic particles, (2) sunspot data to understand period and frequency, (3) eclipses to understand geometric optics, (4) auroral currents to understand electromagnetism, and other activities, as can be found on https://aapt.org/resources/SSEC/. (This workshop is fully funded by a NASA Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number NNX16AR36A awarded to Temple University and the AAPT. Participants who complete the workshop may seek full reimbursement of their workshop registration fee. 

Title: W04: Seeing the Invisible: Using JS9 Data and Image Analysis in Educational Setting
Organizer: Donna Young
Date: Friday, January 8
Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)
Co-Organizers: Terry Matilsky and Pamela Perry
How can we provide an authentic research experience to students who want to find out what science is REALLY about?  We couple JS9, a fun to use, web-based image display environment, with archival satellite data to allow students to perform astronomical analysis remotely using their browser.  Energy spectra, light curves, periodic phenomena, and   much more can be explored, using data from thousands of deep sky objects, spanning the gamut of observed energies, from infra-red emission to gamma rays.  Since this system is platform independent, it is especially useful in the classroom, as well as in distance learning environments. This workshop will show you how to easily access JS9 and use it to explore exciting astronomical objects throughout the Universe. Participants who complete the workshop may seek full reimbursement of their workshop registration fee. This workshop is sponsored by the NASA Universe of Learning STEM Program. 

Title: W13: Mastery Grading
Organizer: Gloria Ramos
ate: Friday January 8
Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
In this workshop, we will look at what mastery grading is and how to implement it in a physics course at any level. The key features of mastery-based grading are: a clear list of learning targets, that grades are based on mastery (not points or partial credit), and that there are multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery. Mastery grading puts an emphasis on learning, provides clear expectations for students, and encourages perseverance and growth mindset. Participants in this workshop will learn about different ways to implement mastery (i.e., the “nuts and bolts” of mastery grading) and begin constructing the framework for their own mastery-graded courses. 

Title: W18: Assessing and Promoting Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (Cancelled) 
Organizer: Beth Thacker
Date: January 8, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
Co-organizers: Jianlan Wang, Stephanie Hart, Kyle Wipfli
Description: Student assistants (SA), including graduate and undergraduate teaching/learning assistants, are pivotal to non-traditional physics instruction in large classrooms. Despite its effectiveness, little is known about how SAs’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) affects SA-student interactions and how those interactions promote students’ learning. We are particularly interested in SA’s PCK of questioning (PCK-Q) skills. In this workshop, we will present a multi-level coding scheme to analyze SA support in different vignettes of SA-student interactions in class videos. The frequency of certain levels in multiple vignettes could suggest a measure of SA’s performed PCK-Q. We will also present a written instrument with open-ended questions assessing SAs’ narrated PCK-Q in given situations which are drawn from vignettes of authentic SA-student interactions. We will demonstrate the process of developing and validating the coding scheme and written instrument and their use in studying SAs’ impact on students’ conceptual understanding of physics and critical thinking skills.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Title: W05: Activities from the Living Physics Portal
Organizers: Adrian Madsen,
Date: Friday, January 15
Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
Nancy Beverly, Nancy Donaldson, Mark Reeves

Join other highly engaged physics instructors in exploring, re-thinking and adapting introductory physics activities and assignments for health science and life science students to emphasize interdisciplinary connections. Participants will be exposed to practical changes they can implement at their home institutions that put students’ experiences at the center of classroom interactions. Participants will join a growing network of physics instructors who share curricular materials and troubleshoot instructional challenges through the Living Physics Portal. Participants will use the Portal to share resources and collaborate with other physics educators. Instructors, lab managers, & community college faculty and those with varying degrees of familiarity with physics for life scientists or active learning are welcome! The goals of the workshop are to enable and excite participants to (a) make curricular or lab changes, (b) focus on students’ experiences and learning, and (c) make physics personally meaningful and coherent with students’ other STEM knowledge.

Title: W06: Preserving Your Legacy: Oral Histories of AAPT and Physics Education
Organizer: Joanna Behrman
Date: Friday, January 15

Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)
Participants will be introduced to the Oral History Program at the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics. We will discuss the benefits, limits, and best practices of oral history. Participants will help determine important oral history subjects and questions for building a history of AAPT and physics education more broadly. Participants will also practice conducting oral history interviews themselves. Finally, we will record short interviews centered on topics relating to physics education at this historic moment, such as physics education during COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter. Registrants may seek a $30 reimbursment after compleition of the workshop. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Title: W08: Neutrino Investigations with Students
Organizer: Shane Wood
Date: Saturday, January 16

Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)
Learn how to analyze real data from Fermilab-based neutrino experiments such as MINERvA and MicroBooNE. Find out how you can bring these experiences to your students so they can see how concepts they learn in their introductory physics course are used by physicists today.

Title: W09: The Pulsar Search Collaboratory
Organizer: Ann Schmiedekamp
Date: Saturday, January 16

Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)
Co-Organizers: Natalia Lewandowska and Carl Schmiedekamp
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) is collaboration between Green Bank Observatory (GBO) and West Virginia University (WVU), aimed at building STEM confidence and scientific literacy among physics students. The PSC also enhances teachers' ability to incorporate inquiry-based education into the classroom. PSC teachers and students, supported by astronomers, engage in actual research and have the opportunity to make significant scientific discoveries by searching data where previously unknown pulsars lie awaiting to be discovered. Participation in the PSC is ideal for astronomy clubs or incorporation into an astronomy or physics curriculum. This workshop is an opportunity for high school, community college and 4 year college faculty to join the PSC and begin to acquire experience in pulsar astronomy and data analysis, so that they can guide their students through the training. Participants should bring their own laptops for the workshop and will be able to continue participation in PSC throughout the year in zoom meetings with other groups in this international collaboration. We are able to reimburse participants for the AAPT workshop fee from our grant.

Title: W10: Engaging Ways to Introduce Students to Quantum Physics
Organizer: Karen Jo Matsler
Date: Saturday, January 16
Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EST)
The need for a working knowledge of quantum information science (QIS) will be a required skill for a large portion of the future workforce. However, secondary students are not exposed to QIS because precollege educators have limited knowledge and resources to teach quantum concepts. This workshop will highlight how a NSF project is addressing these issues by providing an opportunity for educators to learn principles and applications of QIS. The objective of the session is to strengthen your background knowledge and provide you with some activities that can be used in the classroom. QIS Core concepts, as outlined by the White House OSTP, include superposition, qubits, entanglement, cryptography, quantum squeezing, and quantum states of atoms. Come be a part of the future……...

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Title: W11: Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs) and RealTime Physics (RTP) Adapted for Active Distance Learning
Organizer: David Sokoloff
Date: Sunday, January 17

Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EST) 
With the need for distance learning materials thrust upon us alarmingly and suddenly, it is not unreasonable that many have fallen back on passive presentation of lectures and black/whiteboard notes using some mode of video conferencing. But is it possible to maintain some element of active learning for our introductory physics students? My colleagues and I have attempted to adapt both Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs) and RealTime Physics (RTP) for use in distance learning. We've used the wealth of multimedia materials currently available (videos, simulations, photos, computer-based laboratory graphs, etc.) to adapt ILDs (1), (2), (3) to a form that can be used by students at home (4). While recognizing that small-group discussions--and sharing in any way--may be difficult for most faculty to implement, these Home Adapted ILDs retain predictions as an essential element in engaging students in the learning process. For introductory lab activities, we have adapted RTP Mechanics (5) for use at home with the IOLab--an inexpensive, computer-based laboratory device (6).

In this workshop, we will first review the design features of ILDs and RTP. Then we will work with some examples of Home Adapted ILDs. We will also explore the distance learning RTP labs for IOlab and discuss implementation issues.


(1) David R. Sokoloff and Ronald K. Thornton, “Using Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to Create an Active Learning Environment,” Phys. Teach. 35: 6, 340 (1997).

(2) David R. Sokoloff and Ronald K. Thornton, Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley and Sons, 2004).

(3) David R. Sokoloff, “Active Learning of Introductory Light and Optics,” Phys. Teach. 54: 1, 18 (2016).

(4) https://pages.uoregon.edu/sokoloff/HomeAdaptedILDs.html

(5) David R. Sokoloff, Ronald K. Thornton and Priscilla W. Laws, “RealTime Physics: Active Learning Labs Transforming the Introductory Laboratory,” Eur. J. of Phys., 28 (2007), S83-S94.

(6) https://pages.uoregon.edu/sokoloff/IOLabInst32120.html

Title: W15: Improving the Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Teaching Assistants and Instructors
Organizer: Alex Maries
Date: Sunday, January 17
Time: 1:00 to 5:00 PM (EST)
Being aware of common student alternate conceptions in physics is beneficial when designing instruction to help students develop a coherent knowledge structure. It is thus not surprising that knowledge of common student difficulties is one aspect of what Shulman coined “pedagogical content knowledge”, or in other words, knowledge about how to teach a subject that is different from the content knowledge itself. This workshop will first explore the literature on the extent to which TAs (undergraduate and graduate students teaching labs and recitations) and instructors are aware of various introductory student alternate conceptions. Participants will identify common alternate conceptions of students in certain questions and discuss potential uses in a professional development class. In addition, participants will discuss productive approaches to help both TAs. 


Title: W07: Modeling Instruction, Energy Approach Across All Disciplines
Organizer:  Lee Trampleasure
Date: Sunday, January 17

Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
Energy is one of the Crosscutting Concepts in NGSS. Modeling Instruction uses similar energy bar charting techniques across biology, chemistry, and physics. Come learn how to use these techniques, and how you can share them with other science teachers at your school.






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