TPT 50th Anniversity book - page 26

Conceptual Physics
, his tour-de-force text now
in its 11th edition. I purchased a copy and began
to admire my surroundings through Paul’s
guidance as not only an artist and physicist, but
as a warm, caring, and generous human soul.
At my first national AAPT meeting at the
University of Guelph in the summer of 2000, I
attended a physics demonstrations workshop
where one of the participants bemoaned the fact
that he had little time to read
or include
demonstrations in his lectures. Ohio State
University physics professor Gordon Aubrecht
immediately stood up and announced, “I read
every single [
] issue that comes across my
desk!” This testimonial motivated me to make
more time for
. When elected to the AAPT
Executive Board in 2003, I discovered how
supported AAPT’s mission. I also
learned directly from
editor (and ex officio
board member) Karl Mamola how to delicately
provide advice, listen to one’s critics, and accept
others’ suggestions in a positive manner.
In April 2003, AAPT President Charlie
Holbrow appointed me to lead an AAPT
Committee on the World Year of Physics (WYP)
in 2005. Our mission was to develop, organize,
and lead a series of yearlong public outreach
events that would guide academic programs,
industrial firms, national laboratories, and
science centers across the nation in meeting
the educational outreach goals of the WYP
campaign. To launch our intentions and rally
the physics community, I published an article
in the January 2004
that gave me the
opportunity to glance inside the inner sanctum
of the journal.
fully supported AAPT’s
WYP efforts, branding all
covers in 2004
and 2005 with the WYP logo and incorporating
a series of articles during these two years
describing a variety of outreach endeavors.
Over the past 16 years I have been able
to teach physics, astronomy, and math at a
variety of institutions (a two-year college, two
historically black colleges and universities, a
liberal arts university, and a university with
a rigorous focus on engineering and applied
science). I have designed and delivered
numerous K-12 science education outreach
programs; been interviewed on radio and
television; and have been an invited speaker at
local and national physics meetings. Through
all these institutions and their associated
has been a constant companion
that has kept me in touch with physics teaching
trends, lecture demonstration ideas, apparatus
designs, and education outreach initiatives.
articles have shown me how to entertain
elementary school students with pumpkin
drops, help middle school students build lava
lamps, assist high school students with their
design of a haunted physics lab, challenge
undergraduate students with “Figuring Physics”
exercises, query graduate students with “Physics
Challenges,” and even suggest “Book Reviews”
for my colleagues to consider.
My experience with
as an author, editor,
promoter, reader, and reviewer has been an elixir
that has kept me in a physics teaching career.
The journal could be renamed
The Physics
because most of its readers continue to
learn through its pages.
’s real treasure lies
not in its articles and advertisements, but in the
manner in which it gently connects all of us to
colleagues that enhance our appreciation and
understanding of this journey on which we’ve
chosen to embark.
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