AAPT_WM14program_final - page 44

Sunday afternoon
Session AC: Panel – Report of the
Undergraduate Curriculum Task
Location: Salon 7
Sponsor: Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education
Date: Sunday, January 5
Time: 2–4 p.m.
Presider: Jerry Feldman
The AAPT Undergraduate Curriculum Task Force (UCTF)
is charged with: (1) developing specific recommendations for
coherent and relevant undergraduate curricula (including
course work, undergraduate research, mentoring, etc.) for
different types of physics majors and (2) developing recom-
mendations for the implementation and assessment of such
curricula. The work of the UCTF over the past year will be
discussed and plans for the coming year will be presented.
Session AD: 21st Century Physics
for the High Schools
Location: Salon 6
Sponsor: Committee on Physics in High Schools
Date: Sunday, January 5
Time: 2–3:30 p.m.
Presider: Kris Whelan
2-2:30 p.m. The QuarkNet Data Portfolio: Using
Data from 21st Century Experiments to Teach
Entry-level Physics
Invited – Thomas Jordan, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Am-
herst, MA 01003;
21st century physics can seem obscure and esoteric. Experiments at
the Large Hadron Collider have written 75 petabytes of data in just
three short years. “Big Data” is in the public eye in news stories about
Amazon, Google, or the NSA. QuarkNet has partnered with experi-
ments at Fermilab, CERN, LIGO and others to gain access to datasets
and created a Data Portfolio: a suite of investigations that allow stu-
dents to explore the data and the physics encoded in them. Students
can explore momentum conservation, mass-energy equivalence,
pattern recognition, histogramming, and other topics using these
data. The investigations range from simple to complex, from using
paper-and-pencil to web-browsers, and from tens of minutes to days.
The investigations allow the students to explore 21st century data and
appreciate that they can study some aspect of even the most esoteric
experiments. They can access Big Data and ask their own questions.
2:30-3 P.M. Connect Students to LHC Physics
Using Cosmic Ray Detectors
Invited – Francisco Yumiceva, Florida Institute of Technology, Mel-
bourne, FL 32901;
In 2012, the most powerful particle collider in the world known as
the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) discovered the long-sought Higgs
boson particle; a crucial component of the standard model of particle
physics. The LHC is now gearing up to collide protons at even higher
energies that could open a window to observe new physics such as
Supersymmetry, Extradimensions, or micro black holes. Classroom
cosmic ray muon detectors that use the same technology as the ex-
periments at the LHC are used to introduce particle physics to teach-
ers and students. Cosmic ray studies give students a hands-on window
to experimental particle physics. Similarly, masterclasses are one-day
national events in which teams of students visit a nearby university
or research center to gain insight into topics and methods of particle
physics by analyzing data from the LHC experiments.
3-3:10 p.m. Nuclear Physics Provides Teachable
Contributed – Margaret A. Norris, Black Hills State University, Spearfish,
SD 57799;
C. John McEnelly, Chamberlain High School
The American Physical Society piloted a program in 2012 pairing
high school physics teachers with university physicists to develop
new curriculum units for high school physics. A partnership of Black
Hills State University and Chamberlain High School, both located
in South Dakota, received a grant under this PAIR program (Physics
And Instructional Resources) to develop a unit in nuclear and particle
physics. Most of the funding was used to purchase classroom equip-
ment. The unit was planned to be nine weeks long and culminate in
a class field trip to the Sanford Underground Research Facility. While
initially planned to cover both nuclear and particle physics, it was
quickly discovered that nuclear physics provides much fertile material
to teach critical thinking skills and other 21st Century skills. It also
provides the opportunity to feature 21st century STEM careers in
medicine, national security and energy. Successes and challenges will
be discussed.
3:10-3:20 p.m. Graphene Supercapacitors: Getting
Students “Charged Up” about Physics
Contributed – Sarah Richter, Nicolet High School, Glendale, WI 53217;
This is a lesson designed to introduce students to physics research
while learning about charge at the same time. Students will be able to
experience 21st century physics by looking at the amazing properties
of graphene and the different ways the material is made. Next, the
lesson challenges students to envision how this new material could
change capacitors and improve current technology. Finally, students
will be able to apply the information by creating a LightScribed
Graphene Supercapcitor, a lab that was developed as part of a summer
RET program, that gives students a hands on opportunity to compare
the new material with a traditional material in a capacitor.
3:20-3:30 p.m. Classification of Historical Experi-
ments in High School Physics Course
Contributed – Genrikh Golin, Touro College, New York, NY 448 Neptune
Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11224;
The HS physics course describes with varying details many histori-
cal experiments. In the textbooks and popular scientific literature
these experiments are referred to as great, crucial, key, fundamental,
basic, etc. Though they all promoted the development of physics
to a certain extent, not all of them are really fundamental. If these
experiments are systematized by dividing them into groups based on
their contribution to scientific practice and to the development of
physics, the teacher can inform students about important aspects of
the experimental method. The table that will be present during our
contributed talk shows one such possible classification. This classifica-
tion helps students to avoid the erroneous idea that all the historical
experiments were equally important. It also shows students the range
of tasks and problems resolved by experiments in science. Using the
classification, a teacher can also choose the most typical experiments
that are relevant for teaching.
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