Total Number of Attendees: 855
With 855 attendees, the 2016 Winter Meeting had the highest number of participants at an AAPT Winter meeting in the last five years. The Big Easy, well known for its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage, provided a lively and entertaining backdrop for physicists and physics educators as they met to share information and ideas spanning a potpourri of themes, including, The Planetarium Classroom, Weather or Knot, It's Still Physics, Apparatus Gumbo, and Recovery of New Orleans Physics Post-Katrina.
Attendees were able to participate in some great pre- and post-meeting events. Activities started with a pre-meeting French Quarter History and Pub Crawl Tour. All workshops were held at Southern University at New Orleans. All tutorials were held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. High School Physics Teachers' Day provided an opportunity to learn how to improve student learning of physics using: AAPT journals (The Physics Teacher & the American Journal of Physics), the AAPT/ComPADRE digital library of free online resources, PTRA resources, eMentoring, Adopt-a-Physicist, contests, and grants. Sessions specifically related to high school physics included: Best Practices in Educational Technologies, Meeting the Breadth of NGSS, Discovery Physics in the Classroom, and Professional Concerns in High School. For the first time, the AAPT conference featured a High School Teacher Lounge. Prior to the meeting, attendees populated the schedule with last-minute opportunities for topical discussions. At various hours, the lounge was hosted by AAPT members to share ideas and get to know others, and served as a place for overflow discussions from committee meetings about topics including educational technology, the Next Generation Science Standards, and High School Teachers Camp. One of the most popular events for high school teachers was the "30 Demos in 60 Minutes" presentation, with the room overflowing with attendees. Other interactive sessions included the "High School Share-a-Thon," which went late into the night and featured some new ideas from San Francisco's Exploratorium.
This was the first Meeting of the Members to occur following the 2015 AAPT governance structure approval that abolished the AAPT Council. Another first for this meeting was a popular new special event called the Winter Meeting Dance Party.
The AAPT Fun Run/Walk continues to be a popular event providing a break from the intense learning format of the meeting and the Speed Networking event, providing an opportunity for new physics educators to interact "one on one" with seasoned professionals continued to grow.
The meeting included a number of inspiring plenary and award talks. Sunday featured a plenary presented by Benjamin D. Santer (left) from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His talk was entitled Evidence for Human Effects on Global Climate.
On Monday, the Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award was given to Derek Muller (right below) from Veritasium, the education science channel on YouTube. His talk, Exoplanets: The Pace of Discovery and the Potential Impact on Humanity, showcased his longstanding interest in the impact of science on human society, combined with his excellent popular science writing.
Monday was the High School Teachers' Day and the schedule was packed with events and sessions of particular interest to high school teachers. Also on Monday were the First Timers Gathering and the Early Career Professionals Speed Networking event. Additionally, the AAPT French Quarter Jogging/Walking Tour, the Great Book Give-Away, the Multi-Cultural Luncheon, and SPS Undergraduate Awards Reception occurred. The Outstanding SPS Chapter Award, that recognizes annually an outstanding SPS chapter advisor, was presented to Kiril Streletzky of Cleveland State University (see second from left below).
Tuesday featured the presentation of the 2015 teaching awards and the Homer L. Dodge Citations for Distinguished Service to AAPT. The Winter 2016 recipients of the Homer L. Dodge Citations for Distinguished Service to AAPT (below left to right) were Marina Milner-Bolotin, The University of British Columbia; Gay Stewart, West Virginia University; David Weaver, Chandler-Gilbert Community College; Karl Mamola, Appalachian State University, and Michael Faleski, Delta College (not shown).
On Tuesday, the 2016 Hans Christian Oersted Medal was presented to John W. Belcher (right) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His talk, The Challenges of Pedagogical Change at a Research 1 University.
On Tuesday, the AAPT Symposium on Physics Education and Public Policy was presented by a speakers, Ramon Barthelemy, APS-AIP STEM Education Department Fellow, and Meredith Drosback, Assistant Director, Education and Physical Sciences, Science Division, Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. White House (left middle).
An additional plenary was presented on Monday by Kimberly Ennico, NASA's Ames Research Center, entitled Pluto Revealed: First Results From The Historic 1st Fly-By Space Mission (right).
With Society of Physics Students (SPS) and regular poster sessions, 37 workshops, 50 paper sessions, and 4 Topical Discussions, Area Committee Meetings, and the Exhibit Hall, the 2016 Winter Meeting in New Orleans had something of interest for everyone. We thank the Southern University at New Orleans for hosting the meeting workshops.