SectionNews_Dec2013 - page 5

AAPT Section News, December 2013
—Page 5
Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. Dale
Stille of University of Iowa followed with “PVC Physics
and Other Simple Demonstrations” by showing some 40+
demonstration and laboratory items that are built, entirely
or in part, from PVC pipe.
After a brief break, Fred Behroozi of the University
of Northern Iowa spoke on “New Configurations for a
Hanging Chain Covered by a Soap Film: Measurements
of Surface Tension from the Triangular Configuration.”
While the shape of a chain supported by both ends forms
a catenary, the addition of a soap film can change the
shape to a concave, convex, or triangular configuration.
The simpler geometry of the triangular shape allows for a
straight-forward determination of the surface tension of the
soap film.
Following a buffet lunch at Pizza Ranch, we returned
to the RAMS Center for a pair of talks by Peter Brueken
of Bettendorf High School. In “Doctopus and Goobric:
Learning Management Systems for Googledocs” Peter
described how he has addressed the challenges of his
school’s implementation of both iPads and the use of
Googledocs for assignments. In his second presentation, he
introduced Vernier’s LabQuest2.
In an invited talk, Kayt Frisch of Dordt College presented
“Introductory Lab Techniques in Biomedical Research.”
Kayt outlined her research project on commotio cordis,
which is an often fatal injury caused by a sharp blow to
the chest. Using her collaborator’s high speed video clips
of balls fired into the chest of pigs, Kayt and first-year
physics student Rebecca Megchelsen made use of Vernier’s
LoggerPro video analysis capability to determine the
impulse produced by the impact.
In “Not All Equations are Equal,” Nigel George of Upper
Iowa University addressed the problem of students seeing
all equations being equally important. He presented the
framework which he uses in introductory algebra based
physics to enable students to distinguish fundamental
defining equations and key relations between physical
quantities from the many other equations that are peculiar
to particular problem solutions. Nathan Quarderer of
host school NICC presented “Faculty Development
Opportunities for TYC and HS Physics Faculty” which
included the AAPT’s TYC workshop and many others.
Ryan Dorland, of North Iowa Area Community College,
spoke on his use of the Arduino Uno in “Lab Development
Using an Inexpensive Open-source Electronics Prototyping
Platform.” After this final presentation, we shared
unknown and ‘stump the audience’ equipment gleaned from
our store rooms. Dale Stille was able to identify virtually
all of the devices.
Figure 2. Fred Behroozi of UNI shows how a soap film can
make a chain hang in a triangle.
We ended our day with our business meeting. It was
moved, supported, and carried that we accept an invitation
to meet jointly with the Illinois Section next fall. Treasurer
Jay Cutler reported that we currently have $3755.61 in a
CD, $413 in our checking account, and $476 in savings. It
was moved, supported, and carried that $500 be contributed
to the scholarship fund being set up at UNI in memory of
past section president Cliff Chancey. We elected Nathan
Quarderer to be President-elect and Ryan Dorland to serve
as Vice President for Two Year Colleges. Dale Stille
and Craig Kletzing of U of I were re-elected secretaries,
Michael Farndale of Waldorf College was re-elected to be
Vice President for Four Year Colleges, and Larry Escalada
was re-elected to serve on the Teacher’s Award Committee.
After thanking our hosts, we adjourned for a tour of the
RAMS Center.
—John Zwart, Section Representative
Michigan Section
The Spring 2013 meeting of MIAAPT was held April 20
at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, MI. The
meeting, chaired by our President Jim Gell (Plymouth HS)
and coordinated by our 1st Vice President Scott Cochran
(Kirtland CC) offered the opportunity for Dr. Michael
LoPresto to showcase the newly renovated science building
at HFCC. The meeting also gave attendees a unique
glimpse into the Curiosity Rover mission to Mars.
The plenary speaker for the meeting was Dr. Nilton O.
Renno, scientist in the Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space
Sciences at the Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Dr. Renno
presented an overview of the design and development of
the rover Curiosity and discussed evidence for the presence
of water on Mars.
During the morning session, there were a series of
presentations on the teaching of topics in electromagnetism,
including the surprising physics of refrigerator magnets
(David Van Baak, Calvin College), geomagnetism (Wathiq
Abdul-Razzaq West Virginia Univ.), and a queue-based
analogy for current and resistance in DC circuits (Laurence
1,2,3,4 6,7,8,9,10,11
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