SectionNews_Dec2013 - page 9

AAPT Section News, December 2013
—Page 9
they shared classroom activities that they have developed at
Pierce College. The workshop participants were able to try
out the highly constructivist, learning cycle driven curricu-
lum. Ben Frederiksen from Fluke demonstrated the latest in
infrared imaging technology and discussed possible class-
room applications. Because of the continuous advance of
technology, the cost of such imagers is rapidly decreasing.
Bob Trout, who works as a Solar System Ambassador at the
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shared some of his techniques
and materials for engaging students (and teachers) in dis-
cussions about space exploration.
Several other SCAAPT members also gave engaging con-
tributed presentations:
• Dante Sblendorio and Jeff Phillips, LMU- Identifying
the factors of problem complexity
• Kevin Osorno and Jeff Phillips, LMU- Examination of
Students’ Self-Monitoring in Problem Solving
• James Keipp, UCLA Center X, AP Readiness - Ensur-
ing Equity & Access to All Students
• Cliff Gerstman, Middle College High- The FORCAST
for Infrared Astronomy
• David McKay, CSULB- Misconceptions of well-known
E&M YouTube lectures
• Lee Loveridge, Pierce College- Using a flipped class-
• Chija Bauer, La Salle HS- Professional development
through the twitter blog-o-sphere
• Craig Sipes, Washington Prep HS- Sustainable Physics
• Paul Bruno, Watts Learning Center Charter Middle
School- Identifying and Overcoming the Challenges of
the NGSS
• Homeyra Sadaghiani, Cal Poly Pomona- Utilizing
Learning Assistant (LA) program to increase number
and quality of high school physics teachers in CA
The ever-popular Show ‘n’ Tell featured demonstrations
by James Lincoln (Tarbut V’Torah HS), Gary Reynolds
(Santa Ana HS), Tim Heumier (APU). The meeting ended
with the World Famous “Order of Magnitude Contest.”
This meeting’s question was: What fraction of a house’s
mass is the paint on the walls?
SCAAPT thanks its corporate sponsors –Arbor Scientific,
Fluke, PASCO, and– for their support
and donation of door prizes.
The Southern California Section will hold its Spring
Meeting on May 3rd at Irvine Valley College. Please book-
mark the SCAAPT homepage <
and check for more information in the Spring.
New Physics Teacher Workshop (NPTW)
SCAAPT has been organizing workshops for new phys-
ics teachers in Southern California for the past two years.
Over that time period nearly 200 new physics teachers have
attended at least one of the daylong workshops, with many
teachers attending two or three workshops as each focuses
on different topics within introductory physics. The entire
day is spent working on physics content, demonstrations
and laboratory exercises that the new physics teachers most
likely will find useful in the coming months. USC hosted
the early fall workshop, which focused on mechanics and
thermodynamics. The most recent Workshop was held at
“Trash for Teaching,” a non-profit located in Gardena Cali-
fornia that rescues manufacturing overruns, discards and
castoffs, originally headed for landfill, and re-imagine these
items for use in the classroom.
Video Contest
SCAAPT is proud to present its second annual Physics
Student Video Contest. The contest is open to all Southern
California high school, community college and undergradu-
ate students. The winning entry will receive a $500 grand
prize. (That student’s teacher will receive a $50 award.)
With this annual content, SCAAPT is hoping to increase its
visibility among local teachers.
Restructuring of finances
Thanks to the herculean efforts of James Lincoln and Nuria
Rodriguez, SCAAPT has finally become a federally-recog-
nized 501(c)(3) charity which can now accept tax-deduct-
ible donations (EIN 46-1088941). SCAAPT believes that
this will allow the section, and programs such as NPTW, to
continue with a strong financial footing.
—Jeff Phillips, Section Representative
Southern Nevada Section
During the last half of 2013, the Southern Nevada section
of the AAPT (SNAAPT) met on two Saturdays, on August
24 and October 19, 2013. Both meetings were held in the
physics building on the campus of the University of Ne-
vada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Both meetings were planned to
meet the needs of high school physics teachers. Attendance
was much higher than usual, mostly by high school phys-
ics teachers.
High school physics teachers are expected to meet a list
of specific student learning objectives during the fall se-
mester. All the materials presented at the meetings were
tied to the list of objectives, so the high school teachers
know that they are meeting the official objectives. Teach-
ing materials were handed out to participants, mostly on
jump drives and DVDs.
Presentations were made by two experienced high school
physics teachers (James Barker and the recently retired
Mitch Johnson) and by a UNLV professor, John Farley.
Mitch Johnson uses the Socratic method, where the
teacher asks questions of the students, so the role of the
instructor is as a “guide on the side”, rather than the “sage
on the stage”. On August 24, Mitch presented Modeling
Physics worksheets Unit 8, showed the progression of the
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 10,11
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