SectionNews_July2013 - page 13

AAPT Section News, July 2013
—Page 13
The opening session focused on inverted classroom
practices with invited presentations from Kathy Koenig
(University of Cincinnati) and Brooke Morin (The Ohio
State University). Participants then chose between a
workshop session with Lenore Horner (The Seven Hills
School) on Geogebra or Rick Jacox (Ontario High School)
on podcasting.
In the afternoon, there were contributed presentations
from James Sullivan (University of Cincinnati) about how
the conversion from quarters to semesters affected physics
instruction at Cincinnati, Gordon Aubrecht (The Ohio State
University – Marion) on global warming and (a separate
presentation) on formative assessment with middle school
teachers. Spontaneous presentations by Folden Stumpf
(Ohio Univesrity) on lab apparatus and Gabriella Popa
(Ohio University – Zanesville) were also given.
The section also conducted its annual election of
officers. The new president-elect is Mark Plano Clark of the
University of Cincinnati. Krista Wood of the University of
Cincinnati – Blue Ash was re-elected to serve as secretary,
and Terry Toepker of Xavier University is the new Vice
President for 4-year Colleges and Universities. Stepping
into the position of President is Lenore Horner, and Sandy
Doty (Ohio University – Lancaster) is now past president.
The board has also appointed Sandy as the new editor of
our newsletter, The Dialog.
State Science Day
On the morning of Saturday May 11, 25 volunteers from
central and southern Ohio served as judges at Ohio’s
State Science Day competition to determine the awarding
of physics prizes for students in high school and middle
school. As he has for many years, Gordon Aubrecht of The
Ohio State University coordinated the efforts of judging
over 150 projects. The prizes are awarded by the Southern
Ohio Section of AAPT, with the generous financial support
of the Ohio Section of APS.
Upcoming Events
The Fall 2013 section meeting is scheduled for Saturday,
October 5 at the University of Cincinnati, in conjunction
with the Ohio Section of the American Physical Society,
which will run October 4 and 5. Our host will be Jim
Sullivan. More information will be posted as it becomes
available at the section’s web site:
—Kathy Harper, Section Representative
Washington Section
The meeting this year continued our recent practice of
Friday evening workshops for high school teachers with
an entirely new lineup of workshops that emphasized the
conference theme of creating spaces for student creativity.
This years selection contained some new material and
some old favorites. Bruce Palmquist of Central Washington
University oppened the evening showing how teachers can
use the PhET Simulations to help students create and test
hypothesses. His semistructured activities provide a balance
between defined and open ended questions appropriate
to beginning students who may have little experience
formilation a useful experimental question.
He was followed by fellow CWU faculty member
Michael Jackson treated participants to hands on activities
useful either as inquiry explorations, or as tools to assess
student progress. Special apparatus designed at CWU and
more PhET simulations were the main elements in the
Our reigning President Andrew Boudreaux of Western
Washington University closed the evening with Invention
Tasks around developing Proportional Reasoning in students.
Here the participants tried first hand to devise signature
parameters or models to help rank scenarios or products we
might encounter in our lives. Proportional reasoning in its
raw form is the starting point uncluttered by math phobic
reactions that can be stimulated by exposure to variables at
the early stages.
Saturday Invited Talks
Bruce Palmquist opened the show with a very nice
presentation of the highlights of his workshop in a format
suitable to the larger audience. He included several nice
examples and an excellent guide to resources that would
allow the listener to borrow or create their own hypothesis
building and testing activities. Bruce was followed by a trio
from Green River Community College presenting a slate
of practices employed there to foster student creativity.
Ajay Narayanan described the care and nourishment of a
healthy physics club and showed many friuts of the students
creativity from rockets and trebuchets, to cosmic rays. These
activities changed the students involved and act as outreach
to students who did not know about their interest in physics.
Keith Clay and Adrienne Battle took up two ends of open
exploration in the laboratory. Keith described mini laboratory
experiences focused on answereing a single question but
posed without any lab manual guidence. Students are
typically able to devise a test to answer the question in a
short time and Keith shares the diversity of approaches
from around the room with the whole class. Students see
that nature is the final arbiter, but that there is more than one
way to come to the answer. Adrienne prefers a more risky
and comprehensive start to an instructional challenge. “Here
is some stuff, can you build an electric motor?” True they
had a reading assignment the night before, but even the best
students are pretty shocked that she really believes they can
do this. Amazingly, students can make surprising steps in an
appropriate environment and Adrienne described how these
labs succeed even when the students fail at the specific task.
Here is student creativity in its raw form.
The Green river team was followed by Jeff Hashimoto of
Ellensberg High School. He reminded us that creativity in
its essential form only requiires that invention is new to you.
1...,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 14,15,16
Powered by FlippingBook