eNNOUNCER December 2009

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eNNOUNCER December, 2009

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AAPT  Sponsors Obama's "Educate to Innovate"

Obama greets students  

Philip "Bo" Hammer, AAPT's Associate Executive Officer, is pictured directly to the left of President Obama at a Washington-area event designed to promote science and math education. Photo courtesy of AFP/Getty Images.


The American Association of Physics Teachers is proud to be a participating sponsor in “Educate to Innovate,” President Obama’s nationwide initiative that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and support for National Lab Day.  This program brings together teachers, parents, scientists, engineers, non-profit organizations, government agencies, foundations, corporations, and others—with the goal of moving American students to the top in science and mathematics achievement over the coming decade. As physics teachers, our members have the knowledge, influence, and ingenuity to make a real difference by volunteering to engage in activities to strengthen laboratory experiences in their local communities or in outreach to other high-need schools.  Through National Lab Day, AAPT members will play a vital role in helping America’s students develop their critical thinking skills and preparing them to be active participants in a very competitive global environment.
  See the full article at CNN.com.


From the Executive Officer


Dear Colleagues,


When the Executive Board  asked me to return to AAPT as Executive Officer in September 2008, I accepted  the position with the intent that I would only stay in this position for two  years and I would retire from AAPT at the end of December 2010. This remains my intention and therefore you  see a call for applications for the position of Executive Officer in this issue  of the eNNOUNCER.


I feel that a great deal  has been accomplished in the last year with the assistance of the Executive  Board, a dedicated staff in the National Office, and the active participation  of many of you, our members. AAPT is a  membership organization and would not exist except for its members. However, much remains to be done to ensure the  long term health and vitality of the organization and I will continue my  efforts in this regard during the coming year.  I hope many of you will join in this effort by volunteering to serve on  one of our many committees, participating in local section activities, continuing  your membership, and recruiting new members into the only professional  organization dedicated to "strengthening physics education and supporting  physics teachers."   


My spouse, Melanie, and I  are building a new home in Michigan near Ann Arbor and I hope to return to the  classroom, at least on a part-time basis.  I would like to put into practice the many great active engagement  techniques that I have learned during my time at AAPT. I want to thank all of you for this great  opportunity to work with you.




Warren Hein
    Executive Officer


Executive Officer Applications and Nominations Sought


The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) seeks an experienced physicist/educator to serve as its Executive Officer. The position requires an innovative and flexible leader with a broad vision of physics education who is also an experienced and skillful manager. The AAPT Executive Officer works with the AAPT Executive Board to refine and implement a strategic plan in support of the members of the organization to improve physics teaching at all levels. A candidate should be familiar with the physics teaching community and the challenges of teaching physics. As an important representative of this community, the AAPT Executive Officer needs the skills and background to build effective alliances and to interact productively with physicists and educators at all levels, leaders of other scientific and educational organizations, federal government officials, funding agencies, the major constituencies within AAPT, and the public. The Executive Officer heads the office of the AAPT located in the American Center of Physics in College Park, Maryland. To guarantee full consideration, applications must be completed by February 15, 2010. The review of applicants will continue until the position is filled. Interested persons should send a resume and cover letter by email to the Search Committee at LAdair@aapt.org. Nominations are welcome and should also be sent to that email address. Questions and inquiries should be addressed to the chair of the search committee, Lila Adair at LAdair@aapt.org.
    AAPT is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
    See www.aapt.org/EOsearch for details.


2010 APS/AAPT Joint Meeting


2010 APS/AAPT Joint MeetingEarly Registration Dealine is Friday, December 11. Register Now!


Join your colleagues in the physics community from February 13-17, 2010 at the Washington Marriott, Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. This joint meeting will not only have everything that makes  National Meetings so great, but also feature concurrent and jointly  planned sessions with the American Physical Society (APS).


Additionally, a special joint plenary session will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13. The session will include input  from APS, AAPT, the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP).


If you are interested in reaching a large community of science educators, consider exhibiting at the 2010 APS/AAPT Joint Meeting.    http://aapt.org/Events/wm2010/exhibits.cfm


Sponsor an event.


Participate in the 2010 APS/AAPT Joint Job Fair in Washington, DC.  Register now to recruit or be recruited at this exciting event:  http://www.aapt.org/Events/wm2010/jobfair.cfm


Submit your abstracts here: http://aapt.org/Events/abstractForm.cfm
  Deadline for abstracts is December 6.


Check the events calendar for future meetings.




2010 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference


The 2010 Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) Conference will be held in Washington, DC, in conjunction with the APS "April" Meeting, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Winter Meeting, and the joint National Society of Black Physicists/National Society of Hispanic Physicists meeting. The theme will be Diversity in Physics Education: Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century. The conference will feature workshops, panels, and talks by national leaders in physics teacher education, as well as time for networking.
  Registration is now open! For more information, see www.PTEC.org/conferences/2010


Registration Deadline for Fnet=ma Exam to Participate in the U.S. Physics Team Program is January 4, 2010


The 41st International Physics Olympiad is set to take place July 17-25, 2010 in Zagreb, Croatia. Register your students now for the U.S. Physics Team selection process known as the Fnet=ma Exam. http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/registration.cfm




The 2010 Physicsbowl is fast approaching! Registration starts soon! Check  www.aapt.org/programs/contests/physicsbowl.cfm for more information.


Barbara Lotze Scholarships for Future Teachers


The  AAPT Executive Board offers two scholarships for future high school  physics teachers. These scholarships, supported by an endowment funded  by Barbara Lotze, are available only to U.S. citizens attending U.S.  schools. Undergraduate students enrolled, or planning to enroll, in  physics teacher preparation curricula and high school seniors entering  such programs are eligible. The two successful applicants will each  receive a stipend of up to $2,000. The scholarship may be granted to an  individual for each of four years.  Applications in  which all materials, including letters of recommendation, received by  the extended deadline of January 4, 2010 will be considered for  recommendation by the AAPT Executive Board at the APS/AAPT Joint Meeting in February.




Holiday Gifts from AAPT


AAPT 2010 Calendar2010 High School Physics Photo Contest Calendar


The 2010 High School Physics Photo Contest Calendar is now available. Each month   showcases one of the top 100 entries (photo and essay) from the 2009 AAPT High   School Physics Contest. This high quality calendar makes a great holiday gift   for yourself, a friend, colleague, or student. Creative as well as educational,   it's the perfect addition to any classroom. Order yours now, while supplies   last! 


Give a Physics Teacher… The Physics Teacher


…or the American Journal of Physics, or better yet, both. If you're searching for that hard-to-find holiday gift, look no further than a membership in the American Association of Physics Teachers. Perfect for a colleague, friend, or student, your thoughtfulness will last the whole year long.  Your recipient will also receive a welcome letter acknowledging your generosity as well as the 2010 AAPT High School Physics Photo Contest calendar. Act now, as these are available only while supplies last. For the gift application, visit our web site at www.aapt.org and use the following link: http://www.aapt.org/Membership/upload/GiftMembership_09.pdf. If you prefer, contact us directly by e-mail at membership@aapt.org or by phone at 301-209-3333. Happy Holidays from AAPT! 


Looking for the Perfect Gift for Your Favorite Physicist?


The Physics Store has the perfect solution, from fun physics toys to gift   books. AAPT members enjoy significant savings on everything from t-shirts to   tie pins, bubble ropes to books. Make the Physics Store your first stop for   holiday shopping this year.


AAPT Mail List (Listserv) Address Change Reminder


AAPT hosted mail lists have moved to a new server address mail.aapt.org. Please note, new messages should be sent to the correct address (e.g., your_list_name@mail.aapt.org). For more information about AAPT mail lists visit http://www.aapt.org/resources/lists.cfm and click the AAPT Guide to Email List Participation.


Donor Newsletter


AAPT established the awards program to recognize and honor those who have made highly significant contributions to the association, to physics education, and to physics research. The awards program is partly funded by donations from members of AAPT. Highlighted in this Fall Edition of the Donor Newsletter is the Melba Newell Phillips Award. Also in this  edition  is a reprint of an exceptional article about the U.S. Physics Team. See the Fall Edition of the Donor Newsletter at http://www.aapt.org/Donations/newsletter.cfm 


Physical Sciences Resource Center


comPADREThe Physical Sciences Resource Center (PSRC) is a web-based databank that provides K-20 teachers links to a wide range of teaching and learning resources in the physical sciences. All materials are classified by their grade level, topic, and activity type, and have descriptions outlining their content. Information about authors, publishers, costs, and copyright is also provided.


Educators can use the PSRC to find curriculum materials for all grade levels, classroom demonstrations, labs, online learning material, evaluation instruments, and articles about approaches to science education. The collection can be searched by keyword and author's name and organization, or browsed by topic, type of resource, or grade level.


Section News


Arkansas-Oklahoma-Kansas Section Meeting


The annual A-O-K section meeting was hosted by Kansas State University at Manhattan Kansas on Oct. 9-10th. Friday evening highlights included facility and laboratory tours of  Sorensen Laboratory, James R. Macdonald Atomic Physics Laboratory & Laser Labs, and Soft & Biological Matter Physics Laboratory. The tours were followed by the A-O-K Banquet—Mexican Fiesta Buffet, featuring introduction of the Kansas Outstanding High School Teacher Award by Tim Bolton, K-State Physics Professor. Penny Blue of Lyons High School was honored as the 2009 Kansas Science Teacher of the Year. Blue is a Physics Teacher Resource Agent (PTRA) and an active member of the Kansas State University Quarknet group at Kansas State University. Quarknet is a scientific outreach program that exposes high school teachers to contemporary topics in physics research. It is supported by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy.  Following the Banquet, Corinne Manogue, Oregon State University Physics Department, spoke on The Magic of Teaching. Nearly 45 people were in attendance for the evening events. Approximately 50 participants attended the Saturday workshops and contributed talks. The mix of participants included members from all three states, and the various instructional levels of high school, community colleges, four year colleges, and R1 universities.


Southern California Section Meeting


The Fall Meeting of the Southern California Section was held Saturday, November 14th at University of San Diego, San Diego, California. Attendees were welcomed to the meeting by the local host, Greg Severn, San Diego University Physics Department.  Approximately 50 people attended.
      The meeting began with a choice of two activities, a workshop entitled "Construction of Inexpensive Momentum and Energy Collision Carts and Track" led by Bill Layton (UCLA) and Bob Baker (University Senior High School) or a tour of the new University of San Diego science facilities. Dr. Alexander Rudolph California State Polytechnic University Pomona gave the morning invited talk, "The Effect of Interactive Instruction in the Astro 101 Classroom: Report on a National Study."   
    Dr. Greg Severn from the University of San Diego presented the afternoon invited talk "Plasma Physics from Fusion to Plasma Processing: Cool Ideas in the Physics of Hot Stuff."   The meeting also featured a panel discussion entitled, "What can we learn from initial experiences with Physics First?" The panelists were Dan Lavine  (San Diego Unified School District) and Dominic Dirksen (Steele Canyon High School, Spring Valley, California) and Bill Layton moderated.  They discussed the history of Physics First in the San Diego Unified School District.
    The ever-popular Show 'n' Tell featured demonstrations by James Lincoln, "Toy Box Physics"; Bill Layton, "Quick and Simple Energy and Momentum Collision Demonstrations"; Fred Carrington, "Build and Use a Simple Electrophorus"; and Myron Mann, "Resolution of the Human Eye and the Rayleigh Criterion."  Contributed talks were presented by George A. Kuck of California State University, Long Beach, Ertan Salilk, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and Gary Reynolds from Santa Ana High School.
    The meeting ended with their World Famous "Order of Magnitude Contest."  This meeting's question was:  "At what temperature does a body's radiance peak in the AM band?" For the winning answer and for the full report watch for the January 2010 issues of AAPT Section News.


To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org.


Computer Science Education Week


Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), December 6-12, 2009, was recently designated by the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize the transformative role of computing and the need to bolster computer science at all educational levels. The need to expose students to computer science has never been more apparent, yet there are numerous challenges in realizing this goal—particularly in K-12 education.


Working together, we can highlight how computing drives innovation, economic growth, and societal change. We can also draw attention to the need for an educational system that values computer science as a discipline and places it squarely within the national science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) conversation.  This recognition is a joint effort led by ACM with the cooperation and deep involvement of the Computer Science Teachers Association, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, the National Science Foundation, the Anita Borg Institute, and the Computing Research Association and with the strong support of Google, Inc., Intel, and Microsoft.  More information is available at www.CSedweek.org


Science Channel Announces SCI-FI Science:  Physics of the Impossible


The Science Channel is debuting a new series with Dr. Michio Kaku on Tuesday, December 1st entitled "Sci-Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible."  The new series as it is steeped in physics with Dr. Kaku interviewing some of the world's leading scientists to determine if some of the most popular ideas of science fiction—light sabers, invisibility, parallel universes, intergalactic travel, etc.—can ever become plausible reality, and how humans might go about building such things.  Learn more at http://press.discovery.com/us/sci/programs/sci-fi-science/


Knowles Science Teaching Foundation 2010 Teaching Fellowships:  Call for Applicants


Do you have a passion for teaching high school science or math?  Are you committed to becoming an outstanding professional teacher?  A Teaching Fellowship from the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation can make all the difference.  Visit their site and apply online at http://www.kstf.org/fellowships/teaching.html


ICPE November Newsletter


The November 2009 issue of the International Newsletter on Physics Education from the International Commission on Physics Education and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics is now available at: http://web.phys.ksu.edu/icpe/newsletters/n58.pdf.


Northwestern OSEP Announces New High School Lab Activities


Northwestern University's Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) announces the availability of four new high school lab activities utilizing remote online labs on http://www.iLabCentral.org, where students and teachers from around the world can access and share high-end lab equipment.


Celebrating 350th Anniversary, Britain's Royal Society Urges Wider Embrace Of Science


Britain's Royal Society is marking its 350th anniversary in 2010 by putting more than 60 of its most important scientific papers online, alongside commentaries by modern scientists.


Read more, http://trailblazing.royalsociety.org


High School Students Awarded $10K to Innovate and Improve Society


Last month, President Obama outlined a strategy for spurring technology and business innovation in the United States.  An essential element of the strategy is educating the next generation with 21st century knowledge, specifically focusing on improving K-12 STEM education and encouraging students to pursue careers in this area.  To encourage youth to pursue STEM related endeavors and embrace invention, the Lemelson-MIT Program has announced 15 teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors to participate in the 2009-2010 InvenTeam initiative.  Each team will receive up to $10,000 in grant funding to create a technological solution to a real-world problem of their choosing.  Read more at http://web.mit.edu/invent/

Welcome to ScienceWorksForUS

ScienceWorksForUS is an initiative demonstrating the impact of Recovery Act-funded university research activities across the country. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), provided some $21 billion for scientific research and development, the purchase of scientific equipment, and science-related construction.  This extraordinary investment, proposed by President Obama and enacted by Congress, is affirmation of the essential role scientific inquiry and discovery play in both short-term recovery and long-term economic growth.  This new website tracks the projects and success stories as this funding creates the well-paying jobs that will lead the American economy in the coming decades.


Year of Science 2009 Highlights

This month YOS2009 celebrates Science and Health. http://www.yearofscience2009.org/themes_health/celebrate/

Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship


The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship application period is officially open.  K-12 science, math and technology teachers are encouraged to apply for this amazing opportunity.   Einstein Fellows usually spend a school year in a professional staff position in the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives, at the Department of Energy (DOE), or at other federal agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), or the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). To apply please visit: http://www.trianglecoalition.org/fellows/einapp.htm.
    The deadline for applications is January 13, 2010.    


Erratum for 2010 Calendar, AAPT High School Physics Photo Contest.
  June 2010, The Bean - Cloud Gate. The explanation for this photo incorrectly states "Due to the liquid mercury present in the bean, the skyline is reflected."  Actually, there is no liquid mercury present in the bean, the sculpture's design has the appearance of a giant drop of liquid mercury.

AAPT on Facebook and Twitter


Are you an AAPT Facebook fan? Are you following us on Twitter? Visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Association-of-Physics-Teachers/43948086085?ref=ts and become a fan! Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/physicsteachers. Share these links with your colleagues and help spread the news!




AAPT's eNNOUNCER is a service to members of the American  Association of Physics Teachers and is produced by the AAPT National Office. All  issues are archived here.  Other stories of significance appear in our Announcements Archive and  our archive of Press  Releases. E-mail suggestions, news items, comments, and unsubscribe requests to: aapt-news@aapt.org
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Links to non-AAPT sites are intended as a service to readers interested  in AAPT, physics, and education. These links do not reflect an endorsement of  any content or product. Also, due to the evolving nature of websites, some  external links referenced in the eNNOUNCER may expire over time.
Thanks for  your readership and your support of AAPT.
Copyright © 2009, American Association of Physics  Teachers

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