eNNOUNCER February 2018


Gordon P. Ramsey Becomes President of AAPT

During the 2018 Winter Meeting in San Diego, California, the presidential gavel was presented to Gordon P. Ramsey. He will serve as president of the American Association of Physics Teachers for the coming year. Ramsey, Professor of Physics at Loyola University, Chicago, has previously served on the AAPT Board of Directors as President-elect and Vice President. From 2007-2010 he served at the At-Large Representative for 4-year College Members on the Executive Board. Read More

Enter the 2018 AAPT Apparatus Competition

The AAPT Apparatus Competition is held each year at the Summer Meeting, this year in Washington DC . There are two main categories, Low Cost and Unlimited. Pasco has again graciously sponsored the prizes, $1000 for First Place. The Application Deadline is June 15, 2018. Please consider entering one or more of your Physics Apparatus in the competition.

The entry form is located at aapt.org/Programs/contests/upload/entryform.

The rules and other information can be found at

2018 Summer Meeting

SM18 Abstract Submissions
AAPT is now accepting abstracts for speaking and poster engagements at the 2018 AAPT Summer Meeting in Washington, DC. The first priority deadline is February 21, 2018. Anything received after this date will be considered post-deadline and scheduled in the last session on the last day of the meeting.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to present your research and share your teaching methods with other physics educators from around the globe.

• Click here to submit an abstract

• Click here to view the SM18 "Call for Papers"

SM18 Hotel Information
The Renaissance Washington DC is now accepting reservations for the 2018 AAPT Summer Meeting. Please click here for more information.

eAlliances: Uniting Isolated Women Physicists and Astronomers

Everyone needs mentors, but how do you find other women physicists who understand your experience-- as the only Hispanic in the department, the only PER researcher, the only full-time physicist at your TYC, the only one who brings a newborn in a sling to department meetings? Join eAlliances, an NSF-sponsored faculty development project for women physics faculty, and become part of a peer-mentoring alliance with other women who share many of your same experiences.

Why me?

• Connect with other women physicists and astronomers
• Get and give advice and affirmation
• Gather a variety of insights to help you address professional issues
• Address work-life balance issues
• Receive encouragement and support in achieving your goals

This is professional development for your career stage: whether you are teaching your first or hundredth section of intro physics; mentoring your first or hundredth research associate, or leading your first or hundredth committee meeting. Someone else has a similar experience and can share insights, frustrations, and successes.

To join: Register at eAlliances.aapt.org

PTRA Program

For the first time, the 2018 summer PTRA leadership institute will accept applications from university and college faculty as well as high school teachers. The partnership between PTRA and university and college faculty has been an important component of outreach to K-12 teachers and we look forward to building new partnerships with others who focus on helping serve the K-16 physics community. The summer leadership institute will be held prior to the AAPT meeting in Washington, DC. Applications will open around Feb. 1 and will be posted at aaptptra.com.

Looking for waves to bring recent gravity wave discoveries to your students? PTRA has partnered with the Perimeter Institute and the Institute for Quantum Computing for the past several years in an effort to develop quality materials that can be used in the classroom to help students understand challenging topics such as quantum technology, wave particle duality, and gravitational waves. These topics will be the focus for two summer workshops in Texas. For more information visit our website or Facebook.


AAPT Programs

Physics Department Chairs Conference

The biennial Physics Department Chairs Conference will be held June 7-9, 2018 at the American Center for Physics in College Park, MD. Details of the conference will be available early in 2018 at www.aps.org/programs/education.

Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop

Nominations are now open for the Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop, to be held at the American Center for Physics, June 25-28, 2018. Department chairs should nominate their new faculty online as soon as possible and certainly before February 23.

PhysTEC Teacher of the Year - Now Accepting Nominations

The PhysTEC Teacher of the Year program aims to recognize outstanding high school physics teachers and to demonstrate the impact and value of physics teacher preparation programs at PhysTEC member institutions (PhysTEC membership is free!). Learn more and nominate a physics teacher today.

PICUP Workshop on Integrating Computation into Undergraduate Physics Courses

July 15-20, 2018

The Partnership for Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP), an informal group of physics faculty from around the country, is committed to building a community of STEM educators dedicated to integrating computation into the undergraduate curriculum. Towards this end, PICUP invites all physics faculty to consider attending the Summer Faculty Development Workshop to be held on the campus of the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, from Sunday, July 15 through Friday, July 20, 2018. The purpose of this week-long workshop is to guide participants in developing their own computational educational materials, and in formulating a plan for implementing these materials in their upcoming courses. All local expenses will be covered for participants at the River Falls Workshop, and there may be some limited funding for round-trip travel to River Falls.

Go to www.gopicup.org for more details on this workshop and other PICUP events.

Building Thriving Programs Workshop

The Building Thriving Programs Workshop will be held February 10-11, 2018 in College Park, MD. Experienced faculty from departments that have recently seen large increases in their majors will facilitate workshop activities in small groups and present information on their own experiences through plenaries and case study talks. Institutions are invited to send teams of 2-4 faculty members to analyze their current departmental situation and decide how to take actions that will help them sustainably achieve their goals. Physics departments like yours, have found previous workshops a valuable resource for increasing their numbers of majors.

2018 AAPT PhysicsBowl Registration Open!

Registration is now open for the 2018 AAPT PhysicsBowl Contest taking place March 28 - April 13, 2018. Read more

Gordon Conference on Physics Research and Education on "Energy as a Subtle Concept"

June 10-15 2018
Bryant University - Smithfield, RI

This Gordon Research Conference seeks to bring together physics research scientists and physics education researchers for discussions, talks and posters on how energy is taught within the undergraduate curriculum, and howcutting edge research is allowing educators to consider new methods and models for teaching energy concepts. The format of the Gordon Research conferences (maximum 200 attendees, off the record policy, all plenary sessions, small campus location, and afternoons off for discussion) promote conversation, collaboration, and community building. Registration is now open.

AAPT Membership

AAPT Member Spotlight

Cathy Ezrailson
University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD
Read more

Make Your Voice Heard - Complete the Member Survey

If you have not already done so, please take a moment to complete our brief 15-question Membership Survey. Your input will help us with our continuing effort to improve the quality of the AAPT member experience. If you haven't already taken the survey, please do so by using the survey link that you recently received by email. Thank you for your continuing support of AAPT.

Membership Renewal

We appreciate our community of members, and we are here to serve you. If you have any difficulties renewing your membership or have any membership-related questions, please do not hesitate to contact us in the Membership Department at 301.209.3333 or membership@aapt.org.

AAPT/AIP Master Teacher Policy Fellowship

The AAPT and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) seek applicants for this recently-funded fellowship, supported by the AIP Venture Partnership Fund. The purpose of this fellowship is to engage current and recent K-12 classroom teachers of physics and physical science (including elementary teachers) as agents of change in physics education. Funding will be provided for travel, meals, and accommodations necessary for two summer workshops in Washington, DC.

Click here to learn more and apply by February 28.

Computational Modeling in Physics First with Bootstrap Workshop

Teachers of Physics First courses are invited to join the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA), and Bootstrap's Pyret team for a 2-week professional development workshop in Chicago from July 9-20, 2018. This training workshop will introduce physics teachers to computational modeling as one of many ways to represent and deepen understanding about physics concepts, alongside more traditional representations such as graphs, equations, diagrams, and verbal descriptions. Funding available for commuters as well as participants nation-wide. No prior experience in programming or Modeling Instruction is required to participate in this workshop.

Click here to learn more and apply by February 28.

Looking for Input from Early Career AAPT Members

Are you currently in the first 5 years of your teaching career, either in K-12 or higher education (i.e., two-year college, primarily undergraduate university, comprehensive, or research university)? AAPT is interested in putting together a small group of early career members with whom we can discuss the daily challenges you face, as well as areas where AAPT could provide support and resources that will aid you in your career. This group would primarily meet via web/conference call, or potentially face-to-face at AAPT national meetings. If you are interested, please contact Mike Hall (301.209.3333, mhall@aapt.org).

Applications Now Being Accepted for Jossem Fund Grants

Applications are currently being accepted for the E. Leonard Jossem Fund. The E. Leonard (Len) Jossem International Education Fund provides grants to individuals in support of international programs dealing with teaching and learning of physics. The fund will be available for two different categories:

Collaborations between U.S. and developing countries. Funding should facilitate interactions and exchanges of ideas between U.S. physics educators and/or students and those in developing countries.

International meetings and conferences focused on physics education. Meetings and conferences should involve direct contact between physics educators and furnish the interactions that stimulate new ideas and lasting collaborations. Students and faculty with limited resources can apply for funding to attend international meetings and conferences.

The Jossem Fund invites applications from physics educators who are AAPT members at any academic stage or rank. Only AAPT members may apply. Awards will range from $200 to $2,000. Applications must be received by late spring or early summer (deadline is the same as the Special Projects Fund) for consideration during the 2018 fiscal year. Applications will be reviewed by the Special Projects and Philanthropy Committee. Click here for more information.

Call for Award Nominations

The AAPT Awards Committee invites nominations for all of AAPT awards, citations, and medals. We are particularly interested in nominations for AAPT Fellows and for the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT.

Concerned about the Future of Science?

Stay informed with FYI: Science Policy News from AIP. Your membership with AAPT makes it possible for AIP to provide accurate, objective, and comprehensive updates on science policy and funding.

FYI has been a trusted source of science policy news for more than two decades. Readers learn about legislative and executive branch policy developments, agency appointments, and funding important to the physical sciences community. By staying informed about policy developments, we can better shape the future of science. Sign up for free at: aip.org/fyi.

On the Shoulders of Giants: Pathways of Teacher Leaders

Thursday, 22 February
8 PM ET (Washington, DC)

Join the conversations in the upcoming webinar on physics teacher leadership. AAPT members and veteran physics teachers, Alice Flarend and Josh Underwood, will discuss their respective journeys into teacher leadership, highlighting the similarities, differences, challenges and positive student impacts of their different paths. This information will then be connected to AAPT’s Aspiring to Lead report, putting a human face on this effort to increase teacher leadership. Participants will be inspired to further their own teacher leadership efforts and learn methods to help them do so.
Register for this webinar.


In the News

Register Your Students for the USA Astronomy & Astrophysics Olympiad!

Registration for the First Round of the 2018 USAAAO is now open at www.jinaweb.org until February 7th at 11:59 PM EST.

The USA Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad selects and trains a team of students each year to attend the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. Selection exams will cover a broad variety of topics from cosmology to observational astronomy. Anyone is welcome to participate, however only US citizens or permanent resident to qualify for the team.

All students must be registered by a teacher who will proctor the exam for them. Please register all your students together by February 7th at 11:59 PM EST.

Check out https://usaaao.org/resources/ to see what kinds of things might appear on an exam. See https://usaaao.org/about/ to learn more about the USAAAO. Email info@usaaao.org if you have any questions.

The Physics of Atomic Nuclei Program

The Physics of Atomic Nuclei (PAN) free residential summer program for high school students is now accepting applications for summer 2018. PAN participants will learn about scientific research in nuclear astrophysics through conducting their own experiments, as well as the impact of nuclear science and its applications for society. The student programs will run from June 24-29 at University of Notre Dame and July 22-27 at Michigan State University. Applications are due by March 30. To learn more and fill out an online application, visit www.jinaweb.org.

Beamline for Schools

This initiative offers high-school students from around the world the opportunity to use a fully equipped beamline at the world's largest accelerator complex to run the students' proposed experiments. The new promotion video has just been released, which can be found on the Beamline website as well as in the following CERN channels:
Twitter link
Youtube link

CPEP Award for Excellence in Teaching Contemporary Physics

The Contemporary Physics Education Project (CPEP) has established the international CPEP Award for Excellence in Teaching Contemporary Physics to recognize an educator working with high school or middle school students, who has made outstanding achievements in teaching contemporary physics topics. Contemporary physics topics include, but are not limited to, particle physics, nuclear physics, plasma physics, cosmology, fusion physics, and gravitational waves. Please see CPEPphysics.org for more details on these topics. Any educator who teaches high school or middle school students (grades 6-12) and who has never been a member of CPEP is eligible.

Teachers should download the application at cpepphysics.org/teacher-award. A completed PDF application and recommendation letters should be emailed to awards@CPEPphysics.org. Applications must be received by March 1, 2018 and will be considered for three award cycles. Late applications will not be accepted. Upon receipt, all applications become the property of CPEP and will not be returned.

STEMcoding project releases "Physics of Video Games" Hour of Code activity

Until recently, the world's most popular K12 computer science website, hourofcode.com, did not have any physics-focused coding activities. This has changed with the "Physics of Video Games" Hour of Code video tutorial from the STEMcoding project (u.osu.edu/stemcoding), which was just released on hourofcode.com/learn. The direct link to the video tutorial is at go.osu.edu/hourofcode. The "Physics of Video Games" coding activities are intended for absolute beginner programmers in grades 9-12 and they were designed with significant feedback from high school physics teachers. The STEMcoding project, which was recently selected for the AIP Meggers award, is led by Prof. Chris Orban from Ohio State University and Prof. Richelle Teeling-Smith from the University of Mt. Union. For more info contact Prof. Chris Orban at orban@physics.osu.edu.

Arizona State University Master of Natural Science Degree for High School Teachers

Arizona State University has an interdisciplinary Master of Natural Science (MNS) degree in physics for high school teachers. Courses are in summer, and the degree is founded on Modeling instruction. Teachers in 15 western states can apply for IN-STATE tuition; the deadline is APRIL 1.
Click here for details.
Click here for more information.

Help students find the right grad program. Tell them about GradSchoolShopper.com

Advise your students in the new year to check out GradSchoolShopper.com, the most complete directory of graduate programs in the physical sciences.With new 2018 department data, students headed for graduate school can use this free service to search by degree programs, admission deadlines, research specialties, faculty profiles, GRE requirements, and more! If your program isn’t listed, contact us to find out how to have it included.

Highly Trained STEM Teachers Needed to Boost America's Global Competitiveness, According to New Study

The United States' global competitiveness is at risk as the nation confronts persistent shortages of STEM teachers. More than half of all high school physics teachers lacked certification in the discipline in 2012, for example. As a result, students who are interested in STEM careers find themselves ill prepared to compete in an increasingly highly technical workforce.

A new study by the American Physical Society, in collaboration with the American Chemical Society, Computing Research Association, and Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership, addresses the reasons why STEM students shy away from teaching as a career and offers ways to counter the trend. Download the full report at www.aps.org/policy/reports.

The International Conference on Physics Education (ICPE)

Johannesburg, South Africa. October 1-5, 2018

The International Conference on Physics Education (ICPE) will be held October 1-5, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The theme of the conference is: “Physics Education for Development: a focus on context”. The main objective is to create a platform to facilitate the interaction of various stakeholders that includes physics educators, postgraduate students, teachers, researchers and policy makers working in physics education research and in physics education, from schools, colleges, universities and governments from all parts of the world.

The program will include a wide spectrum of presentations including keynote speakers, single and symposium oral presentations, posters and workshops. The conference will be held at the Misty Hills Hotel and Conference Centre, close to the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site and the famous Pilanesberg National Park. Click here for more information.

Workshop on Women and Minorities in the History of Physics, Role Models for Today

Dr. Greg Good, Director of the Center for the History of Physics, is eager to provide workshops at AAPT Section Meetings and elsewhere on Women and Minorities in the History of Physics. Teachers will be introduced to the teaching materials on the AIP website related to the history of women and minorities in the physical sciences. The purpose of these materials is to help students appreciate that not only white males have contributed to the development of physics, astronomy, and other physical sciences. On the flip side, there have been many more women than Marie Curie and many more African Americans than Benjamin Banneker and Jim Gates who have had successful careers in the physical sciences. We will explore several of the lesson plans in each group and explore games and other activities to bring these lessons to life. For more information, please contact Dr. Greg Good.

American Modeling Teachers Association

Modeling Instruction was developed for high school physics teachers and has since expanded to physical science, chemistry, biology, and middle school. Each year, Modeling workshops are held at universities and high schools across the United States. Last year, more than 60 Modeling workshops were offered to high school and middle school teachers in more than 20 states. AMTA also offers online courses during the school year.

For information on 2018 Modeling Workshops, please visit the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) website: modelinginstruction.org For questions: wendy@modelinginstruction.org or gheheman@asu.edu


Physics Careers

Recruit STEM interns from the best job sites for FREE!

The AAPT Career Center offers no-cost postings to employers recruiting seasonal interns. Locate the best fit for your organization by reaching the future of the science community - the AAPT membership, as well as the members and student members of the American Physical Society (APS Physics), AVS Science and Technology, and the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma. Get the word out! Your posting will also appear on the Physics Today Jobs site, which when combined with the job sites of the organizations mentioned above forms the ultimate online science, engineering, and computing career network, ensuring maximum relevant visibility for your internship. Visit jobs.aapt.org to get posting!

Jobs Announcements from the Career Center

Physics/Astronomy Instructor - Full-time, Tenure-track
College of Marin
Click here for job description

Assistant Professor (tenure-track) - Physics
Concord University
Click here for job description


More Physics Resources

Social Media @ AAPT

AAPT wants to connect with you on social media! Stay abreast of the latest AAPT and physics-related news. We invite you to like us, follow us, connect with us, and pin us. You can find us here:
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Section News

Please submit your Section Report for the AAPT Section News. To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mhall@aapt.org. See the July 2017 Section News.

Section Meetings

Southern Ohio Section
Feb 10, 2018 - Feb 10, 2018
Spring Meeting & joint meeting with Ohio Modeling Instruction community's "Modelpalooza"
New Albany High School
New Albany, OH
Email: Kathy Harper  

North Carolina Section
Feb 23, 2018 - Feb 24, 2018
Spring Meeting
Edgecombe Community College
Tarboro, NC
Email: Denise Wetli  


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Visualizing Sound Directivity via Smartphone Sensors

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Positive and negative birefringence of materials in microwave region

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