eNNOUNCER January 2018


AAPT Board Appoints Tom O'Kuma as Treasurer

The AAPT Board of Directors has announced the resignation of Steve Turley as Treasurer and the appointment of Tom O'Kuma to serve as Treasurer until the next election. AAPT congratulates Steve Turley on his new position with the National Science Foundation. We extend our gratitude to Steve Turley for his past service and thank Tom O'Kuma for his acceptance of this commitment to serve.

AAPT 2016 Annual Report

The AAPT 2016 Annual Report is now live on AAPT.ORG.

2017 AAPT Area Committee of the Year

The 2017 Area committee of the Year is: The Committee on Educational Technologies.  Statements made in support of this choice include:  The committee developed and disseminated several online documents for other Committees, including a Google doc for workshop and session sponsorships to be used prior to Programs 2, and materials to assist Area Chairs in their work. They also experimented with innovative session formats in an effort to enhance session attendance, and have addressed the timely issue of computational methods. Additionally, they have established ongoing, strong collaborations with other committees.

2018 Meeting of Members

The 2018 Meeting of Members will be held during the National Meeting in San Diego on Sunday, January 7th, at 8:30 PM PST. Additional information including an agenda and the 2017 Meeting of Members can be found on the meeting website

2018 Winter Meeting

Join your colleagues at the 2018 AAPT Winter Meeting in San Diego, California January 6-9, featuring joint programming with the National Society of Hispanic Physicists. Surround yourself with physics educators from around the globe and develop and strengthen professional connections. Hear from internationally known plenary speakers and attend sessions, workshops and special activities designed with you in mind! Don't miss this opportunity to share your expertise and learn from and network with leaders in the field.

High School Teachers' Day
A special day has been prepared on Sunday, January 7 for high school physics teachers that have never attended a national AAPT Meeting. Qualified teachers will receive a discounted registration fee of $85. We are offering this special registration fee, because we want to encourage you to sample what AAPT has to offer high school physics teachers. We are confident that once you see what AAPT has to offer, you will become an active AAPT member. Please click here for more information.

Two-Year College Day
At the winter meeting in San Diego, AAPT will be launching its first ever Two Year College Day on Monday, January 8th! TYC faculty who have never attended a national AAPT Meeting will be able to receive a discounted one day registration fee of $85. We are offering this special registration fee because we want you to be a part of the rich conversations on physics teaching and education with colleagues from High Schools, other TYCs, and Colleges and Universities from around the world. AAPT benefits from the diverse experience and expertise of its members and we want to provide this opportunity for you to sample all that AAPT has to offer. Please click here for more information.

2018 Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT Announced

AAPT has announced that Jon Anderson , Nancy Easterly, Mary Ann Hickman Klassen, Daniel Schroeder and Steve Spicklemire will receive the association's Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT, during the 2018 Winter Meeting in San Diego, California.

Free To a Good Home - AJP, TPT, and EJP issues

Are you interested in paper or bound copies of AJP, TPT, or the European Journal of Physics (EJP)? David Jackson, past AJP editor, has a nearly complete set of AJP issues (approximately 12 boxes), bound issues of AJP from 2001 to 2016 (approximately 3 boxes), and a large number of issues of TPT and EJP (about 10 boxes total). If you are interested and will pay the cost to pack and ship or pick up these journals at Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA), please email the AAPT Executive Office at eo@aapt.org

AAPT members and others receiving bogus messages is increasing

Please be aware that incidents of AAPT members and others receiving bogus messages is increasing. Recently, the AAPT Executive Office was informed by several individuals that they received a bogus message from a current Board of Directors member. This message was not sent by or on behalf of AAPT. If you received a copy of this message or any other suspicious message do not open it or click on links within. If the message looks like it originates from AAPT but does not have an aapt.org email address, then delete it immediately. However, if you have already opened the email and/or clicked on a link within a suspicious message consider taking the following actions as a precaution:
1. Change your email account password.
2. Run a malware and/or anti-virus scan on your computer.
3. Consider changing the passwords of your other online accounts, especially those connected to financial institutions.
4. Report the threat potential to your contacts and the IT department at your institution.
As always, please feel free to contact us at headquarters ( eo@aapt.org, 301.209.3333) if you have any questions.

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

PTRAs have been busy providing PD for their physics peers during the Fall of 2017 at section meetings, state science conferences, as well as other venues such as the Math for America program. PTRAs have worked with K-12 teachers on a variety of topics including forces, electricity, waves, and quantum technology.

Summer 2018 workshops are being planned and will include two week long workshops in Texas. These workshops will focus on current topics of interest such as gravitational waves, black holes, quantum technology, and wave particle duality. For more information on these or other workshops follow us on Facebook or go to the website: aaptptra.com.

We have partnerships with several universities and districts across the country to provide PD for local K-16 educators, so contact us if you see a need in your area that PTRA can fulfill.

If you would like to be a PTRA, we encourage you to apply for the 2018 summer leadership institute to be held July 25-28. Applications will be available on the aaptptra.com website in January and are open to master teachers and university faculty.


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

The next Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop will be held June 25-28, 2018 in College Park, MD. In mid-January, department chairs will receive an email notification with information about nominating their new faculty members for the workshop.

2018 PhysTEC Conference

February 9 - 10, 2018 - The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) Conference is the nation’s largest meeting dedicated to the education of future physics teachers. It features workshops on best practices, panel discussions by national leaders, and excellent networking opportunities for physics teacher educators. The registration and abstract submission deadline is January 18. Learn more.

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

Katya Denisova
STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools
Baltimore, MD
Read more

Caballero Receives Distinquished Teaching Award

Michigan State University assistant professor Marcos Caballero has been chosen as the recipient of the 2018 MSU President’s Distinguished Teaching Award.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. Click here to complete the survey. You will need your AAPT ID number. 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.

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).

Enhancing Undergraduate Physics Programs at HSIs

The Conference on Enhancing Undergraduate Physics Programs at HSIs (Hispanic-Serving Institutions) will be held 2:00 – 8:00 pm, Friday, January 5, 2018 at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego (site of the AAPT 2018 Winter Meeting, which begins on January 6). The conference will focus on ways to recruit and retain physics students at HSIs and how to reduce barriers for student success. To register for the HSI Conference, go to www.aapt.org/Conferences and click on Registration.

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

Computational Modeling with Pyret

Thursday, 25 January
8 PM ET (Washington, DC)

Join the conversation in the upcoming webinar on computational modeling in a physics classroom with AAPT member Melissa Girmscheid. Learn the value and potential of computational modeling as it can be employed to add another dimension of representation to students’ repertoire. Since it involves using smaller operations, students are able to examine interactions that may otherwise be too mathematically complex. With the greater demand for computer science education and technology integration in the classroom, computational modeling through the web-based platform Pyret is an easy fit into the physics classroom, requiring no extra equipment beyond computers. Participants will learn how the presenter is using computational modeling in her physics classroom and the future plans for this new instructional tool.

Register for this webinar here


In the News

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. Our new promotion video has just been released, which can be found on our website as well as in the following CERN channels:
Twitter link
Youtube link

Active Learning in Introductory Physics Courses: Research-Based Strategies that Improve Student Learning

June 19-21, 2018, Portland, Oregon

Designed for those who teach introductory physics at universities, colleges and high schools. Graduate credit will be available through the University of Oregon.*

Instructors: David Sokoloff, University of Oregon and Ronald Thornton, Tufts University

Participants will be introduced to research-validated, classroom-tested strategies for each component of the introductory course that have been demonstrated to improve learning. These include Interactive Lecture Demonstration (ILDs), RealTime Physics (RTP) labs, Collaborative Problem-Solving Tutorials, Workshop Physics (WP), Physics with Video Analysis (PVA), and related online video analysis exercises. The course will also include the use of video analysis to identify analytic functions describing real data. Among other more recent developments are (1) 3rd ed. RTP E & M labs using video analysis, (2) ILDs using clickers, (3) online homework using Interactive Video Vignettes (IVVs), and (4) distance learning and in class labs using the self-contained, wireless IOLab (or other wireless data acquisition devices). Topics will be chosen from both semesters of introductory physics. Research on the effectiveness of these strategies will also be discussed.

Click here for more information and to register

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

APS NMC Bringing Emergency Aid to Mentees

The APS National Mentoring Community (NMC) will now offer funds to NMC Mentees who are facing financial emergencies. The NMC Bringing Emergency Aid to Mentees (BEAM) fund will provide up to $1,500 to NMC Mentees who find themselves facing an economic hardship that could prevent them from continuing their physics studies and earning their degree. For more information about fund eligibility and details, visit the NMC BEAM website.

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

Director, Interdisciplinary Science Learning Laboratories (ISLL)
The University of Delaware
Click here for job description

Physics Instructor and Laboratory Coordinator Position
University of the Sciences, Non-Tenure USciences
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

Alabama Section
Jan 27, 2018 - Jan 27, 2018
Spring Meeting
James Clemens High School
Madison, AL
Email: Tammy Simons  or Tommi Holsenbeck  


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© 2017, American Association of Physics Teachers

In this issue


Featured Journal Articles

The Physics Teacher


Defining Electric Potential Difference by Moving a Multimeter’s Ground Probe

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American Journal of Physics


Revisiting the round bottom flask rainbow experiment

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