eNNOUNCER March 2011

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eNNOUNCER March 2011 Online Version

AAPT Letter to U.S. Senators in Support of Science Education Funding

AAPT's Executive Officer, Beth Cunningham, acting on behalf of the organization, joined other leaders in the scientific community in writing a letter of opposition to the House continuing resolution for FY2011 (H.R. 1) that would make deep cuts to the NSF, DOE Office of Science, NIST core programs, and other science agencies. The letter notes that, "Congress took a very important step for our nation's future by reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act in 2010, reaffirming its commitment to the science and innovation essential to long-term economic growth. We urge you now to continue implementation of funding and to reject the cuts to research and STEM education adopted by the House in H.R. 1."
AAPT members are urged to take action by reaching out to Congressional representatives and other leaders who can influence appropriate budget cuts and to educate policy makers about the negative impacts of the types of cuts the House currently proposes. There are 110 new members of Congress, many of whom might not understand what cuts to science programs can mean for their particular state or district. As constituents, each of us has the opportunity to reach out to our congressional representatives with specific concerns about those cuts. Due to the nature of this type of budgeting process, specific data about any particular grant or institution may not be available, and this uncertainty can be a challenge. Nevertheless, you can speak about the passion you have for your work and what it means to you as a citizen and member of the science community.

2011 Summer Meeting in Omaha, NE

Pre-Conference Workshop
Using Astronomy to Teach Physics
July 27–30, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Fifty astronomers and physicists will work together to identify materials derived from astronomy, astrophysics, and space science suitable to use in physics instruction. They will propose actions to produce useful teaching materials and suggest strategies to encourage their use in physics courses.

Summer Meeting Highlights
July 30 – August 3, Omaha, Nebraska

Strategies to Help Women Succeed In Physics Related Professions
This workshop was specifically cited by a 2010 Summer attendee as having provided her the strategy that allowed her to negotiate at 6.4% increase in base pay for her first position after graduating with a BS in physics. Talk about taking your career to the next level!
Teaching Physics for the 1st or 50th Time
Physics Union Mathematics for Middle and High School

Don't Put That Phone Away: Personal Electronics in the Classroom
The Big Bang Effect: Representation of Physicists in Popular Culture
The Physics of Sports
Energy and the Environment
Educating the Larger Public about Science: Lessons from Public Institutions

Special Events
Cracker-Barrel—New Methods of Teacher Evaluation
Plenary—Jim Stith, Reaching Out to the Public - A Necessary Dialogue
Plenary—APS Division of Condensed Matter Physics: Frontiers of Nanoscience with Barbara Jones and Jeremy Levy.
If you attended the Richtmeyer Lecture in Jacksonville you already saw some of Barbara Jones' amazing images of a quantum corral.

Abstract deadline is March 21, 2011. Submit your abstract.

"Call for Papers" Physics and Society Education
Do you have suggestions about including such topics as environment, energy, nuclear weapons, over-population, the scientific process, or pseudocscience in introductory or public school physics courses? If so, please tell us about them by contributing a paper. This session will feature two invited talks on communicating science to the public using the arts and entertainment, followed by up to six contributed 10-minute talks on physics and society education.

Visit AAPT in San Francisco!

March 10-12, 2011 AAPT will participate in the exhibit show at the NSTA National Conference in San Francisco. Please visit booth #2440 and explore our exciting selection of resources and publications designed to strengthen and support your physics instruction. Don’t forget to pick up some exciting giveaways and enter to win the AAPT gift basket.

PhysicsBowl Registration Deadline is March 11, 2011

Register online now.
Each year, approximately 10,000 students take a 40-question, 45-minute timed, multiple-choice test under their school’s supervision. The 2011 exam will be given between March 30 and April 13, 2011. Exam questions are based on topics and concepts covered in a typical high school physics course.

  • T-shirts awarded to the five top students in the top scoring school in each region
  • Certificate of Participation provided as a printable PDF for all teachers and students competing
  • Additional awards to be announced

Barbara Lotze Scholarship Winners Announced

The Barbara Lotze Scholarship Committee today announced that the current scholarships will be awarded to Erin Grace and Mitchell Ambrose. Honorable Mentions are Marissa Espina and Sarah Prill.
The AAPT Executive Board offers 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. Successful applicants receive a stipend of up to $2,000. The scholarship may be granted to an individual for each of four years.

2011 High School Physics Photo Contest

Entries are now being accepted for the popular High School Physics Photo Contest sponsored by Vernier! The contest is open to high school students in grades 9-12 (or equivalent international grade level). Photos may be entered in one of two categories: Natural and Contrived. Submit your entries online today!

On the Road to Bangkok: U.S. Physics Team Semifinalists Announced

Great physics educators inspire the best high school minds in the United States and some of the best high school educators are listed, together with their students, at http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2011/info.cfm. AAPT has announced the top students chosen to advance to the Semifinal round of U.S. Physics Team selection. Approximately 3,000 students participated in this first phase of the selection process, the Fnet=ma Exam, in January. The Semifinalists will participate in a second examination during March. Top scorers in the second exam will become the 2011 U.S. Physics Team.

"Big Questions" STEM from Project Kaleidoscope Partnership

AAPT is partnering with four other disciplinary societies and Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) on a new project "Mobilizing Disciplinary Societies on Behalf of our Students… and our Planet" supported by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. The project's focus is to increase student learning in undergraduate STEM courses and better prepare them for the real-world, 21st century, "Big Questions" that relate to real-world issues such as energy, air and water quality, and climate change. For more information about this project, see http://www.aacu.org/pkal/mobilizing/index.cfm. AAPT is looking for members from two-year and four-year colleges and universities to help with this project. If you are interested in contributing to this project, please contact Executive Officer Beth Cunningham at bcunningham@aapt.org.

PKAL 20th Anniversary Essays

An article about disciplinary societies' role in transforming STEM education by Warren Hein (AAPT Executive Officer Emeritus) and Bob Hilborn (Professor and Program Head, Science/Mathematics Education Program, University of Texas at Dallas) has recently been posted on the Project Kaleidoscope web page in celebration of its 20th anniversary. To view a copy of this article titled "Undergraduate Physics 1990–2010: The Role of Disciplinary Societies" and others, please see http://www.aacu.org/pkal/twentiethanniversaryessays.cfm.

AAPT/PTRA Program Recognized as APS 2011 Excellence in Physics Education Award Recipient

The American Physical Society announced that the AAPT Physics Teaching Resource Agents Program has been awarded the 2011 Excellence in Physics Education Award. George Amann, Lawrence Bader, Robert Clark, Jan Mader, Karen Jo Mastler, and Jim Nelson have been invited to represent PTRA and receive the award during the April 2011 APS meeting.
The Award was established to recognize and honor a team or group of individuals (such as a collaboration), or exceptionally a single individual, who have exhibited a sustained commitment to excellence in physics education. It consists of $5,000 and a certificate. The citation on the certificate reads as follows:
"For providing peer-led professional development for 25 years to more than 5000 physics and physical science teachers nationwide through a network of more than 500 master teachers."
Read the APS Press Release

Why Take Physics?7 Myths About High School Physics

Produced by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the American Physical Society (APS), and the Society of Physics Students (SPS), this handsome brochure dispels the popular myths associated with taking physics in high school. The 7 Myths About High School Physics brochure is intended to help inform guidance counselors, parents, students, and others about the benefits of taking physics in high school.
Download the brochure here.

"All students should have the chance to spark their curiosity with physics."

Registration Now Open: 2011 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference

Plenary speaker: Carl Weiman
The 2011 Physics Teacher Coalition (PhysTEC) Conference will be held May 23-24 at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, TX, and will focus on Building Sustainable Teacher Education Programs. It features workshops, panel discussions and presentations by national leaders as well as excellent networking opportunities. This year's conference will be held jointly with the UTeach-NMSI Institute Annual Conference being held May 24-26. PhysTEC conference attendees are invited to attend the UTeach conference at a reduced rate. Learn more and register at http://www.ptec.org/conferences/2011/

Two-Year College New Faculty Experience

AAPT presents an 18-month experience designed specifically for Two-Year College Physics Faculty in their first five years of teaching.
For more information and an application please visit our website at http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/newfaculty/tyc.cfm

Are You a New Physics Teacher? Could You Use a Little Help?

eMentoring logoThe AAPT ementoring program is designed to connect pre-college physics educators in need of additional guidance with experienced pre-college physics educators. Learn more at http://ementoring.aapt.org.

Need a Great Science Intern?

The AAPT Career Center is now offering a FREE online-only posting to employers recruiting seasonal interns. Get the word out and reach the future of the science community—AAPT's membership, as well as the members and student members of APS, AVS, and the IEEE Computer Society (if a computer-related internship). Your intern posting will also appear on the Physics Today Jobs site. Login to or create your Employer account at http://careers.aapt.org/hr/index.cfm to get started. Free posting valid on 60-day internship postings ONLY. "Internship" Job Level must be selected when posting to access this offer.


comPADRE Adopt-a-Physicist connects high school physics students to people with bachelors degrees or higher in physics via online discussion forums. Through their interactions, students can find out about the careers, educational backgrounds, and lives of current physicists.
The goal of the project is to expose high school physics students to the range of careers open to people with degrees in physics, advance the dialogue between the physics and the high school education communities, and introduce physicists and teachers to the ComPADRE network and its resources.

Professional Development Opportunities for Physics Teachers

If you're looking for a way to enhance your teaching skills or gain some research experience, check out the PTEC.org professional development opportunity map at http://www.ptec.org/pd/. This interactive google map provides information about Research Experiences for Teachers, Department of Energy, Modeling Workshops, PTRA programs, QuarkNet sites, and other opportunities from around the country. The map was created by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition, a collaboration between AAPT and the American Physical Society.

Featured Journal Articles

American Journal of Physics

Resource Letter NO-1: Nonlinear Optics
Elsa Garmire
This Resource Letter provides a guide to the literature on nonlinear optics. Books, journals, and websites are introduced that cover the general subject.

The Physics Teacher

How Rosalind Franklin Discovered the Helical Structure of DNA: Experiments in Diffraction
Rosalind Franklin, a chemical physicist (1920–1958), used x‐ray diffraction to determine the structure of DNA. What exactly could she read out from her x‐ray pattern? In lecture notes dated November 1951, R. Franklin wrote the following: "The results suggest a helical structure (which must be very closely packed) containing 2, 3 or 4 co‐axial nucleic acid chains per helical unit, and having the phosphate groups near the outside." This was 16 months before J. D. Watson and F. Crick published their description of DNA, which was based on R. Franklin's x‐ray photos. How they gained access to her x‐ray photos is a fascinating tale of clashing personalities and male chauvinism.

Physics Store Features

The Isaac Newton School of Driving

The Isaac Newton School of DrivingAt the Isaac Newton school of driving every car is a laboratory on wheels and every drive an exciting journey into the world of physics. The first lesson from author Barry Parker, describes the basic physics of driving: speed and acceleration; why you get thrown forward while braking or outward while turning; and why car advertisements boast about horsepower and torque. Whether you or your students drive a Pacer or a Porsche, The Isaac Newton School of Driving offers better—and better informed—driving through physics. (NB-34) $19.95 AAPT Members. Order online at The Physics Store.

The Physics of Baseball, 3rd Edition

The Physics of Baseball, 3rd EditionIn this popular book, Robert Adair examines what a baseball or a baseball player in motion does-and why. How fast can a batted ball go? What effect do the stitch patterns have on wind resistance? How far does a curveball go? Newly revised third edition considers recent developments in the science of the sport. Faster pitchers, longer hitters, and enclosed stadiums are all examined. (NB-37) $7.48 AAPT Members. Fax your order to 301.209.0845 or order online at The Physics Store.

Section News

British Columbia Section Spring Meeting

David Sokoloff visited BCAPT section from Feb. 3-5. He presented two colloquia (at the University of BC and at Simon Fraser University) and a special workshop for physics teachers on Saturday, February 5th. The people who attended the workshop represented an entire spectrum of physics teachers—from high school physics teachers, to university and to the teachers who teach in informal settings like Science World. In addition, we have a number of pre-service teachers attending the event! This was a very successful event (at least for us—for David it probably was a little bit difficult to do so many things in such a short period of time). We had almost 30 teachers attending a 9 a.m. Saturday event and we also had teachers from Washington. More information at www.bcapt.ca.

Section News Online

The December 2010 Section News is available at http://aapt.org/Sections/
See the Calendar of Events for upcoming events and deadlines.
To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org.

A New College Science Prize

To start the new year, Science is pleased to announce the "Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction" to highlight outstanding "modules" for teaching introductory college science courses that can readily spread to other settings and schools. For more information see http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/data/prizes/inquiry/.
Read more at http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6013/10.summary.

Becoming a Physics Teacher

Plan to attend the upcoming webinar, "Becoming a Physics Teacher" with Eugenia Etkina, scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, at 2 pm EST. The webinar will be moderated by John Anderson. For additional information on this and other webinars go to http://www.aps.org/careers/guidance/webinars/index.cfm.

Nuclear Technology Enabling Global Energy Security

In the present energy dilemma facing our nation, it has become critical that we address the sources of energy available worldwide, both short and long-term. This workshop is designed to provide teachers with the opportunity to increase their knowledge level on nuclear energy, meet and learn from the nuclear researchers, tour facilities, and interact with peers from across the country.

See the Program overview here, or Google INL Physics Teachers Workshop.

The application deadline is March 31, 2011. Only 30 registrations will be accepted for the July 2011 workshop.

Teachers in Space Announces Summer Workshops for High-School Teachers

Teachers Can Learn about Space Medicine, Human Factors, Astronautics, and Suborbital Science
In the summer of 2011, Teachers in Space will offer five one-week professional-development workshops for high-school science, technology, engineering, and math teachers. The workshops are being developed by Teachers in Space, a nonprofit project of the Space Frontier Foundation, under a cooperative agreement with NASA. The workshops will be offered at no charge to teachers. Low-cost subsidized housing will be available for workshop participants. A limited number of travel stipends will be available to defray the cost of meals and transportation.
At the Suborbital Astronautics Workshop, teachers will learn about aeronautics and spaceflight while experiencing some of the training that future space pilots will receive. Expert instructors will include former Shuttle commander and XCOR Aerospace chief test pilot Col. Rick Searfoss (USAF-ret.). The Suborbital Astronautics Workshop will be held for the first time at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, TX on June 20-24. Repeat sessions will be held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL on July 18-22 and at NASA Dryden's AERO Institute in Palmdale, CA on July 25-29.
At the Space Medicine and Human Factors Workshop, teachers will learn about high-altitude physiology and respiration, decompression and vacuum exposure, space weather and radiation, and the effects of weightlessness, gee forces, noise, and vibration. The workshop will be held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL on July 11-15.
At the Suborbital Flight Experiment Workshop, teachers will gain hands-on experience with space hardware as they build experiments to fly aboard an unmanned suborbital experiment as part of the Excelsior STEM mission. The workshop will be held at the NASA Dryden AERO Institute in Palmdale, CA on August 1-5.
Additional information and workshop applications can be found at: www.teachersinspace.org/workshops.htm

ASP Announces Three New Resources

The nonprofit Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is pleased to announce three new resources for educators, outreach professionals, journalists, and astronomy enthusiasts:
1. Prof. Michael Brown (Caltech) explains "How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming." http://www.astrosociety.org/education/podcast/index.html
2. The latest issue of "The Universe in the Classroom" Newsletter on Teaching Astronomy celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Drake Equation.
3. "An Astronomer Looks at Astrology."

Accelerators and Beams: Tools of Discovery and Innovation

This 32-page booklet explains accelerators and beams in simple language and their myriad applications. It is an excellent resource for explaining to students how physics affects our lives. It shows career opportunities that are not widely known and can encourage students to study physics.
The booklet is published by the APS Division of Physics of Beams. Review it on-line, http://www.aps.org/units/dpb. A limited number of hard copies are still available at no charge. If you are interested contact Ernie Malamud, malamud@foothill.net.

Sun Captured in its Full 360° Glory

The first complete view of the Sun's entire surface and its atmosphere was captured yesterday by NASA's STEREO mission. Researchers are proclaiming the images a triumph for space science that will boost our understanding of solar dynamics and help to improve space weather forecasts. Read more http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/45047

2011 Toyota International Teacher Program

The 2011 Toyota International Teacher Program to Costa Rica, which will take place November 19 through December 3, 2011 is now open for applications. Full-time classroom teachers of all subjects and librarians, grades 7–12, are invited to apply on-line. Visit www.iie.org/toyota for more information and application instructions. The deadline to apply is May 4, 2011.

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