eNNOUNCER March 2016


AAPT members-recognize the excellence of your students!

Did you know that as an AAPT member, you are eligible to participate in one of our most popular awards program?

College and university department chairs, who are current AAPT members can nominate two teaching assistants, and one learning assistant for recognition as an Outstanding Teaching/Learning Assistant. AAPT will list your winners on our web page, and award a complimentary, one year membership in the Association. Chairs can download and print attractive certificates for presentation, as well as letters of recognition, and sample press releases.

Any high school teacher, whose membership is up-to-date, can nominate up to three students, for the Outstanding Physics Student Award. As in the past, we will recognize your students on the web, and also provide certificates to download and print.

This popular member benefit not only confers prestige on your students, but also acknowledges your contributions to excellence in the physics classroom.

The awards, for both high school and college students, should be active and available in early March. Visit the AAPT web site, or e-mail us at membership@aapt.org, for the latest information and updates.

2016 Summer Meeting Registration

Registration for the 2016 Summer Meeting in Sacramento will open in early April.

2016 Summer Meeting Registration

Registration for the 2016 Summer Meeting in Sacramento will open in early April. 

Search for New AJP Editor

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) seeks applications from and nominations of candidates for the position of Editor of the American Journal of Physics (AJP), the world’s preeminent journal in physics education focusing on the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications on May 1, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled. The official start date will be September 1, 2017, but the new editor will ideally begin transitioning into the post no later than January 2017. Further details on the duties of the Editor, institutional arrangements, and the application procedure can be found at aapt.org. Interested candidates are also encouraged to read the recent editorial about being editor: D.P. Jackson, “Should you be editor of AJP?,” Am. J. Phys. 83, 909–910 (2015); http://dx.doi.org.

Abstracts for the 2016 Summer Meeting

Post-deadline abstracts will be accepted from February 19 to April 28 for the 2016 AAPT Summer Meeting in Sacramento, California. All post-deadline abstracts will be scheduled on Wednesday, July 20 in the last session of day. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to present your research or share your ideas with your colleagues with a contributed talk or poster presentation

Click here to Submit your Abstract

Child Care Grants

AAPT has small grants up to $400 available for AAPT national meeting attendees who are bringing children to a national meeting or who incur extra expenses in leaving their children at home (i.e., extra daycare or babysitting services) in order to attend a national meeting. Applications must be received by June 9, 2016 to be considered by the Child Care Grant Selection Committee for a grant associated with the 2016 Summer Meeting. Click here for more information.

30th Anniversary of U.S. Physics Team

The 30th anniversary celebration of the U.S. Physics Team program is scheduled for May 27 - 28, 2016 in Washington D.C. A panel discussion with leaders at NASA is planned, as well as a number of other festivities.

Upcoming Events

Visit Booth #608 at NSTA National
AAPT will be attending the NSTA National Meeting in Nashville in booth #608! Join us for interdisciplinary/interactive labs. PLUS take home your free lesson plan!

AAPT is attending the 2016 PhysTEC conference
March 11- 13 is the 2016 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. AAPT will be attending the conference and sponsoring coffee breaks, so stop by our table and say hello!

Douglas Wick Wins the Connections Matter Event

Branson School physics teacher, Douglas Wick, is the winner of the Connections Matter grand prize. The prize includes transportation, hotel accommodations, and registration for the 2016 Summer Meeting in Sacramento, California.

Congratulations to all of those who referred a colleague and thank you for your support.

Laird Kramer Receives White House Award

Congratulations to Laird Kramer, physics professor and Modeling Instruction leader at Florida International University!
He received an award from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The plaque reads, "Thank you for your leadership, steadfast commitment to the Hispanic community and valuable contributions in advancing Hispanic academic achievement. Read more.

AAPT Career Center offers FREE postings

The AAPT Career Center offers FREE 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 started.

Did you know that AAPT has co-sponsored six career development webinars for its members?

Visit www.aapt.org to access recorded versions of them, with topics including interviewing, networking, and how to attend a scientific conference. Check back soon for topics, dates, and registration information for our 2016 events!

Computational Physics at AAPT Section Meetings

The Partnership for the Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP) has a project for fostering faculty communities to develop computational integration at a local level. We invite any AAPT section with faculty interested in exploring computational integration into their courses to express its interest (if it has not already done so) in developing such a community. Any section member who feels that local faculty might have an interest in including computation in their courses may convey this interest. The venue for doing so is the following survey. This process begins by hosting an introductory workshop (e.g. at a regular section meeting) whose objectives are:

  • to describe a strategy for introducing computation in courses and illustrative materials suggesting how to do so;
  • to help participants envision their own computational educational materials;
  • to formulate individual plans for each to implement these designs as materials in at least one of their upcoming courses; and
  • to introduce them to a local support network to use for mutual collaboration in and support for their implementation efforts after the workshop.
We look forward to hearing from you via the following survey.

Nominate Someone for a Harold & Charlotte Mae Fuller Fund Membership

AAPT is committed to increasing the effectiveness of Physics education not just in North America, but all across the world. Thanks to the Harold Q & Charlotte Mae Fuller Fund, AAPT is able to give out a number of complimentary memberships to physics teachers in developing countries. The deadline of May 31st is quickly approaching, so if you know a physics teacher in a developing country, nominate them for an AAPT membership.

Have your Students Applied for a Yamani Membership?

Each year, AAPT awards several two-year Hashim A. Yamani AAPT Memberships, which are regular electronic memberships and include electronic only access to copies of the American Journal of Physics, The Physics Teacher, and Physics Today. If your students are planning to become a teacher, or have just graduated and started teaching, tell them to apply for a Yamani Membership today!

AAPT Programs

2016 High School Physics Photo Contest

The 2016 contest begins March 1. The contest is open to high school students in grades 9-12. Teachers register on the AAPT website and receive a confirmation code that their students can use to submit their entries (essay and photo). Photos may be entered in either the Natural photo or Contrived photo category. The top 100 entries will be displayed and judged during the 2016 Summer Meeting in Sacramento, CA. Learn more!

The Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment

The Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment provides grants to support special activities in the area of physics teaching. The deadline for applications to request funds is July 1.

2016 AAPT PhysicsBowl Registration Open!

Registration is now open for the 2016 AAPT PhysicsBowl taking place March 30 - April 15, 2016. Read more.

Annual Physics Department annual Physics Department Chairs Conference Conference

Physics Department Chairs: Save the date June 2-4, 2016 for the annual Physics Department Chairs Conference in College Park, MD, hosted by AAPT and the American Physical Society. Online registration will be available by mid-February on the AAPT web site.

Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop

Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop, June 20-23, 2016 in College Park. Department chairs should nominate participants online before March 4. An email notice will be sent to all physics and astronomy department chairs in early February.The online nomination form will be available on the AAPT New Faculty Workshop web page by early February

2016 PhysTEC Conference

The 2016 PhysTEC Conference, will be held in Baltimore, MD next March 11-13. To learn more visit the conference website.

Getting the most from your Membership-The 2016 AAPT Calendar, and the Physics Photo Contest!

Is your 2016 AAPT Physics Photo Contest Calendar prominently displayed? Do you need more for yourself, or even a gift? Members can order up to 3 free 2016 Calendars from The Physics Store, and pay only a small mailing fee. And don’t forget to order the 2015 contest poster as well.

The 2016 Photo Contest opens March 1st. As a member, you are eligible to submit up to 15 entries at no charge. Non-members must pay $5.00 for each photo submitted. This is a great way to teach your students the physics of the everyday world, as well as showcasing your accomplishments in the classroom.

In the News

Registration for the Google Science Fair is now open

The American Association of Physics teachers is an educational organization partner for this year's Google Science Fair. Registration for the Google Science Fair is now open, and students between the ages of 13 to 18 years old from all over the world can enter! What will your students try? Find out more at www.googlesciencefair.com.

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) Summer Leadership Institute for STEM Faculty

The PKAL Summer Leadership Institute is designed for both early and mid-career STEM faculty engaged in leading projects aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. The five-day intensive Institute provides faculty participants with the theory and practice required to effectively manage the politics of such change and contribute to the national STEM higher education reform effort.

Institute I: July 12–July 17, 2016
Institute II: July 19–July 24, 2016
Institute III: July 26–July 31, 2016
The Claggett Center, Adamstown, Maryland

Applications Due February 24, 2016

All applications are due on March 11, 2016. For more information on the Institute, visit www.aacu.org/summerinstitutes/sli.

To learn more about Project Kaleidoscope, please visit www.aacu.org/pkal, e-mail us at pkal@aacu.org or call us at 202.884.7439

Physics Department Kicks off ‘Women in Physics’ Colloquium

The Wesleyan Argus reported that the Physics Department launched this semester’s colloquium with a presentation from Eugenia Etkina on the importance of engaging students in activities that reflect the actual practice of physics. The “Women in Physics” themed series will feature a wide variety of female speakers covering topics ranging from molecular physics to mapping Antarctica.

Etkina, an AAPT member, is currently directing the physics teacher preparation program; she also works in the field of Physics Education Research at Rutgers University and co-founded Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE). Etkina explained that the key to success it to teach students how to think like physicists through hands-on experiments. In addition, she emphasized the importance of critical thinking for all students. Read more.

Presidential Awards for STEM Teaching

Nominate outstanding K-6 science and math teachers for The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). Please consider nominating teachers using the PAEMST website today. NSF is offering free webinars from now until the end of April to help applicants complete the application process. Nominations close April 1, 2016. Applications close May 1, 2016. Presidential awardees receive a certificate signed by the President, a trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from NSF.

APS National Mentoring Community

The American Physical Society (APS) has established the National Mentoring Community (NMC) to provide support to African American, Hispanic American, and Native American students as they navigate the path toward earning an undergraduate degree in physics. Current physics faculty (including those at community and 2-year colleges) who are already mentoring students or are interested in doing so are encouraged to become an NMC mentor today. Learn more and register on the APS website.

Computational Physics Workshops

The Partnership for the Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP) would like to invite all physics faculty to participate in one or more of the following upcoming workshops. Half-day workshops at the APS March Meeting in Baltimore (Sunday, March 13) and at the APS April Meeting in Salt Lake City ( Friday, April 15) will be held to introduce participants to the pedagogical benefits and advantages of integrating computation into undergraduate physics courses. The APS workshops are absolutely free and available to anyone, and there is no need to register. A week-long (Monday, August 1-Friday, August 5) Faculty Development Workshop will be held on the campus of the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, to facilitate participants to develop their own computational educational materials, and to formulate 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. See www.gopicup.org for more details on these workshops and other PICUP events.

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.

For information on the 2016 Modeling workshops, please visit the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) website on modelinginstruction.org Information on the workshops can be found on modelinginstruction.org/workshops.

As of January, 2016, we have workshops in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Bangkok. Workshops are added each week as we have the conformed information.

For information, contact Wendy at wendy@modelinginstruction.org or gheheman@asu.edu

Inclusive Excellence: 2017 Undergraduate Science Education Grants

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute recently announced a new competition for science education grants to colleges and universities called "Inclusive Excellence: Engaging all students in science."

Scholarship Opportunity

Do you know any high school seniors looking to major in physics? Simpson College recently received a NSF grant that will provide 15 financially needy incoming students with financial assistance ($33,600 over four years), mentorship, and research opportunities as they pursue a degree in a mathematical STEM field. For this reason, we are recruiting talented high school seniors to come to Simpson as undergraduates.

For information on the Carver Bridge to STEM Success Scholarship Program visit the following website: http://simpson.edu/carver-bridge-scholars/

If you know any students who might be interested in this opportunity, we are more than happy to discuss more over email or phone. Contact Professor Aaron Santos at aaron.santos@simpson.edu or call at 515-961-1826.

ASU Modeling Workshops in physics and chemistry

The Four Modeling Workshops (June 6-24, July 5-15, 2016) for high school physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers nationwide are offered by Arizona State University in Tempe. Low-cost family housing. Pre-service and TYC teachers are welcome, too. ASU Modeling Instruction is designated as an Accomplished STEM program by Change The Equation. The American Physical Society gave it the 2014 Excellence in Physics Education Award.
Click here for more information.

The courses can lead to a Master of Natural Science (MNS) degree in physics. Teachers in 15 western states can apply for IN-STATE tuition; the deadline is APRIL 1. Read more

Special Short Course on Active Learning in introductory physics

Active Learning in Introductory Physics Courses: Research-Based Strategies that Improve Student Learning—July 28-30, 2016, 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: Priscilla Laws, Dickinson College, David Sokoloff, University of Oregon, Ronald Thornton, Tufts University. The course fee is $200. (Early bird registration until April 15 is $180.)
* Up to three graduate credits from the University of Oregon will be available for an additional $90/credit. For more information and to Register.

Physics Careers

Jobs Announcements from the Career Center

Physics/Astronomy Instructor - Tenure Track Position
Los Angeles City College

Physics Instructor
Santa Rosa Junior College

More Physics Resources

Exploring Light: Get hands on online with the Teacher Institute!

Join us online from March 24–April 27 for Exploring Light. Taught by TI staff and offered by the Exploratorium through Coursera, Exploring Light is a free professional development workshop for middle-school and high-school science teachers and general enthusiasts. Learn about visual perception, optics, image making, color, and the history of our understanding of light—by watching demonstrations of videos and exhibits and by doing fun, hands-on activities that allow you to directly experience natural phenomena using readily available materials. We’ll also explore teaching strategies and share valuable resources and tips for the classroom. We promise it will be an illuminating experience for everyone!
Learn more and enroll: www.coursera.org

Periscope: Looking into learning in best-practices physics classrooms

Periscope is a set of lessons centered on video episodes from best-practices physics classrooms. By watching and discussing authentic teaching events, instructors enrich their experience with noticing and interpreting student behavior and practice applying lessons learned about teaching to actual teaching situations.
Periscope is free to qualified educators at physport.org/periscope.

CERN Beamline for Schools Competition

CERN is famous for the Large Hadron Collider, but there’s much more to the laboratory than that. A large part of CERN’s research and development is carried out using fixed-target beamlines, which are used for a variety of experiments that range from investigating the inner workings of protons to probing the mysteries of antimatter. As part of the beam line for schools competition, CERN is making a fully equipped beamline available for a team of school students to run an experiment. Read more

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:
facebook twitter LinkedIn Googleplus pinterest YouTube flickr

Section News

To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org. See the July 2015 Section News.

Section Meetings

Kentucky Section
Mar 12, 2016
Spring Meeting
Centre College
Danville, KY
Email: Jon Gaffney

Ohio Section
Mar 19, 2016
Spring Meeting
Baldwin-Wallace College
Berea, OH
Email: William Reitz


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© 2016, American Association of Physics Teachers

In this issue


AAPT Programs

In the News

Physics Careers

More Physics Resources


Featured Journal Articles

The Physics Teacher

Finding the Effective Mass and Spring Constant of a Force Probe from Simple Harmonic Motion

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American Journal of Physics

A slowly rotating hollow sphere in a magnetic field: First steps to de-spin a space object

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