eNNOUNCER May 2017


New AAPT Services Portal

This spring AAPT will be switching its AAPT Services Portal to a new platform. The change will simplify operations such as signing up for membership, renewing your membership, registering for national meetings, making purchases with the Physics Store, updating your account information, and, of course, donating to AAPT. This new portal has been built to work on all platforms (mobile, tablet, or desktop). Look for more information from AAPT in the weeks to come.

First AAPT/ALPhA Awardees Named

The AAPT/ALPhA Award recognizes outstanding work in the development of an advanced laboratory apparatus/experiment by an undergraduate physics student at his/her home institution within the greater United States. The AAPT/ALPhA Award Committee has announced the first recipients of the award - Brandon Thacker, California State University, Chico (2015), and Ryan Scott, Rochester Institute of Technology (2016). TeachSpin is currently funding the award. Read more.

2017 Summer Meeting


Registration is now open for the 2017 Summer Meeting. Register by May 31 to receive the early bird rate. Please click here for more information.

Post-deadline Abstract Submission

If you are interested in submitting a post-deadline abstract to the 2017 Summer Meeting you must do so by Thursday, May 11. All post-deadline abstracts will be scheduled on Wednesday, July 26 in the last session of the day. Please click here for more information


AAPT is using the Cincinnati Marriott RiverCenter, Embassy Suites Cincinnati RiverCenter and the Holiday Inn Cincinnati Riverfront. All reservations must be booked by Monday, June 26, however it is recommended that you make your reservation early, since the room block can sell out before the cut-off. Please click here for more information or to make your reservation.


Exhibit and sponsorship participation at AAPT National Meetings can be one of the best marketing tools you ever use - it's certainly one of the most cost effective options for generating new leads, interacting with current customers and introducing new products or services. Please click here for details.

High School Teachers’ Day

A special day has been prepared on Monday, July 24 for high school physics teachers that have never attended a national AAPT Meeting. Qualified teachers will receive a discounted registration fee of $85. AAPT is 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.

Dependent Care Grants

AAPT has small grants up to $400 available for AAPT national meeting attendees who are bringing small 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. In addition, small grants up to $400 are available to national meeting attendees who are responsible for dependent care (elderly parents, adult children with disabilities, etc) or need assistance at the meeting because of a disability. Applications must be received by June 9, 2017. Please click here for more information and to download an application.

Room/Ride Childcare Share Form

Are you looking to share a room, ride or childcare responsibilities at the at the summer meeting? Please click here to register and view a list of potential candidates.

2017 AAPT Fellows

The 2017 AAPT Fellows Awardees have been announced.Read more »

2017 Summer Meeting Awardees

John C. Brown Named as Recipient of the 2017 Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that John C. Brown, University of Glasgow Scotland, School of Physics and Astronomy, is the 2017 recipient of the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award.
Read more.

2017 Millikan Medal Awarded to Kenneth Heller

AAPT has announced that Kenneth Heller will receive the Robert A. Millikan Medal during the 2017 Summer Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Read more.

Cindy Schwarz to Receive the AAPT 2017 Halliday and Resnick Award

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that Cindy Schwarz will receive the 2017 David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching.
Read more.

J. Mark Schober to Receive 2017 Paul W. Zitzewitz Excellence in K-12 Teaching Award

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that the 2017 Paul Zitzewitz Excellence in K-12 Physics Teaching Award winner is J. Mark Schober, a science teacher at Trinity School in New York City.
Read more.

Enter the 2017 AAPT Apparatus Competition

The AAPT Apparatus Competition is held each year at the Summer Meeting, this year in Cincinnati. 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, 2017. Please consider entering one or more of your Physics Apparatus in the competition. If interested, download the rules and entry form.

Travel Grants Available for the 2017 Summer Meeting

Maybe you've been invited to present at AAPT's 2017 Summer Meeting. Or, perhaps you have a great idea for a contributed talk or poster or want to lead a workshop. If funding is holding you back, AAPT might be able to help. There are limited funds (awards range from $200 to $1200 with a total of $5000 for all awards) to help AAPT members attend the 2017 Summer Meeting in Cincinnati to make a presentation. In addition, the AAPT Board of Directors approved an additional $10,000 for grants to support travel for high school and two year college faculty who are from underrepresented groups and/or from institutions whose students are predominantly underrepresented. The application is now available for both of these grant opportunities. The deadline for applications is May 15th, so please submit your application and post deadline abstract if you didn't meet the regular abstract deadline. Please click here for more information.

Newly Elected AAPT Board of Directors Officers Begin Service

With the Presidential Transfer ceremony and the end of the 2017 Winter Meeting in Atlanta, the AAPT Board of Directors sees many changes with members of the Presidential chain rotating and newly elected officers taking on their new positions. Janelle Bailey transferred the President's gavel to George A. Amann from Hyde Park, NY. Gordon P. Ramsey, Loyola University-Chicago, became President-Elect and Mel Sabella, Chicago State University, stepped into his new role as Vice President. Daniel Crowe, Loudoun Academy of Science, began his Board term as the At Large High School Representative. David Sturm, University of Maine was elected by the Section Representatives to serve in the role of Vice Chair of Section Representatives as his predecessor, Dyan Jones, Mercyhurst University, rotated into the role of Chair of the Section Representatives.

Change to By-Laws: Membership Category Title Change

At its meeting in February, the AAPT Board of Directors passed a second and final motion that the term "regular member" be changed to "professional member" in Section 3.01 of the By-Laws and any subsequent reference to regular member therein. This change reflects the professional identification and commitment of members to our organization, describing AAPT membership in a way that idealizes how a person would wish to describe themselves in their professional identification.

AAPT Seeks Volunteers to Direct AAPT High School Contests

AAPT seeks volunteers to apply for directors of two of AAPT's high school contests: PhysicsBowl and the US Physics Team. The PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator provides general oversight of the competition and has the responsibility for preparing the yearly exam. We anticipate that the individual selected for the PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator position will start later this year. The U.S. Physics Team Academic Director position provides general oversight of the U.S. competition including recruiting and training team coaches, preparing and grading exams, training of the U.S. Physics Team during training camp, and traveling with the Team to the International Physics Olympiad. We anticipate that the individual selected will serve as co-director during the 2017-18 year and transition to director in Fall 2018. Click here for more information.

AAPT/PTRA receives an Idaho Math-Science Partnership Grant

The MSP AAPT/PTRA Professional Development for Idaho Secondary School Teachers project is a partnership of Idaho State University (ISU), Idaho school districts 25, 55, 59, and the American Association of Physics Teachers Physics Teaching Resource Agents (AAPT/PTRA), the nation’s leading provider of professional development (PD) services in physics and physical science. The AAPT/PTRA will provide master physics teachers who understand and model effective pedagogical strategies from Physics Education Research. Resources from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics will provide the basis for activities relating physics concepts to science and technology, specifically addressing engagement opportunities for up to 50 secondary teachers to expand on the 8/21/2017 total solar eclipse.

Authors of the grant are Jan Mader Lead PTRA for the institute, Karen Jo Matsler Director of the AAPT/PTRA program, PI Phd. Steve Shropshire ISU and Co-PI Phd. Mark Neil ISU.

eAlliances: Uniting Isolated Women Physicists and Astronomers - Registration site now LIVE!

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

The AAPT/APS Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs has released two reports about preparing physics students for diverse careers

Phys21: Preparing Physics Students for 21st Century Careers report provides guidance for physicists considering revising the undergraduate curriculum to improve the education of a diverse student population. The report includes recommendations on content, pedagogy, professional skills, and student engagement and documentable student outcomes.

The Phys21 Supplement summarizes the information used to prepare the Phys21 Report. The sources include reports authored by professional societies, business and economic development groups, educational institutions, and professional consulting organizations

The reports, along with other information about the Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs, are available at www.compadre.org/jtupp

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.

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.


AAPT Programs

PTRA program is looking for experienced teachers to add to their cadre of workshop leaders across the country

The Physics Teaching Resource Agent (PTRA) program is looking for experienced teachers to add to their cadre of workshop leaders across the country. One strength of the AAPT/PTRA program lies in the annual training that focuses on updates in pedagogy, technology, and content. This professional development for the leaders allows the participants to become certified in specific content areas that they may then offer to peers in their own district or state.

PTRA workshops are scheduled for a number of locations during 2017, visit www.aaptptra.com and look under the Professional Development tab for a current listing. You can also find information on prior workshops, which may be useful in requesting a workshop for your district or section meeting. Shorter descriptions of upcoming workshops can be found at aapt.org/PTRA

If you are interested in engaging students in activities designed to help them understand concepts related to quantum physics, check out the 2017 summer workshops. These workshops are based on resources provided by the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and will deepen your own understanding of GPS, computer security, wave particle duality, black holes, and dark matter. The workshop leaders have been trained by the Perimeter Institute and prior workshops have been tremendously successful and well attended. Space is limited.

The PTRA 2017 Summer Leadership Institute will be held before the AAPT Summer Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dates for the institute are July 19-22, 2017. Physics teachers who are current PTRAs or experienced master teachers who would like to be a PTRA Workshop Leader may apply by filling out the link at www.surveymonkey.com There are limited $1000 scholarships available to defray expenses for new PTRA applicants.

For more information regarding the institute or PTRA requirements visit aaptptra.com/leadership-institutes or you may contact PTRA Director Karen Jo Matsler karen@aaptptra.com or PTRA Oversight Committee Chair Pat Callahan ptcallahan3537@gmail.com

PTRA program activities planned for across the country

The Physics Teaching Resource Agent (PTRA) program has been active for over 30 years. PTRA workshops are scheduled for a number of locations during 2017, including Utah, Idaho, Wisconsin, Baltimore, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Some are open to anyone, others are limited due to constraints of funders or grants. Read more

2017 High School Physics Photo Contest

The 2017 contest registration opened March 1, and will close May 15. 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 2017 Summer Meeting in Cincinnati, OH. Learn more!

AAPT Membership

AAPT Member Spotlight

Gina Quan
Graduate Student, University of Maryland, College Park Campus, College Park, MD
Read more

AAPT Members Now Get 30% Discount on MIT Press Books!

Have you been meaning to check out Richard Feynman’s The Character of Physical Law or Noson Yanofsky’s The Outer Limits of Reason? Now you can do so at 70% of the cost that the general public pays! As an AAPT member, you are now entitled to a 30% discount on all Physics and Math titles at MIT Press.

To take advantage of this offer, click here and log in to retrieve your discount code and start shopping at mitpress.mit.edu/physics. We hope this new feature of membership will benefit your brain and your wallet.

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.

AAPT Supports International Educators and Students

Nominate a Deserving Colleague for a Harold & Charlotte Mae Fuller Fund Membership
AAPT is committed to increasing the effectiveness of Physics education around the world. Through a grant supported by Harold Q & Charlotte Mae Fuller Fund, the Association provides a number of fully-funded, two-year memberships to physics teachers in developing countries. The deadline is July 1st. If you know an eligible physics teacher who would benefit from this support, submit your nomination today!

Yamani Membership Grants for Students and Early-Career Professionals

Each year, through the Hashim A Yamani Fund, AAPT awards several 2-year memberships to students or early-career professionals who are either planning to teach or already teaching physics in their native country. Citizens of any country are eligible, with priority given to citizens of developing countries. If your students are planning to become a teacher, or have recently graduated and started teaching, tell them to apply for a Yamani Membership today! Deadline: July 1.

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

Preparing for the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017

AAPT has gathered past articles on eclipse science into one easily accessible teaching resource, Teaching About the Solar Eclipse: Articles from The Physics Teacher and the American Journal of Physics. These articles, together with the AstroNotes column, Addressing students’ misconceptions about eclipses by Timothy Slater and Richard Gelderman, published in the May issue of The Physics Teacher were developed to help prepare your students for the Great American Eclipse of 2017. Members who subscribe to print copies of The Physics Teacher will receive a free pair of eclipse glasses for viewing the eclipse.


In the News

Sign up for the 6th Annual STEM Forum & Expo hosted by the National Science Teachers Association

Early Bird Registration ends on Friday, May 12, and AAPT members get NSTA member discounted pricing! The Forum will offer six distinct strands: Lower Elementary/Early Childhood, Upper Elementary, Middle Level, High School, Partnerships, and Administrators. This professional development opportunity will help you if you are searching for ways to immediately and effectively apply STEM education in a preK-12 setting or to implement STEM as a best practice. Learn more about the conference at www.nsta.org.

Arthur Eisenkraft, professor & director of COSMIC at UMASS Boston, to receive National Science Board Public Service Award

The National Science Board (NSB) is pleased to announce that Arthur Eisenkraft, distinguished professor of science education, professor of physics and director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston will be honored with its 2017 Public Service Award. Read more.

Check out GradSchoolShopper (GSS) undergraduates use when “shopping” for a grad school

Advise your students to check out GradSchoolShopper.com, the most complete directory of graduate programs in the physical sciences. 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.

ASU Modeling Workshops in physics and chemistry

Five Modeling Workshops (June 5-23, June 12-30, July 5-18, 2017) for high school and two-year-college physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers nationwide are offered by Arizona State University in Tempe. Modeling Instruction is designated as an Exemplary STEM program by Change The Equation. The American Physical Society gave it the 2014 Excellence in Physics Education Award. Click here for more information.

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.

ACT's Annual Nationwide STEM Report

ACT's STEM report, "The Condition of STEM 2016" was released on November 17, 2016. Nearly half (48 percent) of the 2.1 million 2016 American high school graduates who took the ACT test expressed an interest in STEM majors or careers, the report found. However, only 26 percent of those 1 million STEM-interested graduates met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in STEM. The benchmark is an indicator of whether a student is well prepared for first-year courses such as calculus, biology, chemistry and physics, which are typically required for a college STEM-related major. These findings are virtually unchanged from last year, the report found. Interest in teaching STEM subject areas continues to be alarmingly low. Less than 1 percent of the nearly 2.1 million 2016 graduates who took the ACT indicated an interest in teaching math or science.

Download the nationwide report here.

You can download each STATE report here.

NOTE: The states with highest percentages of graduates who met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in STEM are New England states and New York; the worst percentages are in southern rural states, plus Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico, and West Virginia.

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

July 29-31, 2017, 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.

For more information and to register: pages.uoregon.edu/sokoloff/CHAUT

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.

ALPhA Announcements

1. Barbara Wolff-Reichert Grants will provide up to $7,500, with a 50% departmental match, toward the purchase of a TeachSpin instrument successfully mastered by a participant in an ALPhA Immersion. Read more.

2. ALPhA Mining Actualization Grants were created by the Jonathan Reichert Foundation to underwrite the construction, testing and dissemination of advanced lab experiments that are closely related to current research in physics. These are first come, first serve equipment grants with a maximum of $2,000 per school. Apply now!

3. The Jonathan Reichert Foundation announced the recipients of its inaugural grant program, supporting the advanced laboratory physics association (ALPhA) immersions. This year, the Foundation funded twelve out of sixteen applications, with a total funding of about $38,000. Congratulations to the individuals and institutions who received grants for advanced labs! Read more.

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 70 Modeling workshops were offered to high school and middle school teachers in more than 20 states.

For information on 2017 Modeling Workshops, please visit the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) website: modelinginstruction.org For questions: wendy@modelinginstruction.org or gheheman@asu.edu


Physics Careers

Jobs Announcements from the Career Center

Freelance Item Writers - Science, NGSS
Measured Progress
Click here for job description

Tenure Track – Assistant Professor Position - Physics
Kansas Wesleyan 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 December 2016 Section News.


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© 2017, American Association of Physics Teachers

In this issue


AAPT Programs

AAPT Members

In the News

Physics Careers

More Physics Resources


Featured Journal Articles

The Physics Teacher


The Polarization of Light and Malus’ Law Using Smartphones

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American Journal of Physics


Determining magnetic susceptibilities of everyday materials using an electronic balance

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