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Below are the 2007 committee annual reports and the respective comments of the Review Board. Links to previous years can be found below.
Committee Reports - 2007
The focus of the Apparatus Committee is instructional apparatus used for teaching physics. We acquire and transfer the associated knowledge so practitioners may implement the apparatus in the physics laboratory, lecture classroom, and physics outreach events. Towards this mission, in 2007/2008 we sponsored numerous competitions, workshops, paper and poster sessions, and cracker-barrels.
One example is the PIRA Resource Room, which has become legendary for its success during the AAPT Summer Meetings. Each year we strive to improve this tremendous resource. The Resource Room is not simply a place to ‘get free stuff', but has instead become a hotbed of idea sharing, networking, meeting the AAPT membership. This last year was no exception.
Also at the summer meeting held at Greensboro in 2007, a crew of 10 or so PIRA members organized two full-day workshops (Lecture Demonstrations 1 & 2) with a total attendance of 95 split evenly between the two days. Historically, this has been one of the most consistently successful and highly rated workshops ever offered by AAPT.
The Advanced and Intermediate Laboratories Workshops also had a strong turn out as well as a high rate of participant satisfaction. Attendees had the opportunity to speak with presenters, gain hands on experience with the equipment, and actually take data. The aim of this workshop is to show others involved in physics laboratories, at all levels, what others are doing across the world and encourage the growth, usefulness and pedagogy of every facet of physics laboratories.
The Apparatus Committee, in conjunction with support from PASCO Scientific, also sponsored a very successful Apparatus Competition. This competition has been a very useful tool in promoting the variety of ideas and equipment used in labs and lecture demonstrations over the years. Special thanks should go to PASCO Scientific for the amazing support they give to the development of physics apparatus through this and their many other efforts.
The Apparatus Committee and PIRA were also featured in a local morning news program which advertised the AAPT's summer meeting and the annual public physics demonstration show to the local citizens of Greensboro, NC. This session generated much positive press for the AAPT as a whole, and exemplified the value of the particular talents which PIRA brings to the organization.
The 2008 Baltimore Winter Meeting was no less active, with three sponsored workshops. One, ‘Franklin and Electrostatics' workshop, was taken by about 20 registrants. Another coached participants through the construction of their own Elihu-Thompson Coil (PIRA 5K20.30). The last, ‘Laboratories with Biomedical Applications' workshop was so well received, the committee is considering expanding this to two workshop sessions – one for introductory biophysics labs, the other for advanced labs.
Also at the Baltimore Meeting, two paper sessions were organized which further explored the current union of biology and physics. One was “Medical /Health Physics Research and Education” and the second was “Upper Level Labs for the Biosciences”. Both were well received.
The coming meetings to be held this summer in Edmonton, Canada, and this winter in Chicago, Illinois, should prove to be no less exciting and invigorating to the practice and craft of physics demonstrations and laboratories. The Apparatus Committee will continue its successful programs, i.e, the laboratory and lecture demonstration workshops, and strive for successful growth and evolution of its other efforts. Special attention will be paid toward the partnership with other committees in advancing the goals of the Apparatus Committee and AAPT.
Submitted by Dave Maiullo and Sam Sampere
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Apparatus (COA) has provided numerous excellent workshops and sessions to our members, and for actively working to achieve its mission. It has often gone "above and beyond", especially in its work with PIRA. The COA's co-sponsorship of the Apparatus Competition has been a highlight of national meetings and has given participants an opportunity to showcase some very creative instrumentation. In future annual reports, it would be good to include the names of winners. The COA continues to demonstrate its willingness to provide activities that meet the needs of our meeting participants. Its role in the TV ads for Greensboro was outstanding, and the COA was featured in the Univ of Alberta Physics Department newsletter for Edmonton.
The Committee on Educational Technologies (CET) identifies, communicates, and promotes new developments in educational technology and their applications to physics teaching and learning. Our primary means to accomplish these goals are sponsoring sessions, workshops, and tutorials, and operating our two competitions at the national meetings of the AAPT. During 2007, the Committee sponsored 14 sessions and 9 workshops and co-sponsored 11 other workshops. During the summer meeting in Greensboro, the committee sponsored its annual Photo competition.
The AAPT/Lexmark Photo Contest continues to be an annual highlight of our activities. We now receive over 500 entries each year, many from students outside the US. Each year, the top 50 photos in each of two categories are displayed and judged at the summer meeting. Top entries have been featured in AAPT posters and calendars on the AAPT web site (http://www.aapt.org/contests/pc07.cfm), and this year were featured in a monthly planner. Winners have also graced the covers of The Physics Teacher, and the Announcer. The committee wishes to express its sincere thanks to our contest sponsor, Lexmark International, Inc. It donated over $10,000 worth of cash and photo printing equipment to the winners, their teachers and their schools. A search is currently underway to find a sponsor for the 2008 Photo Contest. [Postscript: Vernier Software & Technology will sponsor the 2008 Photo Contest.] We would also like to recognize Mary Winn, a longtime friend and sometime member of the committee who has handled all of the efforts associated with this project for many years.
The committee continues to sponsor sessions that cover a range of educational technology topics. We have concluded that each national meeting should have a contributed session on “Best Practices in Educational Technologies.” We encourage members who have developed beneficial applications of educational technology to consider presenting in this session. In addition, we have recently sponsored sessions on particular technologies (clickers, video, web-based, virtual labs, blogs, wikis, forums, video and audio podcasting, audio analysis…) on assessment of educational technology, on use of educational technologies for informal education, etc. This year, we continued offering a session on Computation in the Undergraduate Physics Curriculum. The session consisted of a mix of invited talks and posters. The Committee also tried an electronic poster session which was well-received.
The AAPT community is encouraged to attend the Committee's meetings during the national meetings, and to forward suggestions or requests to the committee chair (Michelle Strand).
Submitted by Michelle Strand
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Educational Technology (CET) has continued to offer numerous helpful workshops and sessions on cutting edge technology and has actively encouraged the participation of presenters with new, untested ideas, that might be of use to our members. Its development of the electronic poster session has been a popular addition to recent meetings. The CET's willingness to co-sponsor the High School Photo contest is commendable.
The discussion of the 2005 joint report of the AAPT-APS Task Force on Graduate Education in Physics in the committee continued this year. Michael Thoennessen, as the chair of the committee, together with Janet Tate and Chandralekha Singh from the APS Education Committee and Ted Hodapp, APS Director of Education and Outreach, is organizer for a conference on "Graduate Education in Physics: Which way forward?" where the status and future of graduate education in physics will be discussed. The conference, originally scheduled for the summer of 2007 will now take place at the American Center for Physics in College Park, MD, January 31 – February 2, 2008. The program is posted at http://www.aps.org/programs/education/conference.cfm
The organizers received a grant from the National Science Foundation to support the meeting.
The committee organized panel discussion sessions addressing topics of the Task Force Report at both National meetings. In Seattle, the session concentrated on “The Future of the Core Curriculum in Graduate Education” and “Demonstration of Mastery: The Future of the Exams” was discussed in Greensboro. Both sessions resulted in good ideas and suggestions that will be presented at the upcoming conference.
At the summer meeting, a new session “Cutting-Edge Physics Research in Simple English” was organized for the first time on a very short notice. The goal is to give graduate students the opportunity to explain their research to a general public audience. Due to the short time available to advertise the session only a few students participated. The committee regards this session as a great opportunity to involve more graduate students in AAPT meetings and hopes to continue these sessions in the future.
In 2007 the committee did not have a graduate student as a member. Ari Turner, who was a very active member for the previous three years has not been replaced. We would like to stress again the important contribution a graduate student can make as a member of the committee and would like to encourage the appointment of a graduate student for the next year.
Submitted by Michael Thoennessen
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Graduate Education in Physics (CGE) has organized interesting panel discussion at national meetings. Its collaboration with APS to provide the conference on "Graduate Education in Physics: Which way forward?" in January 2008 is also praiseworthy. The committee's encouragement of graduate students to present their research results in a non-threatening environment is an excellent idea. After a request from the CGE, a graduate student, Joseph Manzo, was named to serve on this committee.
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The traditional role of the committee has been to supply sessions and workshops for national AAPT meetings. We will continue to do this, but wish to note that our past and present members and the many friends of the committee are well positioned to give talks at section meetings. We would like to suggest the formation of a list of speakers, nominated by the area committees, who are available to give invited talks at section meetings of the association. At a recent committee meeting it was noted that this could have been done in the past by looking at the pages of the Announcer.
We are fortunate to have sponsored a series of workshops at winter meetings on Benjamin Franklin's researches in electrostatics organized by Robert Morse. These have always filled up to the maximum, and participants report that they are electrifying. Bob will repeat this workshop in Chicago, and Donald Metz will present a new workshop on Historical Experiments at the Edmonton meeting. This topic will reappear in an invited session organized by Zoltan Berkes.
At the committee meeting in Greensboro Esther Zirkel of Tufts University asked if there was time during committee meetings to talk about the use of the history of physics in the classroom. We followed her suggestion at the meeting, and asked her to sponsor a cracker barrel session at the Baltimore meeting on this subject. This was scheduled for the afternoon of the last day of the meeting – not a good time – but we did have four people in attendance. Earlier we had decided to organize a similar session at the Edmonton meeting, devoting it to the high school course. The proliferation of cracker barrel sessions seems to be leading to scheduling problems that might be alleviated by limiting them to one hour in length.
The present chair, having a strong interest in historical apparatus, would like to see a slight modification to the Mission Statement of the committee, to the end of encouraging the preservation of historical physics teaching apparatus as well as the preservation of “current happenings.”
Submitted by Thomas B. Greenslade. Jr.
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on the History and Philosophy of Physics (CHPP) has continued to present AAPT meeting participants with exciting and informative presentations on the history of physics. CHPP-sponsored recent talks by "Ben Franklin" and about Ben Franklin were very interesting and well attended. Adding presentations about historical apparatus, which the CHPP proposes, is an excellent idea and would be a welcomed addition to future programs. It is also noted that the CHPP's recommendation of developing a speakers' list and having speakers available for section meetings would also enrich AAPT and should be considered by the Executive Board.
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We see an opportunity to expand the membership of our organization. We are working on the following:
1.Develop a Section for Mexico based in Monterey, Mexico. An organizational meeting is planned for the 6th of March 2008.
2.Help identify teachers in the International Membership that can come to our PTRA training program, return to their countries to conduct workshops to train other teachers. As part of the program to help fund the teachers attending the PTRA workshop, the home country will be asked to develop an organization that will be aligned to AAPT. (“AAPT is at our country”)
3.Develop a dialog with teachers in Cuba, Iraq, Zambia, Mexico and China. The major idea is “learning from each other, best practices in our country.”
4.Advertise to members in our country who have backgrounds and friendships in other countries that can act as an “International Advocate”.
5.Develop the International Advocate program to the point that they will be able to translate an article per month in their native language to be posted on Compadre.
6.Help Mexico apply for a winter meeting date for AAPT. Videoconference ready rooms in Monterey
Submitted by:Don Franklin, Chair 2007-2008
Genaro Zavala, Chair 2008-2009
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on International Education (CIE) is undertaking projects to increase the outreach of AAPT to the international community. CIE's work developing “best practices,” enabling teachers in different countries to learn from one other, and the development of "International Advocates" is acknowledged and encouraged. The extension of PTRA and dialog with other countries on physics teaching is noteworthy. An important role of CIE is to monitor which countries are eligible for Fuller Funds, and for the 60% discount on AAPT membership dues.
The CIE is encouraged to help other countries to develop Sections and Affiliates. This will be mutually beneficial in creating new AAPT members and enabling AAPT to offer more services to physics teachers internationally. The International Advocate program should be expanded to aid physics teachers to make traveling to international countries for teacher conferences easier. Translation of selected journal articles for ComPADRE into many languages is now technically feasible and provides a valuable service to the physics teaching community worldwide.
CIE's report does not allude to session sponsorship at national meetings, to promote understanding of international physics education.
Dates of Committee meetings: January 8, 2007; July 31, 2007
Date of report submission: 3 June 2008
Committee goals for past year: The Committee members with help from Friends of the Committee reviewed and discussed features and details of Workshops and Paper Sessions that were offered or will be offered at the Summer 2007 meeting in Greensboro, NC; Winter 2008 meeting in Baltimore, MD; and Summer 2008 meeting in Edmonton, Alberta.
The workshops and paper sessions, often sponsored in cooperation with the Apparatus committee and the Committee on Undergraduate Education, involve a wide range of topics:
Workshop titles include: “Laboratories with Biomedical Applications,” "Teaching Assistant Training,” and “Photon Quantum Mechanical Labs.”
Paper Session titles include: “Physics First,” “Incorporating Writing in the Laboratory,” and “Unconventional Labs.”
Summary of the Committee's discussions and outcomes:
There has been some discussion and there will be continued discussions regarding:
• a statement of “Goals for K-8 Activities”
• a document titled: “Goals of Upper Division Laboratory Experiences”
A list of new ideas and issues to be discussed: There has been some discussion of development of a web site that would be of value to physics laboratory teachers. The development of such a site would make it possible for the Committee on Laboratories to help the many teachers who do not attend the national AAPT meetings.
Context and justification for any Committee recommendations: Not applicable
A list and corresponding rationale for any board action requested by the Committee: Not applicable.
Committee goals for 2008:
• Determination of workshops and paper sessions for future meetings
• Continued discussion and possible refinement of statements of “Goals for K-8 Activities” and “Goals of Upper Division Laboratory Experiences”
• Consideration of possible web site development
Submitted by James Mallmann
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Laboratories (COL) has sponsored and co-sponsored a diverse set of workshops and sessions at national meetings. The development of a website dealing with laboratories is a good idea that could benefit physics teachers throughout the USA and beyond. We encourage the committee to prepare a statement on "Goals for K-8 Activities" and a document on "Goals of Upper Division Laboratory Experiences." We expect the numerous communications on the AAPT Advanced Labs Listserv will provide useful ideas for the latter. We also recommend that COL coordinate efforts with ALPHA to enhance the advanced undergraduate labs. Finally, COL might also consider extending its reach by establishing a web page on comPADRE.
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Committee meetings: July 30, 2007 and January 20, 2008
Date of report submission: June 27, 2008
Committee's goals for past year: The Committee on Minorities (COM) has pursued activities in accord with its mission to seek more effective means of recruitment and retention of minority members of society in physics classes and physics related careers; seek methods of aiding minority physicists to overcome barriers to career development; and communicate to the AAPT membership and to the community at large COM's findings.
Accomplishments: In Greensboro, the COM-sponsored workshop, “Reaching, Keeping and Teaching Under-represented Minorities” went well with 19 participants. The session, "Physics Research at HBCUs and MSIs" was good, though its attendance was likely affected by Neil deGrasse Tyson's excellent, but lengthy, Klopsteg Award talk, which ate into some of the time. COM member Floyd James visited HBCU institutions in North Carolina to to encourage physics teachers to come to the Greensboro meeting.
At the Baltimore meeting, COM sponsored sessions on "The Minority Science and Engineering Program" and "Closing the Gap between Understanding and Action II: Institutional Policies that Promote Change." In Edmonton, COM sponsored a Cracker Barrel on "Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Minorities in Physics Cracker Barrel: Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Minorities in Physics" Session attendance varied from 9-14. We also sponsored a program to bring minority students to the meeting (coordinated by Betty Preece).
Plans for 2008: For the Chicago meeting, we are planning a workshop on “Working with High School Teachers Especially Those Working with Under-represented Groups”, plus sessions on “Successful Teachers of Minority Students,” “Innovations in Biophysics”(co–sponsor, Women in Physics); and “Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Groups: What works and what doesn't?” (Co-Sponsor, Women in Physics).
New Ideas: We have submitted a few biographies of minority physicists/engineers to the AIP History Project and expect to make this an on-going project of the Committee.
Committee Concerns: In Baltimore, there were unfortunate delays in learning speaker times, and the meeting program arrived late (in some cases after speakers had left town for the meeting!).
Submitted by Harvey S. Leff (from minutes and agendas provided by John Hubisz)
Review Board Comments:
The 2007 report shows that the Committee on Minorities in Physics (CMP) has continued to have accomplishments in accord with its important mission. The efforts for the Greensboro meeting in reaching out to the MBCU in North Carolina were excellent and much appreciated. The program in Baltimore to encourage minority students to come to the W 2008 meeting is also praiseworthy. The CMP's plans for the Chicago meeting sound promising. The submission of biographies of minority physicists/engineers to the AIP History Project is a great idea.
An over-arching goal of the high school committee is to help teachers be better teachers, students be better students, and schools be better schools. In 2007, the committee contributed towards this goal by sponsoring sessions and workshops at the National meetings, supporting special programs to encourage innovation in teaching practices and student learning, and working collaboratively with other AAPT committees to promote best teaching practices to excite students and teachers about learning through science.
Significant progress was made in 2007 with the revision of the “Role, Qualifications, and Education of High School Physics Teachers”. A joint project between the High School Committee and Teacher Preparation, the end product will be a pamphlet and on-line resource that will help principals and policy makers decide on effective methods to help prepare physics teachers prior to entering the classroom and support them once they are teaching.
Three high school programs focused on recognizing outstanding teachers and achievements by students include the High School Photo Contest (Mary Winn), the High School Video Contest (Trina Cannon), and the High School Teaching Grant. While scheduling conflicts prevented the video contest from being judged at the Summer Meeting in Greensboro, the program will continue with entries anticipated for the Summer 2008 in Edmonton. The High School Photo contest continues to grow in popularity and number of photos submitted. The dissemination by AAPT of the award winning photos as postcards, posters, planners, on the AAPT website, and as a calendar is appreciated by the committee and is major reason the program continues to expand.
The High School Teacher Grant also continues to attract more proposals each year. Revamped in 2006, nine proposals were received in 2007 and three were selected for awards of $500 each to support innovative teaching ideas to impact student learning.
The High School Committee commends the initiative of John Layman who helped to organize a High School Physics Teacher Recognition Day at the Baltimore Winter Meeting. This event, which included several engaging sessions on high-interest physics topics for high school teachers, is a model the committee recommends be considered for future AAPT meetings to complement the sessions and workshops normally planned for each meeting.
Looking to 2008, the High School Committee will continue to make progress towards providing resources to the high school physics community to help improve physics education at the high school level, encourage best practices and professional development, and to help inspire future generations of physics teachers.
Submitted by Wayne Fisher
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Physics in High Schools (CPHS) has sponsored good sessions, contests and workshops at national meetings. The high school teacher recognition days should be continued, as this will bring recognition to deserving teachers and AAPT’s efforts to support them. The resource for administrators to prepare physics teachers for classroom teaching will be a valuable tool and should be made available online, perhaps through ComPADRE. We suggest that the materials developed through grants that support innovative teaching ideas be disseminated through AAPT publications, including those online. The CPHS should continue to develop and disseminate materials useful to in-service high school physics teachers, which is consistent with the mission of AAPT. Finally, we encourage continuation of a joint effort with the Teacher Preparation Committee to develop materials for pre-service teachers as well.
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The Committee on Physics in Pre-High School Education undertook several projects at the request of the Executive Board in 2007. We reconsidered our mission statement, which we felt still reflects the essence of the committee. We considered the summary report from the Retreat and our concerns were forwarded to the Executive officer. Finally we reconsidered the need for this committee, especially in light of the new Teacher Preparation committee. The Committee strongly feels that special attention needs to be paid to physics taught before high school, after all it is this foundation that prepares physics in all later grades. As such the committee remains active in sponsoring workshops which highlight physics for young learners and best practices for their teachers.
Submitted by Thomas Foster
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Physics in Pre-High School Education has an important role in the mission of AAPT. It is at this level that we must keep students motivated about science. To this end, we recommend that the committee remain active in the following areas: continue sponsoring workshops for pre-high school teachers; develop materials for pre-service middle school teachers; establish a network for middle school science/physics teachers for exchange of ideas, curriculum and teaching methods (a listserv would be a good start); and contact local teachers to invite them to a national meeting at reduced cost, with a cracker-barrel session for the exchange of ideas. This committee has an important role in AAPT as a bridge to prepare students for high school physics programs. Joint efforts with the High School and Teacher Preparation Committees are strongly encouraged.
Committee meetings: Winter 2007 meeting in Seattle, WA: January 7, 2007; Summer 2007 meeting in Greensboro, NC: July 30, 2007
Report submission: May 27, 2008
Committee's goals for past year: To increase support for new TYC faculty; to decrease sense of isolation among TYC faculty, to increase the visibility of the TYC community within AAPT.
Summary of discussions and outcomes: (a) A breakfast is now organized during each meeting. The TYC breakfast has been well attended in the two meetings of 2007 and has helped bring new people to the committee meetings. (b) A working session with the editor of The Physics Teacher was organized in Greensboro. This has helped identify opportunities to increase the number of publications by TYC members in TPT. Some articles have already appeared in 2008. (c) As part of an NSF grant obtained by two members of the TYC community, a workshop for new TYC faculty has been organized in March 2008 at Delta College.
New ideas and issues to be discussed: The need to re-energize the TYC community was discussed during the 2007 committee meetings. The difficulty of pursuing initiatives due to time constraints was identified as a major obstacle. The example of the successful TYC21 initiative was discussed.
Context and justification for committee recommendations: (a) The duration of a committee meeting is not sufficient for substantive discussions beyond the planning of the next meeting, or some general discussions. (b) Travel funds are increasing difficult to obtain. A full-day session devoted to TYC issues could help justify travel expenses. It would also help increase attendance at national meetings.
Board action requested: (a) Support to institutionalize a workshop for new TYC faculty. This could be included with the New Faculty Workshop organized by AAPT. (b) Support to organize parallel sessions devoted to TYC issues. These sessions could be organized on Saturday prior to national meetings.
Committee's goals for 2008: (a) Continue with efforts to increase publications by TYC faculty. (b) Launch efforts to revitalize the TYC community inspired by the example of TYC21. An informal meeting was held in Baltimore to prepare a longer meeting in Edmonton. (c) Maintain the TYC presence at national meetings with the following components: TYC breakfast, Crackerbarrel session on TYC issues held before the committee meeting, Resource room during summer meetings, and "Favorite activity/lesson in the TYC classroom" poster session.
Submitted by Karim Diff
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Physics in Two-Year Colleges (TYC) has endeavored to increase support for TYC faculty and their visibility to the AAPT community. Its TYC breakfast at AAPT meetings is an excellent idea, and the working session for publishing opportunities for TYC faculty addressed an important issue. The NSF workshop for new TYC faculty is commendable. We suggest that the TYC conduct much of its business between national meetings via e-mail, enabling those members who cannot travel to all national meetings to participate in discussions. The requests for Executive Board action are duly noted. AAPT is interested in holding a New TYC Faculty Workshop at ACP if a funding source can be found.
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The CPUE mission is threefold. (1) To provide a forum for consideration of topics relevant to undergraduate instruction in physics in two-year colleges, four-year colleges, and universities. (2) In cooperation with the High School, Two-Year College and Graduate Education Committees, to seek ways of improving articulation for students progressing from one level to another. (3) To aid in keeping the AAPT membership informed of ways in which the teaching of physics at the undergraduate level may be facilitated.
Overview of Activity: The CPUE sponsored and co-sponsored several sessions and workshops at the 2007 Winter and Summer Meetings (fulfills Items #1 and #3 of the mission), made a recommendation regarding support for the 2008 Gordon Conference (fulfills Items #1 and #3 of the mission), and developed a proposal to form an Upper Level Undergraduate Curriculum Task Force (fulfills Items #1 and #2 of the mission). The development of the proposal was featured in a fall issue of Interactions in an article written by Steve Davolt.
Committee meetings were held at the Winter Meeting in Seattle (6 of 9 members attended, along with at least 10 friends) and in the Summer Meeting in Greensboro (6 of 9 members attended, along with at least 13 friends). In Seattle, vigorous discussion of the “doubling initiative” occurred, both pro and con (fulfills Item #1 of the mission). In Greensboro, there was discussion of an upcoming effort to organize a conference to reconsider the introductory course for the life sciences because of related reform efforts of the life science community, and there was lively discussion of the draft proposal of the proposal to form an Upper Level Undergraduate Curriculum Task Force (fulfills Items #1 and #2 of the mission).
Details: In Greensboro, we sponsored, or co-sponsored the following. Tutorial: "Creating Java Simulations for Physics Teaching with Easy Java Simulations"; Workshops: "Learning Physics while Practicing Science" and "Using RTOP to Improve Physics and Physical Science Learning"; Sessions: "Mentoring Students in Undergraduate Research", "Integrating Computation into the Curriculum", "The Art and Science of Teaching", "Introductory College Physics Textbooks: Current Role and Future Possibilities".
In Baltimore, we sponsored, or co-sponsored the following. Tutorial: "Civic Engagement and Service Learning: The SENCER Project"; Workshops: "Modeling Mechanics from Free Fall to Chaos", "Art of Approximation in Science and Engineering". Sessions: "UG Student Research – SPS Poster Session", "UG Student Research – SPS Oral Session", "Award-Winning UG Research Programs", "The Best of comPADRE", "Statistical and Thermal Physics in the UG Curriculum", "RTOP Implementation to Improve Teaching and Learning", "Information Fluency and Physics Curriculum".
The proposal for the Upper Level Undergraduate Curriculum Task Force was not formally approved by a vote of the committee in 2007. The committee has sought feedback from other potentially affected committees continues to revise this proposal and also to explore alternative ways (e.g., ongoing invited panel sessions followed by crackerbarrel sessions) of advancing substantive discussion about the upper level undergraduate curriculum.
Submitted by Ernie Behringer
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education (CPUE) is fulfilling its mission well. The CPUE's workshops and sessions provided ideas and training for improvement of the undergraduate curriculum. The topics covered a wide range of ideas contributing to the undergraduate experience. The plan for a task for to study the upper level undergraduate curriculum is strongly supported by the Executive Board and should be pursued. We also recommend that the committee coordinate efforts with ALPHA to enhance the advanced undergraduate labs.
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Meeting Dates: WM07, Seattle – 1/8/07; SM07, Greensboro, NY – 7/31/07
Primary Goals: The committee's primary goal continues to be finding proactive ways to serve the members of our organization better.
Cracker-barrel (CB) sessions have proven to be popular, but the committee feels that some changes need to be made. (1) If the Committee on Professional Concerns is cosponsoring a cracker-barrel session, CPC needs a report about how the session went from the cosponsoring committee. (Dean Hudek created a useful report form.) (2) People who are leading cracker barrel sessions need to be trained in how to conduct the sessions.
For WM07, we had reports for two CB's. One was on Professional concerns of Junior Faculty in PER (35 attendees). This was largely a networking meeting. Attendees talked about job opportunities and collaborated on writing the ideal job description. Questions that are important for applicants to ask potential employers previous to hiring were discussed. The group wants another CB next winter. The other was on the CB on Professional concerns of Women in Physics (25 attendees), centering on what to post on the listserv and what material to put on a website.
In addition to the CB's, we sponsored two tutorials. Theo Koupilis gave a SENCER tutorial and Pat Viele gave the “Mining the Internet “ tutorial.
At SM07, we had reports for 3 CB's (out of 8). "Professional Concerns of Two-Year College Physics Faculty" had about 25 attendees. The following topics were discussed: What can be done to monitor and control the quality of online physics courses. What can be done about the ratio of adjuncts to full time faculty - who has authority over the adjuncts? Dual enrollment - high school teachers teaching college course in high school – the students get college credit but the college has no quality control over the teacher or what is being taught. To meet the needs of their community, they decided to create a program or workshop for new 2YC faculty. The CB "Professional Concerns of Instructional Resource Specialists" had about 15 attendees and the following topics were discussed: How to keep your faculty informed about expansions and improvements to your demo selection. How to effectively incorporate PRS into your work load by involving the IT dept, the library or the bookstore. How to get your own funding from NSF and corporate donations from e.g., Microsoft. How to effectively manage your heavy work load and many different job responsibilities. How to keep from getting flack for not having your main responsibilities completed because you were too busy with other tasks you were given. Importance of setting limits and asking “Would you rather I do my main responsibilities or this additional task? I don't have time to do both.” The importance of performance evaluations as a tool for disclosing all you do, consider 360 deg evaluations if your institution supports them. Tom Greenslade and Zig Peacock were given as references for “what is this thing and what is it good for” questions. "Professional Concerns of High School Physics Faculty" had about 25 attendees. Topics discussed included: How to efficiently get engineers certified to teach physics, Complications associated with satisfying the No Child Left Behind act, How to set appropriate teaching standards. They suggested that minutes from the previous CB be read at the start of the next. In addition to these CB's, Pat Viele gave a one and a half hour tutorial “Mining the Internet” for 23 people.
Concerns: We urge AAPT staff to find a consistent way of listing the CB sessions in the program. Sometimes they are listed by the title first then the CB designation and sometimes the CB designation is first. This makes it very hard to find the sessions.
Submitted by Pat Viele
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Professional Concerns (CPC) has sponsored or co-sponsored a variety of popular crackerbarrel sessions. We encourage CPC to continue seeking ways to improve such sessions further. Directing crackerbarrel sessions at target audiences, e.g., instructional resource specialists or high school faculty is an effective way to bring issues to the fore. Perhaps, particularly "hot" issues identified this way could be addressed subsequently in CPC-sponsored sessions.
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The Committee on Research in Physics Education (RiPE) continues to be active at the National Meetings. In Seattle, RiPE sponsored or co-sponsored 7 workshops and 10 sessions. In Greensboro, RiPE sponsored or co-sponsored 8 workshops and 8 sessions. In addition to these sessions officially sponsored by RiPE, there are typically several additional sessions related to Physics Education Research that are created from contributed papers at the paper sort. RiPE sessions continue to be well-attended and vibrant.
The 2007 Physics Education Research Conference (PERC), held this summer right after the Greensboro AAPT meeting, had as its theme “Cognitive Science and Physics Education Research” and featured keynote speakers in several areas of cognitive science. Organizers Steve Kanim, Michael Loverude, and Chandralekha Singh sustained the innovative session formats explored in previous years, including targeted poster sessions and roundtable discussions. A peer-reviewed conference proceedings was published containing 8 invited and 45 peer-reviewed articles.
This was the second year of the Physics Education Research Topical Group (PERTG) of the AAPT. PERTG members elect a leadership council to represent the PER community. PERTG and RiPE continue to work closely together on matters significant to the AAPT Physics Education Research community. One important initiative of PERTG is to assist with the development of online resources on PER Central <http://www.compadre.org/per/>, which is a collection of resources on the comPADRE portion of the National Science Digital Library.
Submitted by Charles Henderson, Chair
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Research in Physics Education (RiPE) has continued to offer numerous important, highly popular, stimulating sessions at AAPT national meetings. We support RIPE's role helping to run the well-attended PERC, with its innovative targeted poster sessions and roundtable discussions. We strongly encourage continuation of the close working relationship between RiPE and the PERTG Leadership Council.
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No report was submitted by the Committee Chair, Patricia Sievert.
Review Board Comments:
The lack of an annual report from the Committee on Science Education for the Public weakens AAPT's efforts in this important area. This must be corrected.
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CSSA Meetings: Seattle, Sunday, 7 January 2007 and Greensboro, Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Date of the submission of this report: 28 January 2008
The Committee on Space Science and Astronomy CSSA had the opportunity in 2007 to directly address the first point of its mission. (See below.) The winter 2007 meeting was joint with the American Astronomical Society. The multiple sessions and workshops available at the joint meeting benefited the members of both organizations. The CSSA sessions and workshops at both 2007 meetings met the other points of our mission by informing the members on developments in astronomical research and promoting effective instruction in astronomy.
Examples of the workshops given in 2007 are (in Seattle) Physics of Supernovae, Using Large Data Sets to Teach Astronomy, Teaching Astronomy with Technology, and Making Pretty Pictures: How Astronomers make Images and (in Greensboro) Incorporating Critical Thinking into Astronomy, Teaching Astronomy with Technology, and Doing Real Science Projects with Small Telescopes. Examples of sessions were (in Seattle) Undergraduate Research in Astronomy and Physics, Innovations in Teaching Astronomy, The Once and Future Role of Women in Astronomy, Astronomy Education Research Crackerbarrel, and (in Greensboro) Space Science and Astronomy Missions and Professional Concerns for the Teaching of Astronomy.
The mission statement of the committee was discussed in Greensboro and revisions were suggested.
CSSA Mission (as revised and recommended) (1) To strengthen and maintain contacts with national organizations concerned with space science and astronomy and the teaching thereof. (2) To provide AAPT members with a perspective on current space science and astronomy research. (3) To promote excellence in teaching astronomy by: (a) sponsoring hands-on workshops that introduce the latest in computer software and observational techniques taught in labs; (b) holding sessions that provide information on resources for teaching materials, on successful and unsuccessful curricula developments, on research in teaching, and on the interrelationships between astronomy and other disciplines; (c) promoting areas of joint interest with other AAPT committees.
The changes in the proposed mission changes are relatively small. Point 2. has been changed to expand the possibilities of session names beyond "Frontiers in Space Science and Astronomy". In point 3c. the term "sister committees" was changed to remove a gendered word where none was appropriate.
The CSSA Committee and its friends were busy in 2007 developing and presenting workshops and sessions to meet its mission.
Submitted by Gordon McIntosh
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Space Science and Astronomy (CSSA) has continued its tradition of sponsoring a wide variety of exciting and useful workshops and sessions at national AAPT meetings. The range of topics, from "Incorporating Critical Thinking into Astronomy," to "Physics of Supernovae," to "The Once and Future Role of Women in Astronomy," is notable. In organizing such programs, the CSSA is addressing its mission well. The committee's mission revisions, though small, are well reasoned and appreciated.
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Date(s) of meeting(s): AAPT Winter Meeting, Seattle, Jan. 6, 2007; AAPT Summer Meeting, Greensboro, July 29, 2007
Date of report submission: Feb. 18, 2007
Committee's goals for past year:
•Sponsor workshops and sessions at AAPT meetings, in collaboration with other AAPT Area Committees.
•Continue our collaboration with PTEC and PhysTEC.
•Support projects related to teacher preparation, within AAPT and with outside professional organizations.
Summary of the committees' discussions and outcomes: Most of the discussions at meetings in 2007 were related to sessions and workshops that the committee should sponsor. We encouraged Pat Callahan to approach the AAPT Executive Board for funding to support a retreat for his group to make substantial progress on the document they are revising, The Role, Education, Qualifications and Professional Development of Secondary Physics Teachers. At the Summer Meeting in Greensboro, we discussed ideas for other projects that the Teacher Prep Committee could undertake.
List of new ideas and issues to be discussed: The following list was generated at the July 2007 committee meeting in Greensboro: (a) Nation-wide database of newly prepared physics/physical science teachers and potential mentors of beginning teachers. Could we establish a Wiki for this? (b) Analysis of best practices to retain physics teachers in the profession, including (i) Long-term, strategic projects; e.g. define best-practice programs and concomitant policy recommendations; this may be most appropriate after the task force completes its work. (ii) Assistance to middle school and physical science teachers. (iii) Outreach efforts to professional organizations of administrators and/or supervisors. (iv) Outreach efforts to schools of education, perhaps through PTEC institutions. (v) Suggest/produce materials for recruitment of physics teachers.
Committee's goals for upcoming year: 1. Continue to expand our offering of workshops and sessions at AAPT meetings. Attendance is consistently high for these sessions, indicating their value to members. 2. Continue to collaborate with PTEC and PhysTEC. 3. Develop a committee structure so that all members contribute to the work of the committee and are involved in projects in addition to planning sessions for AAPT meetings. 4. Develop a succession plan for committee leadership.
Submitted by Ingrid Novodvorsky
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Teacher Preparation (CTP) has focused on an impressive range of activities in 2007, including organizing programs at national meetings, collaborating with the national programs PhysTEC and PTEC, and working with other professional organizations. Revision of "The Role, Education, Qualification and Professional Development of Secondary Physics Teachers" is praiseworthy (with or without AAPT monetary support). The new ideas regarding development of a national database and analysis of best practices are highly ambitious and important, and we encourage the CTP to pursue these exciting ideas.
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Dates of Committee meetings: January 7, 2007; July 31, 2007; January 21, 2008
Date of report submission: Re-submitted May 6, 2008
Committee's goals and Initiatives for past year:
• One goal was to continue to strive to have female Plenary speakers at national meetings. In the recent past, we have had Jocelyn Bell and Janet Guthrie, to name two women who have vastly different but very interesting backgrounds and connections to physics.
• An initiative was to use our sessions to further the understanding of new areas of physics research as well as to highlight physics education research that focuses on the female student population. To this end, we sponsor a session entitled Women in Physics in the (insert city, state where meeting is held) Area and invite researchers as well as graduate students to give us insight into exciting areas of physics research.
• We have also continued to build bridges to other physics groups; in particular the APS Committee on Status of Women in Physics, AIP, National Academy of Engineering, The Society of Women Engineers, The Committee on the Status of Women In Astronomy, AWIS, and the like. Working on issues of gender equity is important to all of us. The current chair of the committee, Brian Pyper, is a member of ASP and has already made contact with the CSWP chair to investigate cooperation between our committees.
Summary of the committees' discussions and outcomes: The committee has discussed all of the goals listed above. In addition, we continue to work with our friends and members to work with other committees to advance topics of mutual interest. In particular we regularly work with the Committee on Minorities as well the Committee on Teacher Preparation.
List of new ideas and issues to be discussed
i. The committee under the leadership of Pat Viele from Cornell University has started a listing of books about and by women in physics. She has them posted in a webliography. She sends us updates every once in a while. It is a good reference.
ii. The committee has also taken a focused interest in the area of work place issues, especially as it relates to family friendly practices. This is an area that is becoming more of an issue as more women enter the physics research arena. It is, however, an issue that affects male physicists as well. Thus it is an area of interest for all.
Context and justification for any Committee recommendations: none to report
Committee's goals for 2008: The goals for 2008 are a continuation of our goals for 2007. The committee continues to function in a positive and forward looking manner.
Submitted by Marie Plumb
Review Board Comments:
The Committee on Women in Physics CWP has continued to organize interesting, important sessions at AAPT's national meetings. The goals of the (CWP) are commendable. Specifically, the goal of building bridges with other physics groups is important, and it will be good to see the results of these efforts. The recently begun web-bibliography on books relating to women in physics is a wonderful idea that has the potential to reach a large audience. It will be interesting to watch how the new CWP efforts exploring workplace issues evolves.
Date(s) of Committee meetings: Monday, January 8, 2007 (Seattle, Washington); Monday, July 30, 2007 (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Date of report submission: 13 June, 2008
Committee's goals for past year: The Committee began the year with “temporary” status. Much of the discussion (in addition to meeting session planning) at the Seattle Meeting concerned application for permanent status and the development of a committee mission statement. Both were accomplished in the time between the Seattle and the Greensboro Meetings. The Committee goals subsequently were to fulfill the mission statement.
A summary of the committees' discussions and outcomes: Committee discussions involved those mentioned above as well as: Paper session formats (time per paper, etc.); continuation of Retirees' Breakfasts (general approval); small number of meeting sessions allotted to CISP; change of society's name (general disapproval)
A list of new ideas and issues to be discussed: Chair Jacob reported at the Greensboro Meeting on the Area Chairs Planning Retreat held in May. Issues raised at the retreat were discussed.
Context and justification for any Committee recommendations: The Committee recommends the establishment of a clearing house for opportunities for retired physics teachers to teach full or part time. A steering committee to pursue this is recommended.
A list and corresponding rationale for any board action requested by your Committee: The principal action was the request for permanent status as described above.
Committee's goals for 2008: The Committee's goals are to continue to implement its mission statement, particularly in the area of serving as an opportunities exchange for retired physicists.
Submitted by Richard Jacob
Review Board Comments:
The committee on the Interests of Senior Physicists (CISP) is congratulated on its achievement of permanent status. This committee of mature, accomplished individuals is potentially important to AAPT, and CISP's advice and opinions on issues facing AAPT are always welcomed. We look forward to an increased number of future CISP-sponsored intellectually-stimulating sessions that enrich AAPT's national meetings. The CISP's suggestion of a clearing house for part-time and full-time teaching positions for retired physics teachers has high potential. If fully developed and well-advertised, could provide a great service to both departments and retirees. The CISP is encouraged to provide more details on what resources would be needed to accomplish this.
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