AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

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Workshops

Listed below is a current list of workshops planned for the 2013 winter meeting. Some details are subject to change.

All workshops will be held at Southern University at New Orleans (6400 Press Drive, New Orleans, LA 70126).  The workshop will be held in the Old Science Building (Brown Hall – Building 6) and the New Science Building (Building 7). Click here to view a map of the campus and directions to the University.  You can park in front of building 7 or beside building 8 (FYI- building 8 has been demolished and is now an empty lot).

You must pick-up your registration packet at the AAPT registration desk at the Hyatt Regency before leaving for Southern University.  Buses will run between the two locations.  Buses will depart from the first level of the Hyatt Regency behind the front desk.  Buses will leave promptly at the times listed.  

Click here to view Bus Schedule

Sort by: Title Date

  • W05: CASTLE E&M - A  CANCELED

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Dick Feren

    Cost

    • Members: $100
    • Non-members: $125

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 20

    Participants will investigate bulb lighting in circuits with batteries and capacitors from the CASTLE high school electricity curriculum. The experiments stimulate construction of a powerful model of the current-driving mechanism by students with no prior knowledge of electric circuits. Surprising bulb lighting events and a productive air analogy expose major misconceptions and suggest "pressure" (low abstraction conception of electric potential in conductors) as the causal agent of current propulsion. Fostering model evolution in small steps helps maintain support for reasoning during episodes of conceptual change. Transient bulb lighting controlled by capacitors enables observers to grasp the mechanism by which pressure difference created in batteries is distributed in circuits, and to use color coding of circuit diagrams for pressure values as a low abstraction analytical tool. This is the first of two CASTLE workshops

  • W06: New RTP and ILD Tools and Curricula: Video Analysis, Clickers and E&M Labs

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    David Sokoloff

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Ronald Thornton, Tufts University Priscilla Laws, Dickinson College

    Cost

    • Members: $85
    • Non-members: $110

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 5

    RealTime Physics (RTP) and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs) have been available for over 15 years--so what's new? The recently released Third Edition of RTP includes five new labs on basic electricity and magnetism in Module 3 as well a new approach to projectile motion in Module 1. Some of these new labs make use of video analysis. Also new are clicker-based ILDs. This hands-on workshop is designed for those who want to make effective use of active learning with computer-based tools in their introductory courses. These active learning approaches for lectures, labs, and recitations (tutorials) are based on physics education research (PER). Participants will work with new activities as well as original ones. The following will be distributed: Modules from the Third Edition of RTP, the ILD book, the Physics with Video Analysis book and CD, and Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite by E.F. Redish.

  • W08: String and Sticky Tape Lecture Demonstrations

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Tom Senior

    Co-Organizer(s)

    David Maiuillo, David Sturm

    Cost

    • Members: $80
    • Non-members: $105

    Seats

    • Max: 30
    • Available: 19

    Lecture demonstrations using inexpensive apparatus, mostly home made. Topics from both semesters of physics will be shown.

  • W09: TIPERs in the High School Classroom

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Martha Lietz

    Cost

    • Members: $75
    • Non-members: $100

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 15

    TIPERs are Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research. These tasks are not like traditional physics textbook problems, but rather, require the students to think conceptually about a particular physical situation. They include ranking tasks, working backwards tasks, conflicting contentions tasks, linked multiple choice tasks and others. In this workshop, we will work with different kinds of tasks, discuss how they might be effectively used in the physics classroom, and learn how to write some of our own tasks.

  • W01: Arduino Micro-Controllers and Underwater ROVs

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Greg Mulder, Parker Swanson, and Pat Keefe

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Patrick Keefe Parker Swanson

    Cost

    • Members: $215
    • Non-members: $240

    Seats

    • Max: 18
    • Available: 4

    Arduino Microcontrollers are relatively inexpensive devices which you can program to collect data from a variety of sensors types and control external devices such as motors and actuators. Microcontrollers can be used in a variety of classroom activities and student projects. We will focus our workshop on using an Arduino Microcontroller to construct a mini-underwater vehicle that will seek out to hover at a desired programmed depth. We will also discuss how our students use Arduinos for fun, research, underwater ROVs and general exploration. An optional pool-test of your mini-underwater vehicle will occur after the workshop at a nearby hotel pool. No previous microcontroller, programming or electronics experience is required. You need to bring your own Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.

  • W02: Mathbench Workshop  CANCELED

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Don Franklin

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Dr. Kaci Thompson, Dr. Karen Nelson

    Cost

    • Members: $90
    • Non-members: $115

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 24

    Using the University of Maryland Mathbench Modules Physics Teachers/Professors can develop a series of out of class learning experiences which reinforce the need for Physics, while helping Biology/Pre Medicine majors understand the relationships between Physics and today's Biology classes. You can review the website at Mathbench.umd.edu and examine the modules that are part of the program.

  • W03: Physics and Astronomy by Design

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Julia Olsen

    Cost

    • Members: $120
    • Non-members: $145

    Seats

    • Max: 30
    • Available: 23

    What is understanding? What is the relationship between knowledge and understanding? What does "teaching for understanding" look like in the physics and/or astronomy classroom? How can we implement reformed teaching along with new standards? These and other important questions will be explored as participants design, develop and refine a cohesive unit plan based on the principles found in Understanding by Design (UbD). In the UbD classroom, there are high expectations and incentives for all students while exploration of big ideas and essential questions is differentiated, so students who are able delve more deeply into the subject matter than others. This workshop is appropriate for instructors from pre-high school through college levels. Participants will receive a copy of UbD, 2nd Ed. Note: participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptops to the workshop.

  • W04: Reformed Teacher Observation Protocol (RTOP)

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Kathleen Falconer

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Daniel MacIsaac

    Cost

    • Members: $90
    • Non-members: $115

    Seats

    • Max: 18
    • Available: 10

    The Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) is a 25-item rubric that provides a percentile measure of the degree and type of student-centered, constructivist, inquiry-based engagement in an instructional situation. RTOP scores correlate very highly with student conceptual gains. In this workshop, we will score video vignettes of teaching to learn how to use RTOP for guiding personal reflection and improvement and change of our own teaching; for mentoring peers, novice teachers, and student teachers; and to establish a vocabulary for discussing reformed teaching practices. If you wish, you may bring a DVD of your own teaching to score.

  • W07: Centripetal Force and Dark Matter

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Jim Nelson

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Damian Pope, Perimeter Institute (PI) for Theoretical Physics

    Cost

    • Members: $90
    • Non-members: $115

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 13

    During this PI-PTRA workshop participants will do a simulation and an actual laboratory activity to develop the equation for centripetal force. This information will be used to develop an explanation for the discovery and characteristics of dark matter. Several Perimeter Institute activities will be completed, and the Perimeter Institute Dark Matter DVD will be shown. Participants will receive a PI Mystery of Dark Matter Resource Kit including DVD and activities masters as well as a CD with notes and masters of each PTRA activity. Some Advanced Placement problems on centripetal force will also be discussed. Participants are encouraged to bring a calculator or computer with graphing software.

  • W10: CASTLE E&M - B  CANCELED

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Dick Feren

    Cost

    • Members: $100
    • Non-members: $125

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 20

    Participants will investigate electrical phenomena that require expanding the scope of the explanatory model inherited from the CASTLE core curriculum. DISTANT ACTION: Isolated charges make a nearby uncharged capacitor light a bulb, and a field effect transistor does the same, while a battery makes bulbs light between two capacitors in series. Such events can be explained by modeling that +/– charges support “halos” (low abstraction conception of potential functions) which have the “potential” to raise/lower pressure in distant conductors. ELECTROMAGNETICS: Production of vector electromagnetic radiation (jointly with stationary magnetic field) by a current bearing coil is investigated using a bicolor LED to detect electric field created in the coil wire by accelerating charge, while a coaxial secondary coil and portable radio detect the electric field moving outward. Motor and generator effects in a Genecon are traced to the field of permanent magnets acting on moving charge in wires.

  • W11: Demonstration Management

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Dale Stille & David Sturm

    Co-Organizer(s)

    David E. Sturm

    Cost

    • Members: $70
    • Non-members: $95

    Seats

    • Max: 80
    • Available: 73

    A how-to session on managing the many facets of modern demonstration and outreach facilities. Starting from an overview of Physics Instructional Resource Association (PIRA) resources and materials, workshop participants can consider either how to take an existing demonstration room, or construct a new facility, using the experiences and knowledge of fellow demonstration specialists. This workshop will include categorizing and sorting existing demonstrations, methods of delivery, and focus on issues such as what to order and what to build, where to find raw material, vendor resources, and much more. This session will be different from the summer workshops that perform the top 200 demonstrations: instead we focus on managing those resources. Participants will go home with checklists, references, and a to-do list geared towards their facility!

  • W12: Reducing the Achievement Gap Using Invention Instruction

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Suzanne Brahmia

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Andrew Boudreaux, Stephen Kanim

    Cost

    • Members: $75
    • Non-members: $100

    Seats

    • Max: 18
    • Available: 6

    When we introduce new quantities in physics we usually explain mathematically how they are related to other quantities. Too often students simply memorize the equations, approaching physics as a pattern-matching activity. Schwartz et. al. have developed invention instruction as a means to prepare students for future learning. Based on this work, physics invention tasks present students with open-ended situations in which they create mathematical characterizations of physical situations, thus priming students to make sense of subsequent formal instruction rather than just memorizing the associated equations. A collaboration between Rutgers, WWU, and NMSU has developed sequences of invention tasks designed to promote mathematical reasoning skills that are often lacking in introductory physics students. These materials have been used in physics courses with large numbers of underrepresented minority students, and contribute to reducing achievement gaps. This workshop will engage participants in invention tasks, discuss classroom applications, and present preliminary results.

  • W13: Stars: Their Lives and Our Cosmic Connection

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Mandy Frantti

    Cost

    • Members: $74
    • Non-members: $99

    Seats

    • Max: 18
    • Available: 12

    How are you related to the cosmos? In this workshop, participants will review the life cycle of stars (especially those whose lives end in Black Holes). Participants will engage in activities including sorting impressive photos taken by Hubble Space Telescope, looking at how heavier elements are formed in supernova explosions, representing the spectra of elements with music, and more. The topic includes applications that are great for physics, chemistry or astronomy classrooms that excite students (and teachers). Multiple intelligences are addressed. Astronomy background not necessary. Participants will receive NASA materials to use in the classroom.

  • W14: Building Inclusive Depts: Examples and Exercises in Pedagogy and Community  CANCELED

    Date/Time

    • Sat, Jan 5
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Juan Burciaga

    Cost

    • Members: $70
    • Non-members: $95

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 24

    Faculty, either consciously or unconsciously, impose a learning environment in every course we teach. And our interactions with students outside of the classroom ... as researchers, mentors, teachers ... sets the tone for a departmental community. But what pedagogies do we use to make our courses more inclusive? What is the departmental community? How does it form? Using group discussion and case studies we will practice possible answers to these and other challenges posed by diverse student (and teacher) populations. The workshop is designed for those who have already had a workshop or some training in issues of diversity.

  • W27: Sound and Music: Ways to Teach It (Free Kit!)

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Wendy Adams

    Cost

    • Members: $70
    • Non-members: $95

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 1

    The Acoustical Society of America is proud to offer a "Sound and Music Activity Kit" free to K-12 teachers. The kit includes ten high quality tuning forks (frequencies chosen to address a range of learning goals), a sound level meter, four laminated posters of the inner ear and hair cells (healthy and damaged), additional items for hands on demos and 32 research-based, interactive, student-tested lessons, laboratory exercises and 2 assessments. These lessons have been reviewed by the AAPT PTRAs (Physics Teacher Resource Agents). There are lessons that are appropriate for a range of levels K-14. Topics include basic learning goals for teaching the physics of sound with examples and applications relating to medical imaging, animal bioacoustics, physical and psychological acoustics, speech, audiology, and architectural acoustics. In this workshop the introductory lesson will be demonstrated and we will work with several of the hands-on portions of additional lessons.

  • W19: Low-Budget Instructional Labs

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Steve Lindaas & Linda Barton

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Mark F. Masters

    Cost

    • Members: $70
    • Non-members: $95

    Seats

    • Max: 15
    • Available: 2

    This workshop is designed for people teaching physics courses at the high school and collegiate level. Attendees will learn how to construct various versatile, low cost, easily assembled devices. These devices can then be used in labs, interactive demonstrations, and many other ways.

  • W20: A Kaleidoscope of Great Online Tools for Teaching Physics

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Cathy Ezrailson

    Cost

    • Members: $72
    • Non-members: $97

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 10

    Educators have more opportunities than ever to begin teaching in today's "smart environments" through e-texts, simulations, and today's emerging and "customizable" web-tools. Especially since web-based tools can also be pressed into service in order to organize, design, and assess learning. This workshop is one opportunity to access, investigate and begin to apply a few of these resources in your courses. Most of these tools and applications are free on the web, easy to grasp and implement. Coupled with a course redesign, implementation could markedly enhance your course and communication with students. This workshop aims to help you to model, create and gain experience with some of these free tools.

  • W21: iPhone and iPad App Development

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Andrew Duffy

    Cost

    • Members: $80
    • Non-members: $105

    Seats

    • Max: 16
    • Available: 2

    This workshop is a basic introduction to creating apps for the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iPad. No prior knowledge is assumed. We will cover the basics of drawing and animating; learn a little Objective-C; become familiar with the XCode environment in which apps are created on the Mac; and get an introduction to Interface Builder, where we lay out various buttons and sliders, etc. Workshop attendees must bring their own Mac computers, with Apple’s latest version of XCode already downloaded and installed.

  • W22: VPython-based Video Games to Teach Physics

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Danny Caballero

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Aaron Titus

    Cost

    • Members: $75
    • Non-members: $100

    Seats

    • Max: 16
    • Available: 7

    In this workshop, we will work with a newly developed suite of activities to develop computational models of physical systems. These activities use classic videos games (e.g., Asteroids and Missile Command) to teach physics, mathematics, and computational modeling. We will use VPython (vpython.org) to develop these programs. Participants are asked to bring a laptop to the workshop.

  • W15: Research-Based Alternatives to Traditional Physics Problems

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Kathy Harper

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Thomas M. Foster David P. Maloney

    Cost

    • Members: $95
    • Non-members: $120

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 3

    Accumulating research on problem solving in physics clearly indicates that traditional, end-of-chapter exercises in physics texts are not useful and may actually hinder students' learning of important physics concepts. The research also raises questions about the efficacy of such tasks for helping students develop "problem solving skills." In light of these results the question is: What alternative tasks can we use to help students develop problem solving skills and a conceptual understanding? This workshop will review the research and then provide examples of several alternative tasks and their use. Participants will also get practice writing alternative problems in a variety of formats for use in their own classrooms.

  • W16: Graphical Analysis of Student Data and AP Physics B Examples  CANCELED

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Jim Nelson

    Cost

    • Members: $130
    • Non-members: $155

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 24

    Theme of this AAPT/PTRA workshop is a Generic 4-Step procedure for students to use for analyzing data. During workshop you will do several laboratory activities. For each you will measure, graph, and analyze data. You are encouraged to bring your own calculator or computer with graphing software. The goal for each activity is to arrive at a general equation that summarizes relationship between variables. The analysis will start simple and gradually build up to more complex analysis. A CD with notes and masters of each activity will be provided. Sample laboratory activities include: Speed of a Toy Car, Weight versus Mass, Hinged Mirrors, Density of a Solid, Planck’s Constant, Wave Equation, Resonance of Sound, Free Fall Motion, Elastic Spring Energy, Frequency versus Period, and Thin Lens Equation. These activities are representative of typical laboratory activities done in introductory classes, but the generic 4-step analysis is appropriate for many laboratory activities.

  • W17: How Old Is Your Universe?

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Richard Gelderman

    Cost

    • Members: $97
    • Non-members: $122

    Seats

    • Max: 18
    • Available: 12

    Help your students understand the evidence that supports conclusions that our solar system is 4.6 billion years old and the entire universe is 13.7 billion years old. Participants will receive clear, easy to implement classroom-proven curriculum materials and inquiry-based, hands-on activities designed to integrate science content and focus on the reasons for our belief in an ancient and evolving cosmos. These ready-to-implement, student-centered investigations encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and to formulate and ask their own questions. This full-day workshop is a condensed summary of a successful series of four-day workshops held in Kentucky for middle grades science teachers.

  • W18: Introduction to Modeling Instruction

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Lee Trampleasure

    Cost

    • Members: $105
    • Non-members: $130

    Seats

    • Max: 20
    • Available: 5

    Modeling Instruction (MI) uses guided inquiry and model-centered units to correct many weaknesses of the traditional lecture-demonstration method--including fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity, and persistence of naive beliefs about the physical world. While MI is mostly used at the high school level, it has been implemented at both the middle school and college level. In this workshop, participants will work through a typical unit to develop a sense of this unique instructional approach. While MI curriculum resources include essential teacher notes and student readings, worksheets, tests and quizzes, it is flexible enough to allow teachers to use much of the equipment they already have. This workshop is intended as an introduction to the normal 2-3 week summer MI workshop. It should provide educators with a sense of the approach so they can decide if they wish to attend a full workshop in the future. modelinginstruction.org

  • W23: Hands-On Demonstrations from LIGO  CANCELED

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Amber L. Stuver

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Kathy Holt

    Cost

    • Members: $75
    • Non-members: $100

    Seats

    • Max: 40
    • Available: 40

    The LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) Science Education Center would like to invite you to participate in our workshop focused on inquiry learning and the use of tabletop demonstrations to engage students in your classroom. Facilitated by a LIGO scientist and a Science Education Center (SEC) teacher, this workshop will also include an introduction to LIGO science and discuss of informal learning. The LIGO observatories in Livingston, LA and Hanford, WA search for gravitational waves that are ripples in space-time caused by massive objects undergoing incredible accelerations – like supernovae. The direct detection of gravitational waves will open a new field of astronomy allowing humans to "see" the Universe in a new way. The SEC, co-located at the Livingston Observatory, seeks to connect this active scientific research to teachers and students through immersion in inquiry activities and interactions with scientists demonstrating and discussing the process of science at the observatory.

  • W24: Haunted Physics Lab  CANCELED

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Patti Sievert

    Cost

    • Members: $100
    • Non-members: $125

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 24

    Use children's natural curiosity and interest in magic to draw them and their families into the physics lab. Explore the Physics Lab Haunters' favorite interactive physics displays, built using materials from ping-pong balls and pumpkins to lenses and lasers. Make and take some of the travel-friendly displays and take home plans for larger items, such as a duck-in kaleidoscope. We will also share tips on planning, staffing, and funding a Haunted Physics Lab of your own.

  • W25: Leadership Roles and Models in Academia and Beyond

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Juan Burciaga

    Cost

    • Members: $70
    • Non-members: $95

    Seats

    • Max: 24
    • Available: 18

    As we adopt a more peer-oriented environment for our courses, faculty begin losing their traditional role as leaders in the classroom. In addition, more and more we are asked to participate in bringing about change in our classes and beyond — changes in pedagogy, changes in diversity and inclusion, and even to initiate/participate in research or teaching groups. How do we share the authority of learning in our classes without ceding the final responsibility for that learning? What models of leadership and participation exist that can help us adapt to the changing demands? And how do we model these roles so that students can effectively develop these leadership skills as well? Using discussions, readings, and case studies, we will explore these questions as we attempt to characterize effective leadership and our most appropriate response to the challenges and opportunities of leadership demands from our professional lives.

  • W26: Sketch and Etch

    Date/Time

    • Sun, Jan 6
    • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

    Organizer

    Eric Ayars

    Co-Organizer(s)

    Steve Lindaas

    Cost

    • Members: $88
    • Non-members: $113

    Seats

    • Max: 18
    • Available: 18

    Make your own circuit boards! This workshop will offer hands-on experience in the physical process of creating your own circuit board from scratch. Participants will print, etch, and solder a really cool electronic gizmo they can wear on their badge for the rest of the meeting, making them the envy of all the other nerds. (Additionally, the skills gained may be useful in building experimental apparatus for physics labs.)

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