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New logo for SM162016 Summer Meeting Highlights

Total Number of Attendees: 1181
Workshops: 52
Sessions: 78
Topical Discussions: 4


Additional Meeting Photos              Meeting Presentations            Tweets from SM16


Poster SessionWorkshop at SM16presentationFriends at SM16

With almost 1200 attendees, the 2016 Summer Meeting can be viewed as a success. The 2016 Summer Meeting was held at the Sacramento Convention Center with workshops at California State University, Sacramento. The meeting included the introduction of the AAPT Code of Conduct, which states that the association expects the highest level of professional behavior of everyone at its meetings and events. During the meeting it was announced that the 2016 U.S. Physics Team scored two gold and three silver medals at the 47th International Physics Olympiad.

Attendees were able to participate in some great pre- and post-meeting events. PTRA held their pre-conference Summer Leadership Institute in Roseville, CA  hosted by PASCO. The PTRA Master Teachers focused on topics and pedagogy related to providing effective professional development in physical science for the K-12 education community. 

The High School Physics Teacher Camp was held at the Rio Americano High School in Sacramento which was an opportunity for high school physics teachers to discuss topics such as inquiry labs, standards-based grading, video analysis, and computer-based labs.

The Two-Year College Leadership hosted a breakfast and a resource room that focused on the issues and needs of the two-year college physics teaching community. Some attendees took advantage of the location and enjoyed a tour of the California wine country. In addition, attendees were invited to a picnic and the Demo Show hosted by PASCO. Nearly 325 Physics Education Researchers participated in the post-meeting PER Conference, that focused on research methodology and PER's role in how to approach a research study. 

The AAPT Fun Run/Walk continues to be a popular event providing a break from the intense learning format of the meeting and the Speed Networking event, providing an opportunity for new physics educators to interact "one on one" with seasoned professionals, continued to grow. The High School Physics Teachers Lounge was again made available for shop talk and interactive demonstrations of physics lessons based on articles from The Physics Teacher.

The High School Physics Photo Contest and the Apparatus Competition are always highlights of the Summer Meeting and this year they enjoyed extra attention due to their convenient location in the convention center.

The meeting included a wide range or inspiring plenary and award talks. Monday featured the presentation of the 2016 teaching awards and the Homer L. Dodge Citations for Distinguished Service to AAPT. The Halliday and Resnick award for Excellence in Pre-College Teaching Andy Gavrin Halliday and Resnickwas presented to Andy Gavrin from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. His talk, Our Students are Learning! a 4D view of Physics Education.Tom Erekson their Excellence in Teaching Awards.

The 2016 Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching was presented to Tom Erekson from Lone Peak High School. His talk was Physics is For Everyone!


The Summer 2016 recipients of the Homer L. Dodge Citations for Distinguished Service to AAPT were Kathleen Falconer, Buffalo State College; Stephen Kanim, New Mexico State University; Kevin Lee, University of Nebraska; Dan MacIsaac, Buffalo State College; and Mel Sabella, Chicago State University.

Margaret Wertheim receives the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award from AAPT Awards Chair, Mary MoggeThe Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award was given to Margaret Wertheim from Science Goddess, Inc. Her talk, Of Corals and the Cosmos: A Story of Hyperbolic Space, showcased her longstanding interest on relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. 

Stephen Pompea is presented with the Millikan Medal by Mary Mogge, Chair of the AAPT Awards Committee.Stephen Pompea of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, received the Millikan Medal for his notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics. His talk, Knowledge and Wonder: Reflections on Ill-Structured Problem Solving, was delivered to a theater full of enthusiastic physics participants.


David Reitze giving plenary talk at SM16.The APS Plenary, co-sponsored by the American Physical Society Forum on Education, featured David Reitze, LIGO Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Reitze delivered a memorable plenary, Colliding Black Holes & Convulsions in Space-time: The First Observation of Gravitational Waves by LIGO  

Neil Gershenfeld giving plenary talk at SM16.The other invited plenary speaker was Neil Gershenfeld, Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose talk was entitled From Bits to Atoms. He noted that physicists use computers, and computers use physics.


Special events began Sunday with the evening Opening Reception and the AAPT Summer Meeting Dance Party. Monday was the High School Teachers' Day and the schedule was packed with events and sessions of particular interest to high school teachers. Also on Monday were the First Timers Gathering, and the Early Career Professionals Speed Networking, Tuesday included the semi-annual Fun Run/Walk and Demo Show presented by PIRA at PASCO.

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With Society of Physics Students (SPS) and regular poster sessions, 52 workshops, 78 paper sessions, and 4 Topical Discussions, Area Committee Meetings, and the Exhibit Hall, the 2016 Summer Meeting in Sacramento had something of interest for everyone. We thank PASCO for sponsoring the badge holders and for hosting the Summer Meeting picnic and the Demo Show. Our thanks, also, to Klinger Educational Products for sponsoring the conference bags.