AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

November 2008

New Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshop, ACP: Nov. 6-9, 2008
Kenneth Krane and Robert Hilborn congratulate Natalia Perkins for being the 1000th participant.

Ninety-five physics and astronomy faculty attended the New Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshop held November 6-9, 2008 at the American Center for Physics. Workshop participants, nominated by their department chairs, must be in the first three years of a tenure-track contract to be eligible to attend. This is the twelfth year the workshop has been offered and it was the thirteenth workshop in the series. Eighty new faculty attended the first ever summer workshop in June 2008, bringing the total participants in 2008 to 175. Natalia Perkins was recognized as workshop participant number 1,000.

During the three days of the workshop, participants were exposed to a number of research-based approaches that have been shown to be effective in improving the students’ learning in introductory and advanced courses. Generally referred to as active engagement, topics presented included:

  • “Peer Instruction,”
  • “How to Get Your Students Prepared for Every Class,”
  • “Active Learning and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations,”
  • “Helping Your Students Develop Expertise in Problem Solving,”
  • “Learner-Centered Teaching in Physics and Astronomy,”
  • “Assessment and Evaluation,”
  • “Research in Physics Education: A Resource for Improving Student Learning.” 

Small group sessions explored these topics further as well as additional topics such as “Teaching and Modeling Using Physlets and Open Source Physics” and “Tools and Tips for Teaching Quantum Mechanics.” Other small group sessions explored topics like “Introductory Physics,” “Upper-level Physics,” “Digital Libraries,” “Tenure Matters and Time Management,” and issues related to the degrees offered by the participants institutions. More information is available at http://www.aapt.org/Events/newfaculty.cfm.

Richard Wiener
The Research Corporation sponsored dinner for participants Friday evening and Richard Wiener spoke about funding opportunities.
In addition to the workshop activities, the participants had an opportunity to learn about funding opportunities from National Science Foundation (NSF) and Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), Program Officers. The National Science Foundation has sponsored the workshop each year since 1996. The NSF funding supported all expenses of the workshop except travel to and from the American Center for Physics, which must be covered by the participant’s institution. RCSA provided funding for an evening banquet for workshop participants.

The workshop was organized by the American Association of Physics Teachers in collaboration with the American Physical Society and the American Astronomical Society.

Physics Day at NSTA

Friday, December 5, 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Duke Energy Center, Cincinnati, OH
Junior Ballroom D

AAPT offers a full day of physics content at each NSTA area conference. Physics Day consists of presentations on physics topics of current interest, physics demonstrations for the precollege classroom, and a make 'n' take session where participants can construct a piece of physics apparatus for use as a demonstration or as laboratory experiment. Physics Day in Portland is being organized by the Oregon Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Visit http://www.aapt.org/Events/2008PhysDay.cfm for more information.