AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

AAPT Opportunities

Current Positions: 

1.  U.S. Physics Team Academic Director
2.  PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator

U.S. Physics Team Academic Director

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) seeks applications for the position of U.S. Physics Team Academic Director.  We are seeking someone who will lead the preparation of 20 to 24 gifted U.S. high school students for the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO).  The director has the opportunity to lead a program with a remarkable history, as well as adapt the program in response to national imperatives for fostering physics talent, particularly within historically underrepresented populations.  The director 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 IPhO.

Qualifications for the Physics Team Academic Director:

  • A background in physics with classroom and laboratory experience, demonstrated involvement with students in special projects or activities, and an appreciation of the physics culture of problem-solving and experimental investigation;
  • A record of managing complex tasks and improving processes through innovation;
  • Ability to carry out responsibilities throughout the year;
  • Be available to oversee the training camp held at the University of Maryland, usually during late May and early June, and lead the Team to the IPhO in July, and
  • Ability to work as part of a team to support the program as well as develop relationships with teachers, parents, and corporate sponsors.

From 1986 to 2016, the United States Teams have brought home: 58 Gold Medals, 41 Silver Medals, 29 Bronze Medals, and 11 Honorable Mentions.  See http://aapt.org/physicsteam/2017/ for details about the program.  The hours are long but the sense of accomplishment is gigantic!  Applicants must be prepared to make at least a three-year commitment.   AAPT pays an honorarium and most expenses associated with the training camp and the IPhO.

To apply, please provide the following:

  • A statement of interest addressing how you meet the qualifications
  • A current c.v. that includes the names and contact information for two references (preferably AAPT members)

Send materials to eo@aapt.org with “Application for U.S. Physics Team Academic Director” in the subject line.  The deadline for applications is May 1, 2017, with videoconference interviews during U.S. Physics Team Training Camp in late May.  Letters of recommendation from your two references in support of your applications will only be solicited from short listed candidates.  We anticipate that the individual selected will serve as co-director during the 2017-18 year and transition to director in Fall 2018.  For more information, contact Paul Stanley, U.S. Physics Team Academic Director, via email at stanleyp@beloit.edu or Beth Cunningham, AAPT Executive Officer, via email at eo@aapt.org.


PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator

Each year, AAPT sponsors a special contest (the PhysicsBowl) to challenge high school students who are interested in physics.  Approximately 5,000 students from around the world take a 40-question, 45-minute timed, multiple-choice test under their school’s supervision.  Exam questions are based on topics and concepts covered in high school physics courses of all levels.  The test is given in late March and early April with winners announced in early May.  The PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator provides general oversight of the competition and has the responsibility for preparing the yearly exam.

Qualifications for the PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator:

  • Knowledge of introductory physics, test construction, test evaluation, and current trends in physics education.
  • Ability to attend the AAPT National Meetings during which the PhysicsBowl Advisory Committee will develop and evaluate questions on the exam.

Responsibilities of the PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator:

  • Develop the annual PhysicsBowl Contest Exam, including the grading and distribution of exam scores analysis to high schools (which requires some technical support to handle the scoring and analysis).
  • Work collaboratively with the PhysicsBowl Advisory Committee to construct the test, discuss changes and additions to the PhysicsBowl contest, and provide annual reports on the exam outcomes.
  • Develop the rules and guidelines for each year’s contest.
  • Correspond with students, students’ parents, teachers, and AAPT staff members regarding the PhysicsBowl Contest.
  • Work with partners such as ASDAN China and WebAssignTM that administer the contest for specific audiences.
  • Traveling to AAPT National Meetings and meeting with the PhysicsBowl Advisory Committee.

Travel expenses (including transportation and lodging for 3 nights at the meeting hotel) will be provided for each National Meeting.  In addition, the PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator will receive an honorarium of $1,000. The time commitment mostly is episodic with approximately 5 hours/week in March and April and peaking at the end of April and early May with approximately 30 hours during the week that scores are returned.  Additional time is spent throughout the year preparing for the next year’s exam.

For more information about the PhysicsBowl, see http://aapt.org/Programs/PhysicsBowl/ and “25 years of AAPT’s PhysicsBowl,” Michael Faleski DOI: 10.1119/1.3317445.

To apply, please provide a statement of interest, a current c.v., and the names and contact information of two references (preferably AAPT members). Materials should be sent to eo@aapt.org with “Application for PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator” in the subject line.  The deadline for applications is May 15, 2017.  For more information, contact Michael Faleski, PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator, via email at michaelfaleski@delta.edu or Beth A. Cunningham, AAPT Executive Officer, via email at eo@aapt.org.