AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

Executive Board Minutes - July 2004 (Part 2)

July 31, August 1 and 4, 2004
Sacramento, California

29. Review of Resource Letters. Steve Turley, Chair of the Five-Year Review of Resource Letters presented a short progress report of its activities. The committee met with Roger Stuewer, the RL Editor, and his editorial board. In addition the committee looked at the past reviews of the AAPT publications and conducted phone interviews with 6 authors. The committee will conduct two surveys, one of which will survey all AJP subscribers as to their satisfaction and suggestions. The Review Committee will meet in Arizona September 24-25 to prepare its draft report. Subsequently the completed report will be sent to the AAPT Secretary who will send copies to the Board. Turley will present the committee’s report to the Board during its meeting in October. He shared with the Board two thoughts from the committee which they feel will improve the publication.

30. Bauder Fund Committee Report. Robertson, Chair of the Bauder Committee, reported that 18 proposals will be funded and 16 will be awards of $1000 each to support special WYP activities. He noted that the committee would be discussing the need for additional members. Robertson will discuss with the Secretary how this could change could be made. He will report these discussions to the Board.
In discussion of the report, D. Peterson asked if the WYP activities being supported by the Bauder Fund addressed labs and demonstrations. Robertson described them as primarily “make and take” workshops. Peterson asked if the Fund still supported the annual demonstration workshop. Robertson replied that he did not know if this would continue. The committee had received some requests for funding to transport the equipment for the workshop. Peterson expressed that these were more in keeping with the purpose of the Bauder Fund than were the activities associated with the Einstein commemoration.

31. 4U Task Force Report. Holbrow explained that he had not received a report from Ken Krane. 

32. Awards Committee. Holbrow explained that he had prepared the citations for the awards to be presented during the Summer meeting and sent them to Khoury in advance of the AAPT meeting. It was the wish of the Awards Committee that AIP services be used to publicize the awards and their recipients. Therefore the Awards Committee moved that the AAPT aggressively publicize awards and awardees at their home institutions and communities using local media. The Committee expressed that this should be a directive to the Executive Officer and the publicity should occur in advance of the AAPT award presentations. D. Peterson expressed support for the motion but also commented that the Executive Officer had done a very good job of publicizing the awards and their recipients. Nelson explained that the publicity was seeking a broader audience than AAPT meeting attendees. Heller said that awards are a good idea and since the award recipients are high quality people, the AAPT should endeavor to get this type of publicity. The motion passed with a unanimous vote of the Board.

Holbrow reminded the Board that during its Spring meeting the members authorized increases in the stipends of AAPT awards and instructed the Executive Officer to establish an endowment fund for the Phillips Award and for the Oersted Award and obtain vendor support for the Teaching Excellence Awards. Khoury was asked to present to the Board during its October meeting a listing of funding possibilities for these awards. 

33. BAUPC. During the April 2004 meeting of the Board members discussed a request from David Morin asking the AAPT to assume the management of a local competitive exam known as the Boston Area University Physics Competition. Since Holbrow had brought the request to the Board, he was asked to share the concerns expressed by Board members with Morin. Included in the Board Packet (Item IIIM) was a proposal from D. Morin and Oleg Shpyrko describing how the AAPT might proceed over the next few years as it assumed production and management of the exam. Holbrow reported that in a phone conversation with Richard Olenick, the Exams Director, Olenick had responded to this proposal with some enthusiasm. However, there are some areas still needing negotiations. D. Peterson suggested that the Board might want to give Olenick with a salary for assuming this additional responsibility. Khoury and Olenick will prepare a more concrete plan for presentation to the Board in October.   

34. International Junior Physics Olympics. Nelson explained that Don Franklin had suggested that the AAPT should support the International Junior Physics Olympics, which is an international competition for kids under 16. Ron Edge and Hugh Haskell had also expressed the same interest in previous years. Chabay expressed support for the activity, adding that she was intrigued by the competition because the kids worked in teams, not individually with just pencil and paper. Robertson expressed that the effort should be coordinated with Olenick. The Board encouraged Don Franklin to pursue the development of this activity. 

35. National Meeting Constraints. Heller reported on the discussion of proposed meeting constraints with area chairs in Programs. Each committee was restricted to a certain number of paper sessions, the number being determined by average number of sessions sponsored by the committees during the past five years. Heller reported that the area chairs responded positively to the suggestion that the number of posters should be increased, thus decreasing the number of purely contributed paper sessions. The third constraint placed on meetings will allow “first authors” to present only one “invited” and one “contributed” oral presentation. However authors will be allowed to present an unlimited number of posters. The three meeting constraints will be imposed for the Salt Lake City meeting in the Summer 2005. 

In discussion of the report, D. Peterson explained that oral presentations could be seeded with invited poster sessions. Robertson asked if the “first author” for an oral presentation got sick, could the second author give a second oral presentation. D. Peterson responded that he heard that this might happen. Heller commented that keeping track of this would require a memory and a system. 

R. Peterson reported on related issues brought up during area committee meetings. One committee wanted a series of 5-minute presentations and wanted to list the presenter but did not want this to count as his/her one contributed paper. Another committee asked how presenters of demonstrations would be considered. Nelson responded that the meeting constraints did not apply to demonstrations given during the demonstration show. AAPT attendees also expressed a lot of dissatisfaction with the location and small space allotted for poster sessions and the little time allotted for interactions with the authors. R. Peterson expressed that there should be a big change in the poster session scheduled for Salt Lake City, possibly putting all posters together with no competing sessions and finger foods for about three hours. Heller responded saying that different formats would be explored. Other physics organizations have reported successful poster sessions. Chabay advised that some tips should be given for preparing posters. 

36. Paper Sort for AAPT Meetings. Heller explained that he planned to bring 3-4 area chairs to the ACP to help with the paper sort and the scheduling of presentation times. He asked if the AAPT could support their expenses. He will try to keep a balance among the chairs and would invite different chairs at different times. Heller expressed that the additional help from the committees would help to identify and reduce grievous conflicts in scheduling. Khoury agreed to identify internal monies to fund the travel and support for three area chairs to help with the paper sort. 

37. Results of Non Member Assessment Survey. Valerie Evans reported that the Non Member Assessment Survey had been completed and the results were sent to the Executive Board members and the members of the Membership and Benefits Committee. She explained that these results were consistent with the findings from the 2001 Member Assessment Survey. While both surveys found the AAPT to perform very well in providing physics teachers with teaching ideas and materials, the surveys identified some areas in which the AAPT does not perform well. Both surveys indicate that the AAPT should:

  • facilitate curriculum reform at the middle school level,
  • support efforts to educate the public about the importance of physics,
  • facilitate curriculum reform at the high school level,
  • support efforts to increase the number of people who study physics, and
  • set science standards at the state level. 

Evans expressed that the Board and Membership and Benefits Committee should use the survey findings as a tool during the Board retreat. The findings have good information and can help to shape the organization. However, she added that the survey was very expensive. The AIP administered the 2001 member survey for $8 K and Monalco, Inc charged $35 for the non member survey. 

Evans explained that in conversations with her contact person at Monalco she learned that they could do a lot of cross tabbing between the two surveys. The charge would be $5 K and Evans would present these additional findings and recommendations to the Board. To this end, Evans made two recommendations:

1) AAPT contract with Monalco, Inc to reanalyze the 2001 survey data to determine a more detailed look at our members’ profiles and needs;

2) The Board invite Monalco, Inc to its October 2004 meeting to present the results of the reanalyzed data and provide some insights on how the AAPT might use the results to reanalyze the association’s strategic plan and attract and retain members. 

Heller moved that the Board accept these recommendations. Holbrow seconded the motion. Robertson clarified that the money would come from the Klopsteg Fund. D. Peterson requested that Monalco, Inc provide input from the surveys that would help the Board better understand the needs of the different education levels and possibly why the AAPT seems to be losing members who have Ph.Ds. Evans added that the survey also had input from members who had lapsed their membership. The motion passed unanimously. 

In a related issue, Khoury reported that during the meeting with the AAPT liaisons, he had asked them what reasons were given for members of their departments not joining AAPT. The response was that the AAPT was viewed primarily as a high school organization made of a bunch of old people and that the departments did not need more than one AAPT member.  
38. Meeting with the Forum on Education. Iona offered his reactions to the meeting between the Executive Board and the APS Forum on Education Executive Committee. He did not see that the Executive Committee had a fixed agenda with regard to physics education. He listed 6 items stemming from the discussion that the two organizations can and should cooperate on:

  • initiation of something akin to New Faculty Workshop for newly tenured faculty,
  • initiation of discipline specific workshops,
  • development of a handbook for new physics faculty,
  • interest in standards, teacher licensure and testing,
  • development of a handbook for non academe to assist with outreach, and
  • implementation of research topics into undergraduate research opportunities and into the classroom.

Iona pointed out that the next step addressed how to assure that AAPT would be involved in some of these since it appears that APS will address these areas regardless of what AAPT does. He stressed that the AAPT must address the issues of standards, teaching licensure, and testing. Following a discussion on how the AAPT might affect these different areas, it was agreed that Nelson and Holbrow would prepare suggestions for cooperative activities addressing these six ideas and report these to the Board.

39. Committee Reports. Members of the Board attended the meetings of the area committees. Highlights of some of these reports and resulting Board actions are reported below.

  • Undergraduate Education: Robertson reported that JD Garcia said the committee had discussed the revised undergraduate guidelines and recommended these ready for AAPT publication. However, Robertson did not know if the Committee for Professional Concerns discussed the guidelines. Heller moved that the AAPT publish the Undergraduate Physics Education Guidelines. Tobochnik seconded the motion. Khoury explained that the layout of the booklet would be similar to that used for the two-year college guidelines and the high school guidelines. The motion passed unanimously. 
  • Minorities: Rice reported that the Minorities Committee is seeking funding in the amount of $18 K for the development of a workshop targeting high school teachers of Hispanic and Native American students. Khoury explained that the content for the workshops needs a lot of work. The funding would be used to bring in people who would lead the workshops. 
  • Laboratories: D. Peterson reported that the committee requested extra space for its interactive poster presentations. The extra space would accommodate the use of some equipment.   
  • Metric Committee: The committee (a permanent committee) requested that AAPT provide speaker phone connections for their committee meetings to facilitate those members who could not attend the AAPT conference. Khoury explained that it would cost the association about $150 for the January meeting. Holbrow suggested that the committee consider internet connections as an option. 
  • Graduate Education: R. Peterson reported that the committee is preparing a survey to learn what is being done in graduate programs, such as the actual length of time needed for students to complete their doctorate degrees and the course requirements for the graduate programs. He added that the committee is discouraged because only two committee members were present.
  • International Committee: Tobochnik reported that the committee wants to send a delegation to New Deli. He moved that the AAPT endorse this international physics conference. Chabay seconded the motion. The motion does not carry a financial commitment. Khoury explained that a standard letter had been prepared for this purpose. The motion passed unanimously.
  • Senior Physicists: Holbrow moved that the Board give the temporary committee a one-year extension of temporary status. Heller seconded the motion. The committee was created as a temporary committee for a term of three years. That term was ending. In order to become a permanent area committee, the members have to demonstrate an active involvement in the association and AAPT meetings. Holbrow reported that the committee was seriously considering its future. The motion passed unanimously.
  • Women in Physics: D. Peterson reported that Betty Preece had persuaded Sandia Labs to support the SEAS activities during the Albuquerque meeting.
  • Research in Physics Education: Heller reported that the committee expressed approval of the all-electronic PER journal. The committee distributed a proposal outlining the organization of a PER Leadership Organizing Council (PERLOC) as a PER sub community based within the AAPT. One condition of the proposal asked that AAPT collect dues for PERLOC. Khoury explained that the Board had the option of approving the proposal or setting it aside. Nelson moved that the Board table consideration of the proposal until the October meeting of the Board. Holbrow seconded the motion. Heller suggested that a representative from this special group be invited to the October meeting. The motion passed.
  • Two-Year Colleges: Stone reported that the committee would like to have a new faculty workshop for two-year college faculty. In addition the committee will identify a group of reviewers who will help teachers prepare proposals for submission to funding agencies.
  • High Schools: Rice reported that the committee is working on a 15-page booklet on how to start a “physics first” course at the high school. In addition the committee voted to make the innovative high school grant available to members only.

40. Membership and Benefits Committee. Robertson, Chair of the Membership and Benefits Committee, distributed a handout reporting the discussion of the committee and proposed motions to the Board. Due to the late hour of the Board meeting, Robertson volunteered to table the presentation of the report until the October meeting of the Board. Nelson accepted this offer. 

41. Adjournment. Nelson thanked the Board members and guests. for their attendance and participation. He then adjourned the meeting. 

Mary Beth Monroe, AAPT Secretary