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eNNOUNCER December 2013

2013 AAPT Executive Board Election Results

Congratulations to:  Steve Iona. University of Colorado, Boulder as AAPT President;  Janelle Bailey, Temple University as Vice President;   Steve Turley, Brigham Young University as Treasurer; and  Jan Mader, Great Falls Montana High School as At-Large High School Representative. They will join the AAPT Executive Board following the Winter Meeting 2014 in Orlando, FL. We thank all of the candidates who participated for their support of AAPT.

2014 AAPT Winter Meeting Awards

AAPT has announced that the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT will be awarded to Jan Mader, Taha Mzoughi, Gabe Spalding, and Lee Trampleasure at the 2014 Winter Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

2014 AAPT Winter Meeting

There is still time to register for the 2014 AAPT Winter Meeting being held January 4 - 7 in Orlando, Florida.
Our new 4-day meeting format will consist of over 70 sessions, 30 workshops and tutorials, and much more. To learn more and register, please visit the meeting website. Don't forget, book your hotel accommodations today! Space is limited. Join the conversation on Twitter: #AAPTWM14

High School Physics Teacher Day

We're looking for High School Physics Teachers who've never attended an AAPT National meeting. If that's you, make sure to join us on Sunday, January 5, 2014 in Orlando, FL for a special one day program catered to teachers just like you. Learn more and register here.

Refer-A-Friend, Win An AMEX Gift Card

Who knew referring friends could be so easy?  Once you've registered, when you refer friends and colleagues, and they also register for the 2014 AAPT Winter Meeting, you'll be rewarded with an AMEX gift card.  Click here for more details and the complete rules.

Consider Submitting an Entry to the Apparatus Competition

The AAPT Apparatus Competition recognizes, rewards, and publicizes worthwhile contributions to physics teaching through lecture demonstrations, instructional laboratory equipment, and interactive exhibits. The Competition is held annually during AAPT's summer meeting and is open to all members with entries targeting all levels of physics education from K-12 to undergraduates to the general public.  See the entry selection criteria. Entrants must notify the Apparatus Competition Director in June 2014 of their intention to enter the 2014 Apparatus Competition, including a statement about services required to display the apparatus. An official application packet with entry form, rules of eligibility and judging, safety guidelines, and competition requirements will be available in the spring 2014 on the AAPT website.

Energy Literacy

Physics teachers of America, are you teaching about Energy or are you teaching for Energy Literacy, an understanding of the nature and role of energy in the world and daily lives accompanied by the ability to apply this understanding to answer questions and solve problems?  Use the Energy Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education developed by the U.S. Department of Energy to help craft instruction that is interdisciplinary in nature and which presents energy concepts that, if understood and applied, will help individuals and communities make informed energy decisions.


Conference on Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences

AAPT will host a conference focusing on Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences March 14-16, 2014 at the Key Bridge Marriott, Arlington, VA.  Information about the conference is available  here.
Since meeting space is limited, please apply to attend the conference before January 3, 2014.  The link to the conference application form is available on the conference web page.

Transforming the Preparation of Physics Teachers:  A Call to Action

Despite federal legislation mandating highly qualified teachers for every classroom, school districts confirm a considerable shortage of physics teachers year after year, greater than any other science discipline.  Download the T-TEP report here.

2014 Fnet=ma Contest Registration Open

Sign up to participate in this competition for high school students to represent the United States at the 2014 International Physics Olympiad. The mission of the U.S. Physics Team Program is to promote and demonstrate academic excellence through preparation for and participation in the International Physics Olympiad. Register online »


2014 AAPT PhysicsBowl Registration Open!

Registration is now open for the 2014 AAPT PhysicsBowl taking place April 2 - April 16, 2014. Read more online.

Gearing up for SEES (Students Exploring Engineering and Science) in Orlando!

SPS and AAPT team up each year at the AAPT Winter Meeting to present an educational workshop outreach experience for about 100 local 6-8th graders from the area where the meeting is held. Last year in New Orleans, SPS student volunteers and AAPT faculty mentors joined to present “invisible fields” to 107 local 6th graders. This event was begun many years ago by AAPT member, Betty Preece, who was an outstanding model of dedication and achievement within the science community. SEES was one of the many causes to which Betty gave her time and talents with her focus on providing encouragement to study science to students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. The event provides these students with the opportunity to engage in three hours of hands-on science activities during the AAPT Winter Meeting each year. AAPT and SPS work collaboratively on this project, with AAPT arranging the details of transportation and lunch, and SPS responsible for the program, science materials and “take-aways”. This has been a highly successful event, and we encourage any AAPT member to consider participating! To be part of this fun and rewarding tradition, contact Toni Sauncy, SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma director tsauncy@aip.org. Donate to the Betty Preece memorial fund that supports this outreach project.

Melba Newell Phillips Medal Fund

The Melba Newell Phillips Medal Fund honors the life and legacy of Melba Newell Phillips, the first female president of AAPT. Your donations will help to endow the Medal established in her honor and recognize AAPT's next generation of leaders.

Save the Date

The annual AAPT/APS Physics Department Chairs Conference will be held in College Park, MD June 6-8, 2014.  More details about the conference will be available in December or January.

The annual Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference is the nation's largest meeting dedicated to physics teacher education.  The 2014 PhysTEC Conference will be held May 19-20 at the AT&T's Conference Center in Austin, TX.  The meeting will focus on Building LEadership.  It features workshops, panel discussions and presentations by national leaders as well as excellent networking opportunities.  The 2014 conference will be held jointly with the UTeach-NMSI Institute Annual Conference.  Registration will open mid-Februrary.  MSI travel grants available for qualifying institutions.  Learn more »                    

  Juan Marinello Vidaurreta from The University of  Pedagogic  Sciences at Matanzas, Cuba invites you to participate in the X  International Workshop "ENFIQUI 2014 -  Teaching Physics and Chemistry" and the  III Workshop "Teaching Natural Sciences".  May 20-24, 2014. Read more »

AAPT Members in the News

Aurora teacher makes physics relevant:  AAPT member Dave Doucette is revolutionizing the way educators teach physics. The Aurora resident and Richmond Hill High School teacher stresses the importance of showing how physics is applied in everyday life — from the bouncing of a ball to the forward motion of a car.  Read online

Robotics team teacher wins Legislature’s plaudits:  “Passion” is usually not a word synonymous with robots - unless you’re in Matthew Blackman’s award-winning robotics class at Madison High School.   In the four years since the physics teacher started the program, it has grown to 20 students, won many matches and scored Blackman recognition by the New Jersey State Legislature for his effort.
Read more »

Pioneering Teacher-Scholars Named 2013 U.S. Professors of the Year

Two physicists who are transforming the way science is taught are the national winners of the 2013 U.S. Professors of the Year awards. Sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the awards recognize professors for their influence on teaching and commitment to undergraduate students.

Steven Pollock, Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year: Pollock is professor of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a key leader of education reform nationally. He has helped revamp the physics curriculum at his own institution through a program that encourages more student group learning, and helped produce research that has influenced instruction at other institutions. Judges recognized his national reputation as an educator of excellence whose work is transforming physics education.

Gintaras Duda, Outstanding Master’s Universities and Colleges Professor of the Year: Duda is associate professor of physics at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He is an expert in research-based approaches to teaching physics. Some of his courses contain no traditional lecture component and rely on problem-based course construction, helping students develop the ability to transfer their learning in the classroom to the research setting. Judges praised his tireless work alongside students, often co-authoring articles with undergraduates and having them present at national conferences.                   

Registration for Team America Rocketry Challenge 2014 is now open!

Check out the full rules for more details on this year’s challenge. The 2014 Application Packet is now posted on www.rocketcontest.org. If you have any questions about forming a team or filling out the packet email anne.ward@aia-aerospace.org.


Learning Spaces Collaboratory Workshop

Richland College, in collaboration with the Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LSC), is hosting a workshop on Saturday, December 7, for academics and architects in the Dallas region with a commitment to shaping and sustaining a robust physical environment for student learning. Read more »


Modeling Workshops nationwide

Fifty Modeling Workshops in high school physics, chemistry,  physical science, and biology will be offered in summer 2014, in many states. Modeling Workshops are peer-led. Modeling Instruction is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an Exemplary K-12 science program. Some sites offer stipends, usually for in-state teachers.  Graduate credit is available at some sites. Pre-service teachers and TYC faculty are welcome too.
More Information »
Workshop descriptions »


ASU Modeling Workshops in Physics and Chemistry

Four Modeling Workshops (June 9-27, July 7-25) for high school physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers nationwide are offered by Arizona State University in Tempe. The program can lead to a Master of Natural Science degree. Low-cost family housing is available. Modeling Instruction is designated as an Exemplary K-12 science program by the U.S. Department of Education.
More Information »

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Provides New View of Saturn and Earth

On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, NASA's Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn's shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings -- and, in the background, our home planet, Earth.   Read more »

The Physics of Atomic Nuclei (PAN)

The Physics of Atomic Nuclei (PAN) free residential summer program for science teachers and high school students accepts applications starting in December for summer 2014. PAN participants will learn about scientific research in nuclear astrophysics and conduct their own experiments. Teachers can earn continuing education credit for participation. The teacher program will run from July 27 – August 1 at Michigan State University, and student programs will run from June 22-27 at University of Notre Dame and August 3-8 at Michigan State University. Applications are due by April 7. To learn more and fill out an online application, visit http://www.jinaweb.org/outreach/PAN/.


Third Conference on the Physics of Sustainable Energy: Using Energy Efficiently and Producing It Renewably

March 8, 2014 - March 9, 2014 at University of California, Berkeley
This conference will be an intense weekend short  course to enhance the background of physical scientists, especially early-career  scientists, who want to work on applied energy topics. The main audience will  be physics professors, post-docs and graduate students. Read more »

50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, AAPT is making Nobel Laureate Luis W. Alvarez's report, "A physicist examines the Kennedy assassination film," about the physics of the Zapruder film freely available to the public. Read more »

ATE Workshops for Physics Faculty

The ATE Workshops for Physics Faculty are offering two new workshops this 2013-2014 academic year – one in November and one in March.  Information about the workshops, application, and the program can be found at the  project's website. You can also contact Tom O'Kuma or Dwain Desbien.

Help  Us Hold the Line on your Membership Dues!

Postage is a major expense for AAPT member services.  You  can help us hold the line on postage expenses and resulting dues increases by  renewing your membership online when you receive the first notice.   Also by keeping your contact information current.  Please take a few  minutes to log into your AAPT member account, update your contact information  and demographics, and check on your member status. Contact your Member Services  Department at 301-209-3333, or  by e-mail at membership@aapt.org if  you need assistance, or have further questions.

Career Learning Center

Professional development is a work in progress, and constantly gaining new skills and knowledge is essential to the success of any career. The latest enhancement to the AAPT Career Center AAPT Career Center - the Career Learning Center - is a career-guidance companion to searching the latest science teaching jobs. Equipped with four career-centric seminars, the AAPT Career Learning Center is a user-friendly virtual platform that satisfies the professional needs of AAPT members at all points on the career spectrum.
This helpful content is ONLY available to registered users with the AAPT Career Center, a free job seeker service provided by AAPT. Quickly login or create your job seeker account, and take control of your future by building a stronger presence among our industry's top employers.

Free Internship Job Posting on AAPT Career Center

AAPT has an online jobsite that offers free 60-day internship job postings.  To post internships online at AAPT visit http://jobs.aapt.org/
Locate the best fit for your organization by reaching the future of the science community – AAPT members.  Free internship postings are valid on 60-day online-postings; valid intern-level opportunities are defined as limited-term (up to 12 weeks) employment for current undergraduates or recent bachelor degree recipients with financial compensation (if any) in the form of a modest salary or stipend. "Internship" Job Level must be selected when posting to access this offer.

Social Media @ AAPT

AAPT wants to connect with you on social media! Stay abreast of the latest AAPT and physics-related news. We invite you to like us, follow us, connect with us, and pin us. You can find us here:
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ComPADRE Digital Library

The ComPADRE Digital Library is a network of free online resource collections supporting faculty, students, and teachers in Physics and Astronomy Education.
Each ComPADRE collection contains a catalog of materials for teaching and learning that are selected by the editors for the target user community. The collections also provide information resources and community collaboration tools to support the needs of our users, usually in collaboration with partner physics and astronomy education projects.

Section News

The December 2013 Section News is now being organized. Section Representatitves should send reports to us by December 31, 2013. To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mgardner@aapt.org. See the July 2013 Section News.

2013 Nobel Prize Posters Available

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics posters in English will be available in December in the pdf-format on the Academy’s website on this link: http://kva.se/nobelprizes.

Registration Now Open for Department of Energy's National Science Bowl

Teams of high school and middle school students  across the country can now register to compete in the 24th annual Department of Energy’s National  Science Bowl (NSB). Thousands of students compete in the contest annually and  it has grown into one of the largest academic math and science competitions in  the country. More:  http://science.energy.gov/news/in-focus/2013/10-21-13/

Mini Grant Program

The American Physical Society is happy to announce that it will award several grants to encourage APS members to develop new outreach activities. Programs to be funded may include not only the more traditional K-12 outreach but also engaging the general public within physics and informing them about the importance of physics in their daily lives. These grants are to foster new activities and not support ongoing programs or duplicate APS efforts. Current and past APS outreach programs can be found at www.physicscentral.com. Grant awardees will be expected to present their work at a special session at the APS 2015 March Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, March 2 -6. Send application materials or questions to Rebecca Thompson no later than Sunday, December 15, 2013 (11:59 EST. Read more »


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Thanks for your readership and your support of AAPT.

© 2013, American Association of Physics Teachers

In this issue


Featured Journal Articles

The Physics Teacher

Average Annual Rainfall Over the Globe
Read online

American Journal of Physics


Using split-ring resonators to measure the electromagnetic properties of materials: An experiment for senior physics undergraduates
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Preconceptions in Mechanics

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