AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers
eNNOUNCER February 2017

eNNOUNCER March 2017


AAPT News

First AAPT/ALPhA Awardees Named

The AAPT/ALPhA Award recognizes outstanding work in the development of an advanced laboratory apparatus/experiment by an undergraduate physics student at his/her home institution within the greater United States. The AAPT/ALPhA Award Committee has announced the first recipients of the award - Brandon Thacker, California State University, Chico (2015), and Ryan Scott, Rochester Institute of Technology (2016). TeachSpin is currently funding the award. Read more.

Newly Elected AAPT Board of Directors Officers Begin Service

With the Presidential Transfer ceremony and the end of the 2017 Winter Meeting in Atlanta, the AAPT Board of Directors sees many changes with members of the Presidential chain rotating and newly elected officers taking on their new positions. Janelle Bailey transferred the President's gavel to George A. Amann from Hyde Park, NY. Gordon P. Ramsey, Loyola University-Chicago, became President-Elect and Mel Sabella, Chicago State University, stepped into his new role as Vice President. Daniel Crowe, Loudoun Academy of Science, began his Board term as the At Large High School Representative. David Sturm, University of Maine was elected by the Section Representatives to serve in the role of Vice Chair of Section Representatives as his predecessor, Dyan Jones, Mercyhurst University, rotated into the role of Chair of the Section Representatives.

Change to By-Laws: Membership Category Title Change

At its meeting in February, the AAPT Board of Directors passed a second and final motion that the term “regular member” be changed to “professional member” in Section 3.01 of the By-Laws and any subsequent reference to regular member therein. This change reflects the professional identification and commitment of members to our organization, describing AAPT membership in a way that idealizes how a person would wish to describe themselves in their professional identification.

2017 AAPT Summer Meeting Abstracts

Post-deadline abstracts will be accepted until May 11 for the 2017 AAPT Summer Meeting in Cincinnati. This is a great opportunity to become an active participant in the summer meeting, by showcasing your teaching methods and research while interacting with like-minded colleagues. All post-deadline abstracts will be scheduled on Wednesday, July 26 in the last session of the day. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity. Click here to submit your abstract today!

Child and Dependent Care Grants

AAPT has small grants up to $400 available for AAPT national meeting attendees who are bringing small children to a national meeting or who incur extra expenses in leaving their children at home (i.e., extra daycare or babysitting services) in order to attend a national meeting. In addition, small grants up to $400 are available to national meeting attendees who are responsible for dependent care (elderly parents, adult children with disabilities, etc) or need assistance at the meeting because of a disability. More details coming soon.

AAPT Seeks Volunteers to Direct AAPT High School Contests

AAPT seeks volunteers to apply for directors of two of AAPT's high school contests: PhysicsBowl and the US Physics Team. The PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator provides general oversight of the competition and has the responsibility for preparing the yearly exam. We anticipate that the individual selected for the PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator position will start later this year. The U.S. Physics Teach Academic Director position 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 International Physics Olympiad. We anticipate that the individual selected will serve as co-director during the 2017-18 year and transition to director in Fall 2018. Click here for more information.

eAlliances: Uniting Isolated Women Physicists and Astronomers - Registration site now LIVE!

Everyone needs mentors, but how do you find other women physicists who understand your experience-- as the only Hispanic in the department, the only PER researcher, the only full-time physicist at your TYC, the only one who brings a newborn in a sling to department meetings? Join eAlliances, an NSF-sponsored faculty development project for women physics faculty, and become part of a peer-mentoring alliance with other women who share many of your same experiences.

Why me?

• Connect with other women physicists and astronomers
• Get and give advice and affirmation
• Gather a variety of insights to help you address professional issues
• Address work-life balance issues
• Receive encouragement and support in achieving your goals

This is professional development for your career stage: whether you are teaching your first or hundredth section of intro physics; mentoring your first or hundredth research associate; or leading your first or hundredth committee meeting. Someone else has a similar experience and can share insights, frustrations and successes.

To join: Register at eAlliances.aapt.org

The AAPT/APS Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs has released two reports about preparing physics students for diverse careers

Phys21: Preparing Physics Students for 21st Century Careers report provides guidance for physicists considering revising the undergraduate curriculum to improve the education of a diverse student population. The report includes recommendations on content, pedagogy, professional skills, and student engagement and documentable student outcomes.

The Phys21 Supplement summarizes the information used to prepare the Phys21 Report. The sources include reports authored by professional societies, business and economic development groups, educational institutions, and professional consulting organizations

The reports, along with other information about the Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs, are available at www.compadre.org/jtupp

AAPT K-12 Programs Seeks Physics Teacher as Volunteer Assistant to the K-12 Program Manager

AAPT’s K-12 Program Manager is seeking an AAPT member to support AAPT’s K-12 digital efforts. This individual will assist in:
• preparing and hosting monthly webinars
• writing blog posts
• developing lesson resources inspired by The Physics Teacher articles
• attending the NSTA STEM Forum (July 12-14, 2017 in Orlando, FL)
• coordinating efforts with AAPT’s K-12 programs, marketing, digital resources personnel

We are looking for individuals who have experience as a physics educator at the K-12 level, and have a history of writing or blogging about physics education, curriculum development, and engagement with the physics education community. Hours are flexible and will take approximately 5-15 hours per month, depending upon interest, availability, and activities. A stipend of up to $1,250 per semester and per summer will be provided, in addition to funds for travel. Details of this volunteer opportunity are negotiable.

If you are interested in this opportunity (or have questions about it), please send a resume/CV and a statement of interest to AAPT’s K-12 Program Manager, Rebecca Vieyra, at rvieyra@aapt.org by March 1st.

AAPT Career Center Offers FREE Postings

The AAPT Career Center offers FREE postings to employers recruiting seasonal interns. Locate the best fit for your organization by reaching the future of the science community - the AAPT membership, as well as the members and student members of the American Physical Society (APS Physics), AVS Science and Technology, and the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma.

Get the word out! Your posting will also appear on the Physics Today Jobs site, which when combined with the job sites of the organizations mentioned above forms the ultimate online science, engineering, and computing career network, ensuring maximum relevant visibility for your internship.

Visit jobs.aapt.org to get started.

Computational Physics at AAPT Section Meetings

The Partnership for the Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP) has a project for fostering faculty communities to develop computational integration at a local level. We invite any AAPT section with faculty interested in exploring computational integration into their courses to express its interest (if it has not already done so) in developing such a community. Any section member who feels that local faculty might have an interest in including computation in their courses may convey this interest. The venue for doing so is the following survey. This process begins by hosting an introductory workshop (e.g. at a regular section meeting) whose objectives are:

  • to describe a strategy for introducing computation in courses and illustrative materials suggesting how to do so;
  • to help participants envision their own computational educational materials;
  • to formulate individual plans for each to implement these designs as materials in at least one of their upcoming courses; and
  • to introduce them to a local support network to use for mutual collaboration in and support for their implementation efforts after the workshop.
We look forward to hearing from you.

AAPT Programs

2017 High School Physics Photo Contest

The 2017 contest registration opened March 1, and will close May 15. The contest is open to high school students in grades 9-12. Teachers register on the AAPT website and receive a confirmation code that their students can use to submit their entries (essay and photo). Photos may be entered in either the Natural photo or Contrived photo category. The top 100 entries will be displayed and judged during the 2017 Summer Meeting in Cincinnati, OH. Learn more!


AAPT Membership

AAPT Member Spotlight

Sam Sampere
Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Read more

Call for Award Nominations

The AAPT Awards Committee invites nominations for all of AAPT awards, citations, and medals. We are particularly interested in nominations for AAPT Fellows and for the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT.

AAPT Members Attending APS March Meeting

The American Physical Society's 2017 March Meeting will be held in New Orleans from March 13th through 17th. Active AAPT members can attend Forum on Education sponsored and plenary sessions at APS meetings at no cost. AAPT members need to stop by the APS registration desk to receive a special registration badge. If you require proof of membership for attendance, log in to access your member profile at the AAPT portal. You can print the first page, showing your paid through date. For further assistance, contact AAPT membership at 301-209-3333, or, by e-mail at membership@aapt.org.

Nominate a Deserving Colleague for a Harold & Charlotte Mae Fuller Fund Membership

AAPT is committed to increasing the effectiveness of Physics education around the world. Through a grant supported by Harold Q & Charlotte Mae Fuller Fund, the Association provides a number of fully-funded, two-year memberships to physics teachers in developing countries. The deadline is May 31st. If you know an eligible physics teacher who would benefit from this support, submit your nomination today!

Yamani Membership Grants for Students and Early-Career Professionals

Each year, through the Hashim A Yamani Fund, AAPT awards several 2-year memberships to students or early-career professionals who are either planning to teach or already teaching physics in their native country. Citizens of any country are eligible, with priority given to citizens of developing countries. If your students are planning to become a teacher, or have recently graduated and started teaching, tell them to apply for a Yamani Membership today! Deadline: July 1.


In the News

AAPT wants you to know about a new resource created by AIP that’s freely available: FYI This Week.

Each edition will include a look at the week ahead in science policy and a review of the week just passed. It will also list upcoming events, opportunities to get engaged, and links to articles from other publications. FYI has been a trusted resource for 25 years, but this new weekly edition will allow you to keep up-to-date with policy issues affecting science.

Go to www.aip.org/fyi to see samples of the email and web content, and subscribe to this free service by clicking on the green sign up button.

Undergraduate Computational Physics Workshop at March 2017 APS Meeting

The Partnership for Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP) invites all physics faculty to attend the following workshop:

Half-day Workshop at the APS March Meeting in New Orleans, Sunday, March 12, 2017, 1:30-5:30pm

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to the pedagogical benefits and advantages of integrating computation into undergraduate physics courses. This workshop will also serve as a good introduction to the PICUP collection of educational materials for computation. If you are planning to attend the APS March meeting in New Orleans or live nearby, why not go a day early and join in? There is still plenty of room for participants in this workshop, and attendees of the March Meeting can register for the workshop up to and including the day of the event.

Short Course on Nuclear Weapon and Related Security Issues

A popular technical workshop is making a repeat performance April 21 - 22. International experts will give the background to understand issues related to nuclear weapons and security more completely. The organizers are Pierce Corden (AAAS), Tony Fainberg (former DHS), David Hafemeister (CalPoly), Allison Macfarlane (GWU). Sign up early, registration is limited to 100 conferees. Click here for more information.

Highly Trained STEM Teachers Needed to Boost America's Global Competitiveness, According to New Study

The United States' global competitiveness is at risk as the nation confronts persistent shortages of STEM teachers. More than half of all high school physics teachers lacked certification in the discipline in 2012, for example. As a result, students who are interested in STEM careers find themselves ill prepared to compete in an increasingly highly technical workforce.

A new study by the American Physical Society, in collaboration with the American Chemical Society, Computing Research Association, and Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership, addresses the reasons why STEM students shy away from teaching as a career and offers ways to counter the trend. Download the full report at www.aps.org/policy/reports.

ACT's Annual Nationwide STEM Report

ACT's STEM report, "The Condition of STEM 2016" was released on November 17, 2016. Nearly half (48 percent) of the 2.1 million 2016 American high school graduates who took the ACT test expressed an interest in STEM majors or careers, the report found. However, only 26 percent of those 1 million STEM-interested graduates met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in STEM. The benchmark is an indicator of whether a student is well prepared for first-year courses such as calculus, biology, chemistry and physics, which are typically required for a college STEM-related major. These findings are virtually unchanged from last year, the report found. Interest in teaching STEM subject areas continues to be alarmingly low. Less than 1 percent of the nearly 2.1 million 2016 graduates who took the ACT indicated an interest in teaching math or science.

Download the nationwide report here.

You can download each STATE report here.

NOTE: The states with highest percentages of graduates who met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in STEM are New England states and New York; the worst percentages are in southern rural states, plus Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico, and West Virginia.

Computational Physics Faculty Development Workshop July 10-14, 2017

The Partnership for Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP) invites all physics faculty to attend the following workshop:

Week-long Faculty Development Workshop at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, Monday, July 10 – Friday, July 14, 2017

The purpose of this week-long workshop is to guide participants in developing their own computational educational materials, and in formulating a plan for implementing these materials in their upcoming courses. All local expenses will be covered for participants at the River Falls Workshop, and there may be some limited funding for round-trip travel to River Falls.

New The 5+ Club Members

The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) is pleased to honor nine institutions as members of The 5+ Club. These institutions graduated five or more well-prepared teachers in the 2015-2016 academic year. Learn more about The 5+ Club and view the latest recipients on the PhysTEC website.

PhysTEC Teacher of the Year Award

Alexandra Boyd, an alumna of Elon University, received the inaugural PhysTEC Teacher of the Year Award for her exceptional work teaching high school physics. Learn more about Boyd and the Award on the PhysTEC website.

National Graduate Teaching Assistant Workshop

The Cottrell Scholars Collaborative National Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Workshop for physics and chemistry departments, "Mobilizing the Forgotten Army: Preparing TAs for leadership in STEM Education" (sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement), offers the opportunity for a small group of departmental teams to interact together with colleagues who have expertise in supporting physics and chemistry GTAs. The workshop, which will be held May 31 - June2, 2017 on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA, is designed for departmental teams consisting of one "mentor/master" TA and one faculty member. Ground costs (lodging, meals, registration) for a single team per department (up to about 15 teams) will be covered through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Please note that nominations for the workshop must include a letter of support/commitment from the Department Chair, as described on the workshop website.

The nomination deadline for this year's workshop is March 3, 2017. The online nomination form and additional information can be found here.

Active Learning in Introductory Physics Courses: Research-Based Strategies that Improve Student Learning

July 29-31, 2017, Portland, Oregon
Designed for those who teach introductory physics at universities, colleges and high schools. Graduate credit will be available through the University of Oregon. Instructors: Priscilla Laws, Dickinson College, David Sokoloff, University of Oregon, Ronald Thornton, Tufts University.

For more information and to register: pages.uoregon.edu/sokoloff/CHAUT

Workshop on Women and Minorities in the History of Physics, Role Models for Today

Dr. Greg Good, Director of the Center for the History of Physics, is eager to provide workshops at AAPT Section Meetings and elsewhere on Women and Minorities in the History of Physics. Teachers will be introduced to the teaching materials on the AIP website related to the history of women and minorities in the physical sciences. The purpose of these materials is to help students appreciate that not only white males have contributed to the development of physics, astronomy, and other physical sciences. On the flip side, there have been many more women than Marie Curie and many more African Americans than Benjamin Banneker and Jim Gates who have had successful careers in the physical sciences. We will explore several of the lesson plans in each group and explore games and other activities to bring these lessons to life. For more information, please contact Dr. Greg Good

Arizona State University Master of Natural Science Degree for High School Teachers

Arizona State University has an interdisciplinary Master of Natural Science (MNS) degree in physics for high school teachers. Courses are in summer, and the degree is founded on Modeling instruction. Teachers in 15 western states can apply for IN-STATE tuition; the deadline is APRIL 1.
For more details
For information: Jane.Jackson@asu.edu

Celebrate the OSA Centennial with the Explore Optics Kit and Free Lesson Plans

Join The Optical Society (OSA) in celebrating its centennial with a number of new resources to bring the wonder of light and color to students of all ages. The Explore Optics OSA 100 Kit provides a unique collection of resources to help students investigate geometric optics with a Pepper's Ghost apparatus, a Reflect View screen, and an Invisibility Kit. The kit is available for purchase at an over 50% discount to teachers for a limited time. Access free lessons from the OSA's Kit Activity Guide and check out the collaborative AAPT/OSA lesson templates inspired by articles from The Physics Teacher journal. Learn more at the AAPT K-12 blog.

ALPhA Announcements

1. Barbara Wolff-Reichert Grants will provide up to $7,500, with a 50% departmental match, toward the purchase of a TeachSpin instrument successfully mastered by a participant in an ALPhA Immersion. Read more.

2. ALPhA Mining Actualization Grants were created by the Jonathan Reichert Foundation to underwrite the construction, testing and dissemination of advanced lab experiments that are closely related to current research in physics. These are first come, first serve equipment grants with a maximum of $2,000 per school. Apply now!

3. The Jonathan Reichert Foundation announced the recipients of its inaugural grant program, supporting the advanced laboratory physics association (ALPhA) immersions. This year, the Foundation funded twelve out of sixteen applications, with a total funding of about $38,000. Congratulations to the individuals and institutions who received grants for advanced labs! Read more.

American Modeling Teachers Association

Modeling Instruction was developed for high school physics teachers and has since expanded to physical science, chemistry, biology, and middle school. Each year, Modeling workshops are held at universities and high schools across the United States. Last year, more than 70 Modeling workshops were offered to high school and middle school teachers in more than 20 states.

For information on 2017 Modeling Workshops, please visit the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) website: modelinginstruction.org For questions: wendy@modelinginstruction.org or gheheman@asu.edu


Physics Careers

Jobs Announcements from the Career Center

Upper School Physics Teacher - 1 year temporary
University Prep
Click here for job description

STEM Teachers September 2017-June 2018 in Beijing China
Learning for Future (Beijing) Education Technology Co., Ltd
Click here for job description


More Physics Resources


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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Section News

Please submit your Section Report for the AAPT Section News. To list your section meeting in the AAPT Calendar of Events, e-mail the information to mhall@aapt.org. See the July 2016 Section News.

Section Meetings

Chicago Section
Mar 18, 2017 - Mar 18, 2017
Spring Meeting
Niles West High School
Skokie, IL
Email: Joseph Kozminski   or Email: Martha Leitz

New Jersey Section
Mar 17, 2017 - Mar 18, 2017
Spring Meeting & Gravitational Waves (3/17), New Approaches in Physics Education (3/18)
Princeton University - Jadwin Hall
Princeton, NJ
Email: Pat Drury

North Carolina Section
Mar 31, 2017 - Apr 1, 2017
Spring Meeting
Wake Technical Community College - North Campus
Raleigh, NC
Email: Denise Wetli

Ohio Section
Mar 4, 2017 - Mar 4, 2017
Spring Meeting
Tri C Metro Campus - Advanced Technology Training Center
Cleveland, OH
Email: Bill Reitz

Texas Section
Mar 9, 2017 - Mar 11, 2017
Spring Meeting with APS and Zone 13 SPS
San Antonio College
San Antonio, TX
Email: Paul Williams


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© 2017, American Association of Physics Teachers

In this issue


Featured Journal Articles

The Physics Teacher


Is an Apple Magnetic: Magnetic Response of Everyday Materials Supporting Views About the Nature of Science

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American Journal of Physics


Metamaterial hyperlens demonstration of propagation without diffraction

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