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Spring meeting updates

The Spring SCAAPT Meeting will be held on Saturday, April 8 at Loyola Marymount University. Now is the time to put the meeting on your calendar and start your planning.  If you wish to reserve a box lunch, you need to fill out the online reservation form. Driving directions and parking information (including the price of parking… $0!), can be found on the meeting webpage.

We will have several amazing invited speakers:

Walter Buell- Phys21: Preparing Physics Students for 21st Century Careers
Jonas Mureika- Gravity in Flatland: How dumping dimensions informs fundamental physics

and just announced…

Michelle Feynman- Genius to You, Father to Me


The full schedule with the member-contributed talks will be posted shortly.



SoCal STEM Education Conference

Now is the time to register for “Breaking the Boundaries of STEM Education” an NSF-funded conference at which attendees will discuss topics related to undergraduate STEM education, including: equity, problem solving, and computational thinking. The conference will take place at Loyola Marymount University on April 7 from 9am-8pm. STEM faculty from throughout Southern California are encouraged to attend and present.

Conference website

Discounted early bird registration is now available! Also, submissions for conference posters are now being accepted. Posters should describe a scholarly analysis of STEM teaching strategies. In addition to descriptions of significant or final results, preliminary research results and discussions of works in progress are welcomed. Those who present posters will also have the opportunity to publish their work in either a special issue of Journal of Research in STEM Education or the peer-reviewed conference proceedings.

This conference will be a great venue at which STEM faculty can:

learn about new scholarly work related to equity, problem-solving and computational thinking in STEM,
be inspired to change teaching practice in some way,
share results of their own STEM education research,
initiate a project in which one examines one’s own class, and
find potential future collaborators.

This conference is perfect for those who are already engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning as well as those who are simply looking for some results of such scholarship that they can apply to their own classes. For those who are interested in applying for NSF funding related to teaching and learning, there will be several current and former NSF program officers and division directors in attendance. They will be presenting and talking with conference attendees throughout the day.

Visit the website for the complete program, registration form and poster submission form.


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Spring meeting preparations

The Spring SCAAPT Meeting will be held on April 8 at Loyola Marymount University. Now is the time to put the meeting on your calendar and start your planning.  If you wish to reserve a box lunch, you need to fill out the online reservation form. Driving directions and parking information (including the price of parking… $0!), can be found on the meeting webpage.

We are fortunate to have Walter Buell (Aerospace Corporation) and Jonas Mureika (Loyola Marymount University) scheduled to give invited presentations. The full schedule with the member-contributed talks will be posted shortly.


Spring Meeting submission deadline is March 10

Please consider submitting an abstract for a presentation or Show & Tell at our upcoming meeting (April 8 at Loyola Marymount University). You need to complete the online submission form by this Friday, March 10, for your presentation to be considered.

The full schedule will be created once we sort the member contributed submissions, but we can announce several invited speakers:

Walter Buell (Aerospace Corporation and APS/ AAPT Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs) will be presenting on “Phys21: Preparing Physics Students for 21st Century Careers”
Jonas Mureika (Loyola Marymount University)

Summer Physics Academy for High School Teachers

The tenth annual Summer Physics Academy for High School Teachers will be held at UCR Riverside on June 12-16, 2017.

The Academy is a 5-day institute for high school physics teachers taking place at the UCR Department of Physics and Astronomy and coordinated by UCR physics faculty.

Refresh your content knowledge of physics concepts
Participate in hands-on activities
Learn about current research performed by UCR faculty
Network with teachers in the region and UCR faculty

Morning coffee, lunch, materials and UCR parking permit will be provided for each day of the academy. A stipend of $400 will be given to participants attending the entire 5 days.

Online application and information details at:

Hurry as space is limited!

Production company seeking help

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s digital production company, Seven Bucks Digital Studios, is reaching out to local physicists in the Los Angeles area to help them on an upcoming video, a pilot for a YouTube series called “Action Science”.

Essentially, they will break down the science of the most epic film fight scenes that star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Similar to how Sports Science breaks down the science of a football catch, they will break down some of these epic fights or action scenes, and equate them to examples that the audience can understand.

Production needs an expert in physics who can…

help do the math and make sure it is accurate
give examples of interesting places in the fight/action scenes to break down
help equate it to other real life examples that people can understand.

Note: You will not be on camera, but will be providing the information that then the writers/host will use in the actual production of the YouTube series.

If this is something you would be interested in and have the time to do in this upcoming week, contact Mo Darwiche and Troy Guthrie, the producer and production managers on this project.

Public lecture by a Nobel Laureate

A Deeper Understanding of the Universe From 2 Kilometers Underground
Art McDonald
2015 Nobel Laureate
Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University
March 1, 2017
Irvine Barclay Theatre
7:30 – 8:30 PM
This talk is free and open to the public. (See below for information on reservations.)
In an ultra-clean laboratory 2 kilometers underground, the fundamental properties of neutrinos and dark matter can be studied, providing new insights into the laws of physics and the composition and evolution of the universe. Professor McDonald will discuss past and present measurements of the basic properties of these particles and the resulting impact on our understanding of the Sun, our galaxy, and our universe.

Professor Art McDonald was a co-winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for discoveries he made as the Director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) scientific collaboration. These discoveries showed clearly that neutrinos have mass, providing evidence for new laws of physics beyond the standard theory of elementary particles. He is a graduate of Dalhousie University and Caltech and has held positions at Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories, Princeton University, and Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. He is currently involved in experiments at SNOLAB, an underground laboratory near Sudbury, Ontario, where he is studying a very rare radioactive process, called neutrinoless double beta decay, and is seeking direct evidence for dark matter particles. He has received many awards and nine honorary degrees.


Reservations are required and to be made by February 24.  They can be made by visiting the form at:

The Reines Lecture Series honors Frederick Reines, UCI’s Founding Dean of Physical Sciences and co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize for discovering the neutrino.



Opportunity for a grant to mentor students in research

The Society for Science and the Public has an opportunity that may be of interest to some teachers. Participating in science fair competitions can spark an interest, inspire confidence, and further the education of our students. Too few under-served students have the guidance necessary to make this possible for them, so the Society for Science and the Public is enlisting the help of adults to help under-served students enter science research competitions for the first time. As part of the Advocate Grant Program, the society will award a $3,000 stipend to teachers, scientists, or mentors to provide support for under-served students where it has been lacking in the past.

These Advocates will go to Washington, D.C. to be trained on the various science research competitions that currently exist and plan out how they will assist their students throughout the application process. To access the application, please visit the online application.  Please note that the program has an application deadline of February 26.

Spring Meeting announcement and call for presentations

SCAAPT is pleased to announce that the Spring Meeting will take place April 8 at Loyola Marymount University.

Details about the meeting will be announced soon, but first we need your help to complete the schedule.  Please consider giving a presentation at the meeting.  These member-contributed presentations are what make the meeting useful. You can share an activity that you have done with your students, show off a demonstration (old or new!), describe a research study that you did on student learning, etc.  Anything that enhances teachers’ understanding of physics or physics teaching is welcomed.

To submit an abstract, complete the online submission form by March 10.


Tenure-track opening

Santa Monica College has an opening for a full-time/tenure track physics instructor.

Minimum qualifications are a master’s degree in physics, astronomy, or astrophysics OR a bachelor’s degree in physics or astronomy AND master’s degree in engineering, mathematics, meteorology, or geophyscis.

Application deadline is March 3, 2017. For more information go to <>.