Spring SCAAPT Meeting information

The complete schedule for the upcoming meeting has now been posted online.
SCAAPT Spring Meeting
April 21, 2018
Long Beach City College
Among the expected highlights:

Clarence Bakken from Gunn High School and Vernier will lead a workshop in which participants get to used the new Vernier sensors.
Michael Nauenberg from UC Santa Cruz will share with us his work on Newton’s historic development of fundamental concepts in his Principia.
Daniel Mehay from Horizon Educational will discuss a semester-long project where students build a fuel cell-powered RC car.
Amy Fredericks of Long Beach City College will present a show in the campus planetarium.
Elections for the new SCAAPT Executive Committee.
There will be an Order of Magnitude contest and plenty of door prizes.

Plus, … lots of helpful and lively conversations with your fellow SoCal physics teachers!


If you would like to reserve a box lunch for the meeting, please complete the online form by April 14. Lunches will be a burrito from Rubios, plus drinks.

The meeting page also has information regarding driving directions and parking instructions.

We can’t wait to see all of you at Long Beach City College on April 21!


Physics teaching position

Position Description:
Viewpoint School is accepting applications for a teaching position in Physics and STEM course work for the 2018-19 school year. Successful candidates should have at least three years of experience teaching physics and a Bachelor’s degree in science. Background and knowledge in mathematics, programming and computer science principles is desired. In addition, the candidate will have interest and experience in the interdisciplinary application of physics, computer science, math and technology. Successful candidates will be versed in variety of teaching methods, proficient in student-centered instruction, and embrace a collaborative, innovative mindset. Effective communication skills are also required.

About the school:
Viewpoint School is a dynamic and exciting place to work. Our semirural 40-acre campus offers a natural environment perfect for the development of young minds and bodies.  With over 1200 students and 150 faculty members from across the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Viewpoint School in Calabasas, CA is a vibrant community of teachers and learners from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The school values all the best principles of a forward-thinking educational institution: excellence, compassion, leadership, individuality, respect, service, and confidence.

Under the stewardship of a new leadership team, Viewpoint is developing a transformative vision, in which technology and innovation will play a key role. From a new innovation space to an exploding robotics program, the educational horizon for creativity and design at Viewpoint is practically endless. Viewpoint School is a welcoming, vibrant, and collaborative community that offers a challenging and enriched college preparatory education in a nurturing environment for students in Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade. The School embraces students and families from diverse cultures of the world and teaches the history and wisdom of these traditions.

Teachers at Viewpoint are experts in their various fields, typically possessing education beyond […]

Lunch Request for Spring Meeting

If you would like to reserve a box lunch for the upcoming Spring Meeting, please complete the online form by April 14. Lunches will be a burrito from Rubios, plus drinks.

Master of Natural Science program at ASU

High school physics and chemistry teachers can apply for the Master of Natural Science (MNS) degree in physics at Arizona State University (ASU), a summers-only program.

LOW-COST! Teachers in 15 western states can apply for in-state tuition, a considerable savings! This opportunity is through WICHE. The application deadline is April 1, each year. The 15 states are listed at

(Three teachers in California and two in Colorado are enrolled, for in-state tuition. Dorm housing last summer cost about $22/day – convenient & cheap.)

Physics and chemistry teachers find the ASU summer MNS program to be of great value. It is an effective implementation of STEM! Courses are interactive engagement, hands-on, minds-on, and practical. Interdisciplinary courses make it useful for chemistry teaching, too.

75 high school teachers have earned the MNS degree since it was founded in 2001 by Prof. David Hestenes.
Teachers love the courses. Teaching is more satisfying because students learn more.
It can qualify you to teach Dual Enrollment physics courses for community colleges.
It is similar to Finland’s Master degree for high school physics teachers, in that courses combine content with research-based pedagogy. Teachers do action research. (Finland is high in test scores of 15-year-olds, as you know.)
Most teachers take 3 summers, but some finish in two. Flexible; no cohorts.
Courses begin on June 11, 2018. 2 sessions in summer. 2nd session ends on August 2.

Visit for info & list of courses through 2021.

To apply to ASU, click on “ASU logistics and the application process”.

Questions? ask

UCR Summer Physics Academy

The UCR Summer Physics Academy is a FREE 5 full-day institute for high school physics teachers taking place at the UC Riverside Department of Physics and Astronomy and coordinated by physics and astronomy faculty in partnership with the California Science Project.

Who: high school physics teachers (priority selection)
When: June 25-29, 2018 – 8:30am – 4:00pm
Where: UCR Physics Department

Application deadline: May 4th, 2018
Acceptance notification: May 10th, 2018

Registration now open!

Refresh your content knowledge of physics concepts
Participate in hands-on activities and laboratory experiences to understand NGSS instruction
Learn and discover about current research performed by UCR faculty
Network with teachers in the region and UCR faculty
Lunch, UCR parking permit, materials will be provided for each day of the academy.
A stipend of $400 will be given to participants attending the entire 5 days.

Space is limited to 25 participants.  For any further questions, please email Maria Simani:

Spring Meeting call for presentations

The Spring SCAAPT Meeting will be held April 21 at Long Beach City College. All members are encouraged to contribute a presentation or Show & Tell.  Please share your favorite demonstration, class activity, education research findings or anything else that will enhance teachers’ understanding of physics or physics teaching.

For full consideration, please complete the online form by March 10.


Save the date and… help requested

We’re pleased to announce that the Spring 2018 SCAAPT meeting will be held Saturday April 21st at Long Beach City College. Please mark this on your calendar and keep an eye on our meeting page as we assemble the schedule in the coming weeks. We will announce how to submit a contributed abstract soon.

At this meeting, we will be having officer elections.  We encourage all SCAAPT members to consider running for office.  The time and energy that you devote to SCAAPT will help many other physics teachers and their students. Below are brief descriptions of each of the positions.  If you’re interested in running, please contact Cliff Gerstman. If you have questions about the positions, contact Cliff or any of the current officers.

The President has responsibility for the overall operation of the Section and oversees all of its meetings.
The Vice President for High Schools involves high school teachers in the Section activities.
The Vice President for Two-year Colleges involves two-year college faculty in the Section activities.
The Vice President of Universities serves as program chair for each Section Meeting and involves four-year college faculty in the Section activities.
The Secretary/Treasurer maintains all financial and membership records for the Section.
The Web Manager maintains and updates the Section website and social media accounts.
The Section Representative represents the Section at National AAPT meetings.

urgent need for a lab instructor

Rio Hondo College needs an instructor for a General Physics II lab that meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:50 to 2:15 pm. The current instructor is unable to continue. Contact Vann Priest, Dean, at

Tenure-track position


Citrus College invites applications for a full-time faculty position in physics beginning Fall 2018.  To apply, see the detailed version of the job posting on the Citrus College website here: Citrus College Recruitment – Physics Instructor

Citrus College is located in Glendora in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, approximately twenty-five miles northeast of metropolitan Los Angeles. The college has the distinction of being the oldest community college in Los Angeles County and the fifth oldest in the state.  Citrus College occupies a 104-acre campus and currently the college serves more than 19,000 students annually. Classes are offered on a 16-week calendar (fall and spring semesters), as well as in a variety of non-traditional scheduling options — winter intersession, evenings, summer sessions, and optional class formats, such as online education courses.

Citrus College provides innovative educational opportunities and student support services that lead to the successful completion of degrees, transfer, career/technical education and basic skills proficiency. The college fosters personal and professional success through the development of critical thinking, effective communication, creativity, and cultural awareness in a safe, accessible and affordable learning community. In meeting the needs of our demographically diverse student population, we embrace equity and accountability through measurable learning outcomes, ethical data-driven decisions and student achievement.

This 10-month (175 days), full-time tenure track assignment under the purview of the Division of Natural and Physics Sciences will include instruction in a variety of introductory physics courses, including courses for STEM majors (calculus-based physics or trigonometry/algebra-based physics) and/or general education physics courses for non-STEM majors. The assignment and schedule, as determined by the District, may consist of day and/or evening classes. Voluntary inclusion of Saturday courses […]

New Physics Teacher Workshops

In February, there will be two New Physics Teacher Workshops. You or a colleague should attend one! These will be workshops on Waves: Sound and Light with some Modern Physics.
LA Area @ Santa Monica College – Saturday, February 17
SD Area @ Univ. of San Diego – Saturday, February 24
Or, you can follow the links at

As always these workshops are completely free and you get great stuff.