Saturday, November 9

LaSalle High School (Pasadena, CA)

Local Host: Chija Bauer


Order of Magnitude question: What fraction of a house’s mass is the paint on the walls?

-Traveling East on 210 freeway, exit Michillinda / Rosemead North off-ramp. .
-Turn left at first signal onto Colorado Bouldevard and proceed one block to
Michillinda Avenue. .
-Turn left and proceed (North) to La Salle.
-Traveling West on 210 freeway, exit Michillinda / Rosemead North off-ramp.
-Turn right at the signal at the end of the off-ramp onto Foothill Bouldevard.
-Proceed 1/2 block to Michillinda Avenue.
-Turn left and proceed (North) to La Salle.
-PARKING is off of Sierra Madre Boulevard.

Campus map

Map Quest Driving Directions

Reserve your lunch:  Lunch Registration

The deadline for submitting an abstract has passed.

Registration and refreshments
Workshop: Constructing Basic Physical Science Knowledge    RSVP to Lee Loveridge

For several years now, we at Pierce College have taught Physical Science with a highly constructivist, learning cycle driven curriculum. That is we have students explore experiments that challenge their preconceptions, give them the terminology and models to explain the actual results, and then channel that learning into a new round of discovery. In this workshop our new professor, Travis Orloff, and I will demonstrate and discuss activities to challenge preconceptions, discussion of the results, and assessment of students. We will also talk about the challenges in using such methodology and possible ways of addressing them.

Poster session: Dante Sblendorio Identifying the factors of problem complexity

The challenge of quantifying the complexity of problems encountered within STEM disciplines has been approached in a variety of ways. Typically, problems are characterized as either well-structured or ill-structured; determined by the ambiguity of the language used to convey the necessary information (knowns) needed to find a solution. Well-structured problems have clearly stated goals and parameters while ill-stated problems do not. While this single dimensional, if not binary, portrayal of problem difficulty is common, it does not completely capture all of the variations in problem complexity. Our coding scheme defines a three-component value that captures the amount of stated conditions within the problem, the number of necessary assumptions and physics concepts and the mathematical complexity. We will present this coding scheme as well as examples from popular physics texts

Kevin Osorno Examination of Students’ Self-Monitoring in Problem Solving .

For solving problems, especially, ill-structured ones, a solver must employ metacognitive strategies including self-monitoring to be successful. Solvers who frequently examine their own thoughts while problem solving are able to assess their progress, consider alternatives and evaluate the validity of their own work. In an introductory mechanics course, students were asked to record problem solutions in their assignments using a think-aloud protocol. The recordings were made using Livescribe pens that synchronously record pen and audio. To gain a better understanding of the self-monitoring process, the recorded think-alouds were examined after the course. Thus far, three categories of self-monitoring have been identified, and students who frequently utilized self-monitoring were more likely to achieve a correct solution than those who did not.

9:30 Welcome and Announcements
9:35  Contributed talk: James Keipp, UCLA Center X, AP Readiness – "Ensuring Equity & Access to All Students"

The AP Readiness Program is designed with two interconnected goals in mind. The program aims to improve the teaching abilities of AP instructors while simultaneously giving students the skills they will need to be successful in college level classes.

9:50 Invited talk: Rick Lee, General Atomics, " field trip to a fusion facility?  How cool is that!"

General Atomics operates the DIII-D National Fusion Facility for the US Department of Energy at its San Diego Headquarters. DIII-D ("Dee-3-dee") is the nation’s largest nuclear fusion project that uses high temperature, magnetically confined deuterium plasma. Facility tours for students in G8-12 and college are offered throughout the year and are dependent on DIII-D’s operations schedule. Science topics include fusion & plasma science, states of matter, magnetic field-particle interactions, the electromagnetic spectrum, and radiation & radioactivity. Limited bus cost reimbursement money is available. This talk will cover the history and present state of fusion research and offer opportunities for teachers and students to visit or have a guest speaker.

10:50 Contributed talk: Cliff Gerstman, Middle College High, "The Forecast for Infrared Astronomy"

During the second week of June 2013, I had the honor of spending a night flying on the NASA plane SOFIA. (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) This is cutting edge Infrared Astronomy I will share my experiences and the science I learned

11:05 Contributed talk: David McKay, CSULB, "Misconceptions of well-known E&M youtube lectures"

This talk will look at least one example of the E & M misconceptions in Professor Walter Lewin’s MIT course 8.02. In particular, in one lecture Lewin erroneously computes electric field energy. I will show a 2 minute video clip of this mistake. Then I will explain to the audience why this mistake is quite glaring. Only a high level understanding of physics will be necessary. NO CALCULUS

11:20 Contributed talk:  Lee Loveridge, Pierce College, "Using a flipped classroom"

With the internet’s ability to rapidly deliver video content, there is a general move to have students watch lectures and home and do problem solving activities in class. Since it switches the placement of lecture and problem solving it is often refered to as a flipped classroom. In this talk I will discuss my attempts to flip my engineering physics course and the successes and problems that I have encountered. 

11:35 Business Meeting
12:00 Lunch 
1:00 Show and Tell
James Lincoln, Fresh Demos with Diamagnetic & Paramagnetic Materials
1:15 Vendor Spotlight: Ben Frederiksen, "Thermal Imaging"

Overview the capabilities of Fluke Thermal Imagers and discuss their application in the classroom. Hands on demo time will be available.

2:15 Invited talk: Robert Trout, JPL, "Teaching Space Exploration"

Solar System Ambassadors from JPL offer power points and video clips describing robotic exploration of space. Student participation in Physics classes and science education depends upon their perception of the value of the endeavor, their curiosity about the possible scientific discoveries made, and their potential for participation in the adventure. This talk presents some ideas that teachers can use to inspire students to participate in the story of space exploration. As a former high school science teacher myself, I look forward to quoting Buzz Lightyear to you: "To Infinity, and Beyond!"

3:15 Contributed talk: Chija Bauer, Professional development through the twitter blog-o-sphere

Share what I learned in the last year from the twitter blog-o-sphere. Talk about the community and the global physics department. Share resources that are out there and great collaborations that occurred as a result of this community.

3:30 Contributed talk: Craig Sipes, Sustainable Physics
Trash for Teaching (T4T) fosters a fusion of sustainability and hands-on learning by collecting clean, recycled materials for teachers to creatively transform into instructional materials. Their passion and expertise is hands-on STEM through a constructivist lens, and T4T is described as a community of educators, engineers, architects and designers trying to explore what STEM could mean to a new generation of students.
T4T’s STEM Goals
1. Bring enrichment back into the classroom
2. Empower teachers with inspiring open-ended materials, integrating sustainability and inventiveness
3. Help teachers design their own Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards aligned curriculum as “Open Source STEM, fostering mentorship and collaboration between teachers
4. Rethink classroom hands-on activities as in-depth, multidisciplinary research opportunities for both the teachers and students.
5. To collide Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math together in ways that dont feel like traditional school work.
3:45 Contributed talk: Paul Bruno, Watts Learning Center Charter Middle School, Identifying and Overcoming the Challenges of the NGSS
Now that California has adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, the state’s educators must begin preparing to implement them in their classrooms. Unfortunately, the NGSS and its adoption suffer from many weaknesses that will pose significant challenges for classroom teachers. This talk will briefly outline some of those weaknesses and challenges to help teachers begin to identify constructive steps forward.
4:00 Contributed talk: Homeyra Sadaghiani, Cal Poly Pomona, Utilizing Learning Assistant (LA) program to increase number and quality of high school physics teachers in CA
Learning Assistant (LA) program is a mechanism for recruiting and preparing physics majors for careers in teaching. Learning Assistants (LAs) are talented undergraduates who work with faculty members to make courses more collaborative, student-centered, and interactive. Learning Assistant program provides potential future teachers with strongly supported and low-stress early teaching experiences that can encourage them to pursue teaching certification. In the process, faculty use LAs to promote interaction and collaboration among students enrolled in the course, which consequently improves the quality undergraduate physics programs. We will report on our challenges and achievements.
   4:15 Order of Magnitude contest and door prizes
   4:30 Adjournment

Over fifty members of the Southern California Section gathered at LaSalle High School (Pasadena, CA) for a day full of informative presentations and lively discussions. SCAAPT thanks Chija Bauer, who hosted the meeting and Bradley “Peanut” McCoy, who served as Program Chair of the meeting. The meeting was called to order by SCAAPT President James Lincoln.

Lee Loveridge and Travis Orloff led a workshop where they shared classroom activities that they have developed at Pierce College. The workshop participants were able to try out the highly constructivist, learning cycle driven curriculum. Ben Frederiksen from Fluke demonstrated the latest in infrared imaging technology and discussed possible classroom applications. Because of the continuous advance of technology, the cost of such imagers is rapidly decreasing. Bob Trout, who works as a Solar System Ambassador at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shared some of his techniques and materials for engaging students (and teachers) in discussions about space exploration.

Several other SCAAPT members also gave engaging contributed presentations:

  • Dante Sblendorio and Jeff Phillips, LMU- Identifying the factors of problem complexity
  • Kevin Osorno and Jeff Phillips, LMU- Examination of Students’ Self-Monitoring in Problem Solving
  • James Keipp, UCLA Center X, AP Readiness – Ensuring Equity & Access to All Students
  • Cliff Gerstman, Middle College High- The FORCAST for Infrared Astronomy
  • David McKay, CSULB- Misconceptions of well-known E&M YouTube lectures
  • Lee Loveridge, Pierce College- Using a flipped classroom
  • Chija Bauer, La Salle HS- Professional development through the twitter blog-o-sphere
  • Craig Sipes, Washington Prep HS- Sustainable Physics
  • Paul Bruno, Watts Learning Center Charter Middle School- Identifying and Overcoming the Challenges of the NGSS
  • Homeyra Sadaghiani, Cal Poly Pomona- Utilizing Learning Assistant (LA) program to increase number and quality of high school physics teachers in CA

The ever-popular Show ‘n’ Tell featured demonstrations by James Lincoln (Tarbut V’Torah HS), Gary Reynolds (Santa Ana HS), Tim Heumier (APU).

SCAAPT thanks its corporate sponsors –Arbor Scientific, Fluke, PASCO, and– for their support and donation of door prizes.