October 27, 2018

Place Mira Costa College, Oceanside campus

Local Host: Joe Salamon

Sponsors: Flinn Scientific, Office Depot, CPO ScienceXump, Arbor Scientific, and PhysicsVideos.com

Order of Magnitude question: How many current nuclear arsenals would it take to completely destroy (“vaproize”) the Earth?

Register for the meeting by filling out the following form: Fall 2018 Registration

Mira Costa College Map The meeting will take place in room 2701. Parking will be free as long as you park in Parking lot 2A (please see map) you will not need a parking pass, other locations on campus will require a pass.

Directions to Mira Costa College

Lunch will be from Rubios and will cost $10, you can choose what type of burrito you would like when you register for the meeting Lunch orders must be received by October 20th.

SCAAPT members are encouraged to contribute a presentation or Show & Tell. Please complete the online form by September 28th, 2018. Submit your abstract here: Submission window closed 

If you would like to attend the morning Workshop: Women and Minorities in the History of Physics, Role Models for Today you need to RSVP by Wednesday October 24th here: Workshop Registration

8:00-9:30 AM


Registration, Refreshments


8:00-9:30 AM






Workshop: Women and Minorities in the History of Physics, Role Models for Today Greg Good, American Institute 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.


9:40-9:45 AM


Welcome and Announcements


9:45-10:00 AM





Using Systems Tool Kit to simulate orbits and ICBM trajectories Philip Blanco, Grossmont College

Systems Tool Kit (STK) is an aerospace industry software package produced by AGI, Inc. that uses geometry and physics for simulating natural objects and vehicles on the Earth and in space. There is a basic free version for download, but the full version, which includes astrodynamics and optimization, is available to institutions under AGI’s Educational Alliance Program. Students can complete online training to become “STK Certified” – recognized by the aerospace industry. I present example scenarios in STK that demonstrate physics principles.


10:00-10:15 AM





Cheap and Easy Whiteboards Ryan Carroll, Long Beach City College

In Spring of 2018 I introduced portable 2’x4’ whiteboards to all of my classrooms at a cost of less than $50/classroom. This has helped me significantly as a teacher in seeing my students’ work and where they get stuck as well as promoting collaboration within each group table. This has resulted in measurable improvement in FCI gains (g = .43 with vs g ~ .32 without) but not significant in CSEM (g = .22 with vs .20 without). This talk will explore how teachers can make these whiteboards from Home Depot and strategies with them that have worked for me.


10:15-10:30 AM



Measurement 101 Class Activity Laurence Stein, University of La Verne

I present a classroom activity that introduces students to the essentials of measurement and some of the other essentials of physics experiments. Instructors notes are attached to the handout.


10:30-10:45 AM





The Astrophysical Fluency Project: A Framework for Generating Fluency-Inspiring Opportunities Rica Sirbaugh French, MiraCosta College

Instructors afford learners more robust opportunities to develop discipline fluency by connecting various intellectual tasks to multiple pedagogically appropriate representations in ways that build upon existing knowledge, facilitate unpacking complex concepts, and promote critical discernment. Our framework can be used to catalog and characterize the representations, tasks, and difficulty levels found in faculty-produced multiple-choice questions, generate fluency-inspiring questions, and is easily extended to other materials and disciplines.


10:45-11:00 AM





Kudu.com: free active learning platform and low cost textbook replacement Warren Essey, Kudu

High-quality digital textbook replacement materials available at kudu.com are developed by a growing community of educators with the use of private funding. These digital textbooks include pre-lecture videos, text, and a free platform with a full-featured autograded online homework and a “clicker” functionality, making them easy to use in a traditional or a flipped classroom. Project Kudu is gaining momentum at UCLA, UCSD, and other universities. We will discuss the learning advantages of Kudu and ways in which AAPT members can contribute.









The Physics in Medical Physics Usha Sinha, San Diego State University

This talk will focus on the “physics” behind medical physics including the physics of diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy. Diagnostic imaging is ubiquitous and is the mainstay of modern diagnostic methods. The physics underlying these medical devices encompass the interaction of radiation with matter and span the electromagnetic spectrum. The physics of X-ray projection radiography, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance, Ultrasound, nuclear medicine will be introduced while also highlighting clinical applications. The physics of radiation therapy treatment for cancer also focuses on interaction of radiation with matter and the talk will focus on understanding the physics and practical clinical applications of advanced radiation therapy technologies, including stereotactic radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy, and proton therapy. The learning objective is to emphasize how physics is being used to solve diagnostic and therapeutic problems in medicine while opening new avenues to explore the biology of normal and disease conditions in humans.


12:00 – 1:00 PM




1:00 – 1:30 PM


Show & Tell (Sign up when you check in)


1:30 – 2:15 PM





Expertise, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Reflection: Scaffolding Metacognition into your Classroom Joe Salamon, MiraCosta College

Metacognition is typically stated as “thinking about your thinking” or “thinking about your learning”. It is one of the defining pillars of expertise and the learning process. Providing novice students with a chance to explicitly practice and develop their metacognitive skills is thus one of the keys to transitioning them into expertise. This interactive talk will explore various aspects of metacognition: from its importance, to building self-reflection exercises for your class, and discussing both qualitative and quantitative results.


2:15 – 2:30 PM





Software to correct lab reports Claudio Oliveira Egalon, Egalon Consultoria and Science and Sensors Technologies

I am using a Microsoft Excel based software to correct lab reports and assign grades. In the past I used to take 2 hours to correct six reports manually: with this new software, I spend only 10 minutes. This software can correct the reported units, significant figures, measured values, measurement resolution, averages, standard deviations, percentage differences, uncertainty and several other parameters. I will show how the experimental data is reported and submitted by the students and how the final correction is displayed to the class.


2:30 – 3:00 PM






What can we do together? K16 STEM partnerships Ed Price, California State University San Marcos

The CSUSM physics department and Center for Research and Engagement in STEM Education have many efforts involving local two-year colleges and K12 schools around physics and STEM education. Examples include hosting SCAAPT New Physics Teacher Workshops, outreach events at local middle and high schools, and the Mobile Making afterschool program, where undergraduate science majors lead middle school participants in weekly Making activities. Work with two year colleges has included faculty-driven, discipline-based partnerships. In this talk I will describe some of these efforts and invite discussion of how we can do more together.


3:00 – 3:15 PM






Want to provide authentic astronomy research experiences for high school and early college students? Most of the work has been done for you! Irena Stojimirovic, San Diego Mesa College

A nonprofit foundation (BRIEF) has put together a program that allows high school and college students to make telescopic observations of double star and exoplanet systems to help determine their orbits. Students work in teams to select candidates, propose and plan observations (using online observatories), analyze the images – and publish results in a peer reviewed journal! Three colleges in the San Diego region are using this program to give honors credit to physics students. All instructional materials are online and you are welcome to join.


3:15 – 3:45 PM






The Fractal Physics of the Golden Spiral Arnie Benn, Tarbut V’Torah HS

Observation compels us to inquire why the golden spiral manifests in so many ways and at so many scales across nature and the universe. Why do spiral galaxies, hurricanes, and nautilus shells all have identical structures, when they appear to share no common causative force? This presentation will investigate, from first principles, whether electromagnetic forces might account for the appearance of these fractal and ubiquitous shapes. Evidence will then be suggested — from disciplines like plasma physics, electromagnetism, cosmology, meteorology, and even biology — that may lend support for this idea, as well as research that might be conducted in order to further this line of inquiry.


3:45 – 4:30 PM




NGSS Physics Panel: Implementation and Assessment Joseph Calmer, UCLA; Bryn Bishop, Canyon Crest Academy High School; James Lincoln, SMES HS

In this panel we will discuss successful strategies of implementation and assessment of the Next Generation Science Standards into the high school Curriculum. Also discussed are lab ideas, the rollout timeline, and the recommendations of AAPT national.


4:30 PM The World Famous “Order of Magnitude Contest” and Door Prizes Meeting Adjourns

The meeting report will be posted here.