Date: Saturday October 19th, 2019

Location: Santa Monica College

Local Hosts: Forouzan Faridian, Tram Dang, Steve Paik, Kyle Strohmaier, Peter Morse, Emin Menachekanian

Sponsors: Pitsco, 3B Scientific, Arbor Scientific, and PhysicsCon

Order of Magnitude question:
How many atoms of Carbon are in all of the statues in the United States?

The deadline to order lunch has passed, you are still welcome to attend the meeting, we hope to see you there!

RSVP and Lunch Order Form

The meeting will take place in SCI 145. 

Parking will be free in lot 1

SMC campus Map

Lunch Order Form

Abstract submission deadline has passed.

Abstract Submission Form

8:00-9:00 AM Registration, Refreshments
8:50-9:00 AM Welcome and Announcements
9:00-9:15 AM Physics Phriday-Usage of Morning Announcements to Grow Physics Engagement Shawn Kirby, Palm Springs High School




At Palm Springs High School, a physics teacher has started his own segment on the morning announcements to help increase student engagement in physics. Students often appear in these segments and are excited to do so. This has become one of the most popular segments on the morning announcements. This could be a useful avenue for physics recruitment at your school!

9:15-9:30 AM Roll Models Steve Paik, Santa Monica College




I will share some interesting examples of rolling motion taken from Tadashi Tokieda’s award-winning article, “Roll Models,” in The American Mathematical Monthly (2013).

9:30-9:45 AM Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy Robert Baker, Wildwood




Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy (DSPIRA) is a RET in the wilds of West Virginia. Hosted by the West Virginia University and Green Bank Observatory, it brings the Milky Way and it’s spiral arms into your classroom using Radio Astronomy. An inexpensive radio telescope, made of an empty paint thinner can, a single sheet of silvered ½” foam house insulation, two 2” x 4” x 6’ pieces of wood and the open source software gnu radio will be described.

9:45-10:00 AM Exploring New Worlds Zachary Thomas, Toochi Brown, Steveen Gomez, Joe Wise, Wildwood School




Panoptic Astronomical Networked Observatories for a Public Transiting Exoplanets Survey (PANOPTES) consists of astronomers around the world dedicated to the discovery of exoplanets. These scientists have created an inexpensive exoplanet detector with plans to distribute the design widely, improving the chance of discovery. The Wildwood Institute for STEM Research and Development (WISRD) is participating. This talk presents an overview of the project and its design with a display of our unit.

10:00-10:30 AM Resonance: Using Peer Mentoring Circles to Build Community for Physics Majors Laura Tucker, UC Irvine




Resonance is a new peer mentoring program in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UC Irvine. Our goals are to build community among physics students, inspire excitement about physics, and help students navigate challenges of the first year. Small groups of four to six incoming students meet at least once a month together with two continuing physics majors who serve as mentors. We discuss the mentee and mentor response to group mentoring, outcomes from our pilot year, and future plans.

10:30-11:30 AM The Physics of Global Warming and Positive Feedback Loops Patrick Lincoln,




The science of human-caused climate change has become a relevant topic in all science courses, including physics courses. In this talk, I outline the relevant physics and evidence for anthropocentric climate change that should be discussed with students as well as provide some history of the efforts to reverse the problem. seeks to raise awareness of how severe the situation has become and how we should also be concerned of catastrophic and irreversible “tipping point” mechanisms that could lead to human extinction.

11:30 AM-11:40 AM Business Meeting
11:40 AM-11:50 AM The Bill Layton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Physics Teaching in Southern California




William J. Layton, Honoree

11:50 AM -1:15 PM Lunch
1:15-1:45 PM Show & Tell (Sign up when you check in)
1:45-2:45 PM Get the Facts Out about STEM Teaching Careers Chuhee Kwon, CSU Long Beach




This presentation is based on the Get the Facts Out campaign toolkits developed at the Colorado School of Mines. The major misperceptions identified in the recent research will be addressed including the salary gap between teaching and private sector employment, teacher retention, and job satisfaction. This will be an interactive workshop to shift perceptions about the STEM teaching and change the conversation about STEM teaching careers.

2:45-3:00 PM Making the classroom more active Forouzan Faridian, Santa Monica College




I will share some tools and experiences gained through participating in the UCLA Faculty Learning Program and the AAPT New Faculty Workshop

3:00-3:15 PM James Lincoln, The Physics Teacher Highlights from the Technology Column of “The Physics Teacher”




The new “Technology in the Classroom” column has been around for two years now and in that time this column there have been some innovative and exciting articles. Also, we have created several video abstracts to illustrate these and other articles. In this talk I discuss the creation of these articles and provide some tips for successful video abstracts and also where to watch them.

3:15-3:30 PM More Writing Practice in Lab with Less Grading Peanut McCoy, Azusa Pacific University




Short in-class writing exercises may be more effective practice for some learning goals than longer lab reports. In this talk, I describe the purpose, design, and implementation of Exit Tickets, short formative writing assignments that students complete at the end of each lab experiment. These shorter and more frequent writing assignments provide students with more practice and more feedback, while also being quick and painless to grade.

3:30 – 3:45 PM The World Famous “Order of Magnitude Contest” and Door Prizes Meeting Adjourns

The meeting report will be posted here.