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Program for the Spring 2007 meeting

Joint meeting with SPS Zone 18
Saturday, 14 April 2007
University of Southern California

150 SSL (Outside the Seaver Science Library)

Local Host: Dr. Stephan Haas

Maps and Directions
USC map and driving directions page

Meeting-specific map
Google Maps

Lunch info
Sandwiches from Togos courtesy of the USC Physics Department. THANK YOU!!
(Send reservation request to Jeff Philips by Thursday, April 12.)

The World Famous "Order of Magnitude Contest" !!
Question: "How many flakes has Kellogg's made?"
The person giving the median answer is the winner and gets first pick of the door prizes.

The campus parking fee of ~$7 is being covered by the USC Physics Department. THANK YOU!!

Enter campus via the main entrance at the intersection of MacClintock and Jefferson (Gate 5), pick up a parking pass from the gate attendant by mentioning that you are here for the "SCAAPT" (or "SPS Zone 18 meeting"), and proceed straight to Parking Structure A which is on the right hand side of MacClintock past the track field.

The meeting room (150 SSL) is close to the parking structure. Cross MacClintock (heading southeast) from the parking structure using the pedestrian only walkway (Bloom Walk). The first building on the right is Tutor Hall and the second Building on the right is the Seaver Science Center.

THANK YOU exhibitors and sponsors!

PASCO (Exhibits and PASCO Rocket for door prize)
Vernier (Gift certificates and T-shirts for door prizes)
W.H. Freeman (iClicker workshop)
Addison-Wesley (Boxed set of the Feynman Lectures for door prize)
Wiley (Textbooks for door prize)

Please take some time to check out the commercial workshops and exhibits at the meeting and especially to thank the representatives for their support of our organization.

Program Schedule  
8:15 AM
Registration, Refreshments, Exhibits
8:30 AM

Workshop: "Ripple Tank Construction"
Leaders— Dean Papadakis, Bill Layton
(Limited enrollment. High school teaching SCAAPT members only. Contact Dean Papadakis to reserve a space.)

Description to come

Commercial Workshop: "iClicker and PhysicsPortal"
Leader— Stacy Luce: Bedford, Freeman & Worth

Come and join WH Freeman; see demonstrated PhysicsPortal and iclicker to engage and interest your students.

PhysicsPortal; a powerful teaching and learning environment that combines three learning tools: Interactive eBook, Physics Resources, and the Assignment Center for homework, practice, and self-guided learning. The Portal is built within a widely used course management platform that fully integrates our teaching and learning resources.

iClicker – a hassle free solution created by educators for educators - Personal Response Systems are employed by professors to ENGAGE STUDENTS. When students are passive learners, they are less likely to retain the content. Whereas, when they are engaged and actively learning, their retention goes way up? Why? Because humans only have about 7-10 minutes attention span...that may seem low, but it's true.

10:00 AM

Welcome and announcements
10:15 AM

Contributed Talk: "4.6 Mile Scaled Solar Sytem Model"
John E. Popp
Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Il (ret)

A scaled model of the solar sytem that is 4.6 miles long has been erected during daylight hours on saturdays for the past 2 years in San Diego County, Alpine California (30 miles east of San diego). A slide show describing the model, the history of its creation, and its purpose will be presented. Brochures are available at a nearby visitors center and at each model location. The same slide show presentation can be seen on a personal web site ( developed primarily for the purpose of introducing people to the display. The costs and effort required to create and maintain the model system and future plans will also be discussed.

10:30 AM

Contributed Talk: "Astronomy in the Central Valley"
Jamie Vargas, CSU Fresno

In this talk I present an overview of the observational astronomy and astrophysics program at CSU Fresno. This talk contains images of planets, galaxies, and clusters taken with the on-campus observatory. In addition I discuss the research projects being done by students in the astronomy program.

10:45 AM

"Show'n Tell" session one

Steve Wilburn: "Various Thermodynamics Demos"

11:00 AM

Invited Talk: "The Role of Physics in Astronomy"
Werner Däppen, USC

I will show how the quest about the nature of the universe has helped the development of physics tremendously. Physics, in turn, has paid back generously, by delivering the very concepts that can make the most unexpected and seemingly weirdest things in the universe comprehensible. Virtually every astronomical revolution has followed this paradigm.

12:15 PM

Lunch — Catered by Togos. Hosted by USC Physics Dept
(Send reservation request to Jeff Philips by Thursday, April 12.)

SPS Poster Session

Tour of Research Labs

1:30 PM

Contributed Talk: "Ion Accoustic Wave Experiments in a High School Plasma Physics Laboratory"
Walter Gekelman,UCLA
Joe Wise, New Roads School
Bob Baker, University High School

We describe a successful alliance between a university and several high schools. The alliance is centered on a laboratory experiment constructed by students and faculty. The experiment involves sophisticated concepts and equipment not readily available in high schools. Much of the experiment is directly related to the science and mathematics learned in high school, with opportunities to extend their understanding by applying it to a research experience. Results from our ion acoustic wave experiments are presented. We also describe the building of our new, more powerful machine.

1:45 PM

Contributed Talk: "The National Science Digital Library"
Robert Baker, University High School

The National Science Digital Library is a digital gateway to various math and science topics. In 1996, NSF released a report about ways to improve undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. It recommended establishing a national digital library that would constitute an online network of learning environments for improving teaching and learning for STEM education at all levels. Its projects are engaged in building an enterprise much larger than the object of any one grant. Most of these projects focus on collection and service development of the digital library.

2:00 PM

Invited Talk: "Teaching Professionalism to Undergraduates"
William DeGraffenreid, Sacramento State University

In recent years, the physics community has been rocked by cases of dishonest research practices. These practices undermine the work of those working towards the advancement of science for the good of society and we, as educators, must do a better job of preparing students to make good decisions in their careers. The National Council of the Society of Physics Students has asked that all undergraduate programs include professional/ethics training for their students. Strategies for integrating such training into already full curricula will be introduced.

3:00 PM

"Show'n Tell" session two

John Mallinckrodt: "Jack's Magic Beans" & "Moving the Atmosphere"
Glenn Malin: "Fire Syringe Revisted or The Importance of Reading Directions"
Franciisco Izaguirre: "Simple DC motor"

3:30 PM

Contributed Talk: "Noticeable Errors in Artificial Gravity Rotating Systems"
James Lincoln, CSU Long Beach
T. Hall, Chinese University of Hong Kong

It has long been discussed that a rotating space station could supply artificial gravity for weary astronauts. But how should it be constructed? What would be the errors, physical issues, and psychological costs of having too short a radius? too low a rotation rate? I have studied some forgetten research and provided some fresh mathematical analysis of my own; highliting interesting phenomena.

3:45 PM

Contributed Talk: "Facts from the Fallout: Online Collaborative Study on Chernobyl Related Research"
Geoff Nelson, CSU Fresno

We present a proposal to study various consequences of the Chernobyl Accident.

4:00 PM
The World Famous "Order of Magnitude Contest" and Door Prizes
4:15 PM
Meeting Adjourns

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