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Program for the Fall 2010 meeting


Saturday, 6 November 2010
Azusa Pacific University

Meeting Room: Segerstrom Science Center, Room 162
(corner of Foothill Blvd and Rockvale Ave)

Local Host: Peanut McCoy

Contribute a 15 minute talk or a brief demo for the Show'n Tell segment using the online submission form or communicate directly with the program chair, Eric Page. The deadline for contributions for this meeting has now passed.

Lunch will be available for purchase in the campus dining hall

These days, how many in a 'ton of pictures'?
The person giving the median answer is the winner and gets first pick of the door prizes.


Online maps and directions are available here.

There is ample free parking adjacent to the building. No permits required.


Physics Curriculum
American 3B

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 (NOTE: No workshops this time. The meeting begins promptly at 9:00 AM)  
8:00 AM
Registration, Refreshments, Exhibits
and Poster Preview

9:00 AM

Welcome and Announcements
Attendees will be briefly addressed by Dr. Beth Cunningham, the new Executive Officer of the national AAPT, via Skype connection.

9:15 AM -
10:30 AM

"What I Did Over Summer Vacation"

9:15 AM

Contributed Talk: "LabVIEW Workshop at AAPT Summer 2010"
Tim Heumier
Azusa Pacific University

I'll describe the LabVIEW workshop held in conjunction with the summer national meeting of AAPT in Portland, OR this summer.

9:30 AM

Contributed Talk: "Report on Outreach Workshop in Portland"
Beth Stoeckly
CSU Channel Islands

The workshop I attended discussed various types of outreach activities, including do's and don't's for each, selection of experiments and demos. Possible funding sources for seed money were mentioned. Many of the participants were actively involved in outreach programs. I hope to report also on my students' participation in a Science Carnival for local K-8 students in Camarillo.

9:45 AM

Contributed Talk: "PhysTEC at CSULB"
Rod Ziolkowski
CSU Long Beach

This spring the Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) was selected as one of five additional U.S. universities to receive funding from the national Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) to increase the number of graduates earning degrees and teaching credentials in physics or physical sciences. During the summer the program's principal investigators and teacher in residence attended training at the AAPT convention in Portland. This talk will briefly describe key features of the PhysTEC program at CSULB, and the progress to date.

10:00 AM

Contributed Talk: "Quarknet Boot-Camp"
Deborah Lilly
Lakeside High School

What I did on summer vacation? Over the five-days at Fermi Lab bootcamp, I gained skills as both learner and educator. As a leaner, my limited particle physics knowledge was an asset. The research processes and technology at Fermi was beyond my current knowledge; I was stunned. I’m sure that feeling is what my students experience in my physics class. The advisors used very specific guided inquiry tools that I now use daily with my students. The tours and data analysis exercises fortified my goal to prepare students for opportunities available through physics; they bolstered my fervor to enthuse students’ pursuits in science and engineering.

10:15 AM

Contributed Talk: "The QuarkNet Collaboration:Opportunities for Professional Development
in High Energy Physics"
Kris Whelan
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

AIn its twelfth year, QuarkNet involves about 100,000 students from 500+ US high schools in web-based analysis of real data, collaboration with students worldwide and visits by student representatives to the experiments. Through inquiry-oriented investigations students can learn kinematics, particles, waves, electricity and magnetism, energy and momentum, radioactive decay, optics, relativity, forces, and the structure of matter. QuarkNet provides professional development and on-going support for physics teachers who get involved in the program. These teachers can access on-line activities and datasets designed to allow high-school students to investigate introductory physics through the lens of particle physics. Our goals for teachers include a deeper understanding of physics content, an appreciation for the machinery of modern science, an introduction to inquiry-based teaching as well as evolution in individual teaching to a more student-centered mode of instruction.
QuarkNet receives support from the United States National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Energy, as well as ATLAS, CMS and Fermilab. Centers also receive in-kind contributions from their host institutions, and some have leveraged funds from other sources. QuarkNet has over 50 centers in universities and laboratories
participating in high-energy physics experiments.

10:30 AM

Invited Talk: "Research on the Teaching and Learning of Thermal Physics"
Mike Loverude
CSU Fullerton

The author is part of a collaborative project to perform research on student learning and develop instructional materials in the context of upper-division courses in thermal physics. As part of this project, we have developed a sequence of tutorials in which students apply statistical methods to systems including the ideal gas and the Einstein solid. The sequence begins with simple probability and ends with descriptions of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics in both macroscopic and statistical terms. This talk will provide a brief overview of the project and selected results, with special attention to research on student reasoning about probability as it relates to the materials described above.

11:30 AM

Business Meeting

12:00 PM


12:45 PM

Poster Session

James Lincoln, The California Standards and 8th Grade Physical Science: What Does It Mean for Your High School Physics Class

Melissa S. Taylor, Loyola Marymount University, A Survey of Southern California Physics Teachers' Characteristics and Classroom Practice

Simon Huss, Windward School, Active Learning Studio Physics Classroom Design for Secondary Education

Homeyra Sadaghiani, Cal Poly Pomona, Critical and Scientific Thinking for Pre-service Elementary Teachers

Homeyra Sadaghiani, Cal Poly Pomona, The Impact of the History of Physics on Student Attitude and Conceptual Understanding of Physics

Vincent Coletta, Loyola Marymount University, Improving Students' Thinking Skills with Explicit Instruction

Edward Price, CSU San Marcos, Development and Evaluation of Large-Enrollment, Active-Learning Physical Science Curriculum

Eric Page, University of San Diego, Wikis in the Physics Classroom

Charles De Leone, Cal State San Marcos, Assessing the Impact of Digital Whiteboards in an Active Learning Physics Course

1:15 PM

"Show'n Tell"

Gary Reynolds, A Cheap High-Tech Lab in Diffraction for High School

James Lincoln, UCLA Physics Videos

If you wish to give a Show & Tell presentation, sign up at the registration table in the morning.

1:45 PM

Invited Talk: "What Makes Earth So Special?"
Leslie Wickman
Azusa Pacific University

Scientists have discovered a long and growing list of numerical parameters describing our universe which appear to have been finely tuned to support the existence of life. This phenomenon is known variously as the Anthropic Principle, the Fine-Tuning Principle, or the Goldilocks Principle, due to the fact that if any one of these numerical values were just a little bit bigger or smaller, life could not exist. Many would conclude that this is evidence for an intelligent Creator. Others would say there must be multiple universes in order to "beat the odds". As theoretical physicist Paul Davies writes, "...the degree of bio-friendliness we observe in the universe seems far in excess of what is needed to give rise to a few observers... If the ingenious bio-friendliness of our universe were the result of randomness, we might expect the observed universe to be minimally, rather than optimally, biophilic. Note too, that multi-verse explanations still need to assume the existence of Laws of some sort, so they do not offer a complete explanation of the law-like order of the universe. Finally, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain certain features of the universe we do observe seems the antithesis of Occam's Razor: It is an infinitely complex explanation."

2:45 PM

Contributed Talk: "Using Modern Inexpensive Cameras for Fun and Learning"
Bob Rumer
California Lutheran University

New $99 cameras have a multitude of features which enable your students to easily explore physics through the richness of digital photography and videography. Your students can take fantastic slow-motion videos at up to 1000 frames per second without any training. Using multi-exposure mode they can analyze the motion of projectiles in one image. Using burst-mode capture, student will never miss the collision when photographing collisions.
We will show how you and your students can use cheap cameras to "capture" physics.

3:00 PM

Contributed Talk: "How Noyce Scholarships are Changing Physics Teacher Preparation at USD"
Eric Page
University of San Diego

In August, 2009, the University of San Diego was awarded a Noyce Scholarship Program from the National Science Foundation for approximately $900,000. Although over 87% of these funds go directly to students, the remaining money has allowed us to greatly enhance our teacher preparation program for physics, including early teaching experiences, new courses related to rewards and difficulties in teaching and outreach programs to local schools. With these programs in place, 50% of our recent physics graduates plan to go into teaching. I would love feedback to further enhance our teacher preparation.

3:15 PM

Contributed Talk: "Undergraduate Research: Of What Benefit?"
Donald G. Isaak
Azusa Pacific University

There is often tension between the research and teaching expectations of faculty in the sciences at institutions where teaching is emphasized. Some faculty voices wonder how pertinent a science instructor’s research is to an undergraduate liberal arts education. Indeed, research expectations and accomplishments, even with student involvement, might detract from the educational mission. We will examine perspectives from past and present Azusa Pacific University students as to what benefit, if any, was added to their undergraduate education and subsequent career endeavors through participation in faculty-led research.

3:30 PM

Contributed Talk: "Light Bulb Mystery"
Timothy Heumier
Azusa Pacific University

A puzzle presents itself during a routine exploratory circuits lab: Three identical flashlight bulbs are arranged so two are in parallel, with this combination in series with a third. The current in each of the parallel bulbs is half the current in the series bulb, yet the parallel bulbs may not even glow, whereas the series bulb does glow, albeit not as brightly as if it were alone in the circuit. Why half the current results in dramatically reduced brightness is explained, and implications for signal light appearance and chandelier choice will be given.

3:45 PM
The World Famous "Order of Magnitude Contest" and Door Prizes
4:00 PM
Meeting Adjourns

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