Archive | August, 2015

Astronomy Forum at Southern CT State U. on Nov 16

30 Aug
I wanted to let you know about an astronomy forum coming up this fall at Southern Connecticut State University that might be of interest to you.
 
The event is called, “Missions Possible: A Manned Flight to Mars, & Finding ‘New Earths’ in the Milky Way Galaxy.” It will be held on Monday, Nov. 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at SCSU’s Michael J. Adanti Student Center, Grand Ballroom.
 
The program will explore two hot topics in astronomy – the Kepler Mission (which seeks to identify potential Earth-like planets elsewhere in the Milky Way Galaxy); and plans for a manned mission to Mars. We have two excellent speakers lined up to talk about these subjects. Steve Howell is the project scientist for Kepler and will be the keynote speaker. And Jennifer Stern, space scientist and an expert on Mars, will talk about the potential for human exploration of Mars and the challenges associated with it. Both Steve and Jennifer are from NASA.
 
We’ll also have a panel discussion following the two speakers that will include three astronomers — Elliott Horch, professor of physics at Southern and an astrophysicist who developed a telescopic device that has been used during the Kepler Mission; Jim Fullmer, associate professor of earth science at Southern; and Tabetha Boyajian, post-doctoral fellow at Yale University. We’ll have Q & A after the panel discussion.
 
We anticipate having some light refreshments, but there is a food court on the first floor of the Student Center that is available.
 
If you or your colleagues/members are interested in attending, or if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The event is free and open the public, but I thought I would mention this to you and your organization because of the topic.
 
If you would be willing to pass the word along to your members, via emails/social media/Web or any other method you think would be appropriate, we would certainly appreciate it. I should have a flyer or poster within the next couple of weeks that I could send you, as well.
 

Fall Northeast Regional AAPT Meeting

7 Aug
The American Association of Physics Teachers
and Bergen Community College
Presents
A High School and College Physics
Teachers Workshop
400 Paramus Road
Paramus NJ
Technology Building – Room 128
October 2 and 3, 2015
All professors, teachers of physics and earth sciences, and students are welcome to attend.
Friday October 2, 2015

 

3:30 – 6 pm – Registration
4:00 – 6:00 pmIntroduction to Physics Union Mathematics (PUM): How to help your students develop science practices and master crosscutting concepts: by  Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University, Michael Boan and Josh Smith, North Arlington High School: This workshop will introduce the foundational philosophy of Physics Union Mathematics (PUM) curriculum modules (http://pum.rutgers.edu ). PUM seamlessly integrates learning of science practices, cross cutting concepts and fundamental mathematical ideas into student-centered learning of traditional physics content. The participants will experience several PUM activities as students and then engage in the discussions of practical implementation with the teachers who use the curriculum. PUM modules can be used in middle school physical science, Physics First, college Prep Physic, Honors Physics and AP physics I and II. 
6:00 pm – dinner
7:30 pm – Talk – Student of physics: listeners, observers or collaborative participants in the practice of physics?  Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University
Dr. Eugenia Etkina is a Professor of Science Education at Rutgers University.  She was born and educated in Russia, where she was awarded her PhD in Physics Education from Moscow State Pedagogical University. She has over 30 years of physics teaching experience (this includes middle school, high school and university physics). Professor Etkina designed and now coordinates one of the largest programs in physics teacher preparation in the U.S., she conducts professional development for high school and university physics instructors, and participates in reforms to undergraduate physics courses. In 1993 she developed an approach to learning physics in which students learn physics using the processes that mirror scientific practice. The approach was enriched when she began collaborating with Alan Van Heuvelen in 2000 and now is known as Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE).  Since 2000 they have developed curriculum materials based on ISLE, conducted over 100 workshops for physics instructors, and published College Physics – a textbook in which ISLE is implemented. Eugenia is an active researcher who published over 50 peer-refereed articles and a dedicated teacher, who in 2010 received the highest teaching award at Rutgers University and the Millikan Medal in 2014. 
Scientists and especially physicists have their own, very special ways of developing new knowledge, solving new problems, and talking about what they do. Is this valuable aspect of physics something that our students could learn in high school or introductory college courses or it belongs exclusively to professionals and is acquired through years of participating in “doing physics”? Development of the Next Generation Science Standards, revisions of AP courses and new MCAT indicate that this aspect of physics (and other sciences) is something that is as valuable as the final product of scientific labor – concepts and mathematical representations that have been traditionally the focus of our science courses. Science practices are the central points of all these innovations.  The talk will share educational ideas and curriculum approaches that make these practices an integral part of learning physics without losing conceptual and mathematical focus.
Following the talk – An evening of astronomical observations using the Bergen Emil Buehler Trust Observatory’s 16” Telescopes (weather permitting).

Saturday October 3, 2015

8:30 am – 9:30 am registration and breakfast

9:30 am – 10:30 am Talk #1 – Dr Kimberly Ennico Smith – “Pluto Revealed: First Results from the First Mission to this distant world.”

 

Dr Kimberly Ennico Smith is a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, with an emphasis on astronomical instrumentation. At present she is Co-Investigator and deputy Project Scientist for NASA’s New Horizons Pluto Fly-by Mission, Instrument Scientist for the Regolith & Environment Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System, and Instrument Scientist for the Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy Mode for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) FORCAST Instrument

10:30 am – 11:30 am – Talk #2 – Dr. Jessica Sunshine  “The Wonderful Diversity of Comets as Revealed by Spacecraft Encounters”

Dr. Sunshine is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, and is a member of the science team for multiple space missions including Galileo’s lunar and asteroid flybys, Dawn at the asteroid Vesta, the Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument onboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission, and the Deep Impact and Stardust NeXT cometary encounters.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Poster sessions, View the Sun through Bergen Community College’s Solar Telescope (weather permitting).

12:30 – 1:30 pm – lunch

1:30 2:30 Talk #3 Dr. Nima Arkani-Hamed

Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton University.. title TBD  (CERN Related)

Dr. Nima Arkani-Hamed earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California-Berkeley.  He was an assistant professor at the University of California, a professor at Harvard University, and is currently a faculty member of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, NJ.  He is the recipient of a Phi Beta Kappa teaching award from Harvard (2005), the Gribov Medal of the European Physical Society (2003), and a number of fellowships, including a Packard Fellowship and a Sloan Fellowship, and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Physics (2008).  In July 2012, Nima was an inaugural awardee of the Fundamental Physics Prize, the most lucrative academic prize in the world.

For directions, please visit: www.bergen.edu/directions