Archive | February, 2016

Spring Meeting at Thayer Academy May 20-21

28 Feb

Summer opportunity at BU Space Physics for teachers

23 Feb


Here is a great summer professional development opportunity to earn some good money while working on stuff you love. You know the rule of thumb, “if it is too good to be true, then it probably isn’t as good as you think,” well I have a deal for you that is the exception to this rule.


Read below and contact Professor Paul Withers,, as soon as possible if interested.



The Boston University Center for Space Physics is seeking several K-12 science teachers to participate in 4-6 week program in Summer 2016. Participants will conduct cutting-edge astronomical research on the Boston University campus. The research project will focus on the analysis of spacecraft data from the upper atmosphere of Venus, our closest planetary neighbor. Participants will review the history of the exploration of Venus, will learn how familiar scientific principles control conditions in the upper atmosphere of Venus, and will use computers to organize and investigate relevant scientific datasets.


It is hoped that exposure to a research environment will give educators a deeper appreciation for how real-life science is conducted: the realization that science is messy and uncertain, rather than unassailable and immutable facts listed in textbooks, is tremendously important for keeping children engaged in science as students and later as active citizens.


No prior research experience is required. A stipend of $6,000 per participant will be provided, in addition to minor transportation costs. Start and end dates are negotiable, but a minimum of 4 weeks is required.

Active Learning Short Course July 28-30 Sect2

7 Feb

Active Learning in Introductory Physics Courses: Research-Based Strategies that Improve Student Learning—July 28-30, 2016, Portland, Oregon

Designed for those who teach introductory physics at universities, colleges and high schools. Graduate credit will be available through the University of Oregon.*

Instructors: Priscilla Laws, Dickinson College, David Sokoloff, University of Oregon, Ronald Thornton, Tufts University

Participants will be introduced to research-validated, classroom-tested strategies for each component of the introductory course that have been demonstrated to improve learning. These include Interactive Lecture Demonstration (ILDs), RealTime Physics (RTP) labs, Collaborative Problem-Solving Tutorials, Workshop Physics (WP), Physics with Video Analysis (PVA), and related online video analysis exercises. The course will also include the use of video analysis to identify analytic functions describing real data. Among other recent developments are (1) 3rd ed. RTP E & M labs using video analysis, (2) ILDs using clickers, and (3) online homework using Interactive Video Vignettes (IVVs). Topics will be chosen from both semesters of introductory physics. Research on the effectiveness of these strategies will also be discussed.

The tools and software used in these active learning curricula are compatible with Macintosh and Windows OS, and with the popular interfaces and sensors. Participants will receive complimentary printed copies of the curricula (published by Wiley and Vernier, and also available for high school use as the ABP High School E-dition). Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite, a comprehensive book by E.F. Redish (University of Maryland) on strategies for implementing physics education research-based curricula, will also be distributed.

The course fee is $200. (Early bird registration until April 15 is $180.)

* Up to three graduate credits from the University of Oregon will be available for an additional $90/credit.

For more information and to register:


David Sokoloff

Professor of Physics, University of Oregon

Way Past President, American Association of Physics Teachers (2011)