Archive | February, 2021

Preliminary Announcement: Spring Meeting and Call for Papers

19 Feb

There will be a Virtual New England Section meeting of AAPT on Saturday April 24th.

If you would like to contribute a paper, please use this link.

The deadline for contributed papers will be April 10. 

The meeting will take place from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Details on the meeting coming soon

ITOP Classes at Boston University

19 Feb

The Boston University ITOP program is excited to announce these graduate level PD course offerings for high school physics teachers. The two courses offered will be offered this Spring in a remote format. The titles of the course offerings are:

  • NS 543: Concepts in Physics IV: Electrostatics (March 4th – April 22nd) 
  • NS 544: Concepts in Physics V: Oscillatory Motion and Waves
    (April 29th to June 17th)

These courses will be held online via Zoom. Along with the usual course content, this is also a unique opportunity to do simple demonstrations with readily available materials. Additionally, we can explore the use of the online meeting applications, simulations, and cell phone applications for engaging students in learning physics. 

For information about registration or other questions, please contact
Dr. Nicholas Gross (Physics Dept., gross@bu.edu) or
Prof. Peter Garik (BU Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, garik@bu.edu)

Please pass this along to anyone you think is interested.

See below for more course details below. Improving the Teaching of Physics 

The Project ITOP (https://sites.bu.edu/itop) is a collaboration between the Boston University Physics Department and the BU Wheelock College of Education and Human Development.  

The course sequence consists of ten two-credit courses that merge physics content with readings from the history of physics, the philosophy of science, and the education research literature. The courses are blended in nature. There are seven in-class meetings for 3 hours and six online assignments. Class meetings will be held at Boston University once a week in the evenings. 

Valuable for:

·         Teachers who are working towards licensure 

·         Teachers who need graduate credit NS 543: Concepts in Physics IV: Electrostatics (March 4th – April 22nd) 

Spring 2021, Thursday evenings in March and April

This course will explore the discovery of electric charge and development of the theory of electric force.  The conceptual value of electric fields and electric potentials will be discussed. This will be extended to the theory of capacitors and electric circuits.  

Physics Topics will include:

  • Forces and Potential Energy between Electric Charges
  • Electric Fields and Electric Potential
  • Ampere’s Law and Static Magnetic Fields
  • Electric Circuits and Ohm’s Law
  • Circuit Elements: Capacitors, Resistors, and Diodes

Conceptual History and Pedagogy Topics Include 

  • DuFay and Gray on 18th century experiments with electrostatics
  • Experiments by Franklin
  • Students Misconceptions about Electric Circuits
  • Concept Inventories for DC Circuits

NS 544: Concepts in Physics V: Oscillatory Motion and Waves
(April 29th to June 17th)

Spring 2021, Thursday evenings in May and June

This course will build up waves from simple harmonic motion. Students will explore the properties of waves, including constructive and destructive interference, and standing waves. Standing waves will be used to explore sound and musical instruments.  The last portion of the course will be devoted to ray optics.  

Physics Topics will include:

  • Simple Harmonic Motion
  • Waves, Constructive and Destructive Interference
  • Standing waves on a string and in a pipe, Sound
  • Light as a wave
  • Ray Optics, Reflection, Refraction, and Image Formation

Conceptual History and Pedagogy Topics Include 

  • Galileo on the pendulum
  • Debate on the nature of light between Newton and Young
  • The history of ray optics and the discovery of refraction
  • Students misconceptions about ray optics and real images
  • Students misconceptions about waves