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Summer educator positions at MIT Museum

26 Jan

The MIT Museum is seeking middle or high school educators who, in collaboration with the Education & Public Programs team, will teach established science and technology workshops in an informal education environment. Teachers will also develop and implement an independent project that augments current workshops at the MIT Museum. This is an excellent opportunity to gain a behind-the-scene perspective of the Museum, explore current science and technology research at MIT, share your classroom expertise with our staff, and serve as a liaison between the Museum and your school. 

Successful applicants will be current middle or high school teachers specializing in science, math and/or engineering. S/he will be interested in collaborating with the Museum’s Education & Public Programs team to evaluate existing workshops, expand the Museum’s educational offerings, and learn about informal education pedagogy. Must be flexible, detail-oriented and a team player. Summer educator positions are temporary full-time (35 hours/week, M-F, 9:30-5pm) for six weeks, from July 1-August 9, 2018 (with 1-2 days prior for orientation and training). Compensation of $22-$25/hour will be provided, based on experience. Please send resume and cover letter to


Active Learning in Introductory Physics Courses:Summer 2019

20 Jan
Active Learning in Introductory Physics Courses: Research-Based Strategies that Improve Student Learning—July 15-17, 2019, 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: David Sokoloff, University of Oregon and 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 more recent developments are (1) 3rd ed. RTP E & M labs using video analysis, (2) ILDs using clickers, (3) online homework using Interactive Video Vignettes (IVVs), and (4) distance learning and in class labs using the self-contained, wireless IOLab (or other wireless data acquisition devices). 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 $225. (Early bird registration until May 1 is $195.)
* 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, way, way  Past President, American Association of Physics Teachers (2011)

AAPT Fellow

Department of Physics
1274 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1274
Phone: 541-221-6543
Fax: 541-346-5861

Spring 2019 Meeting

7 Jan
1) The Joint Spring Meeting for AAPT-NES and APS-NES
will be held at Springfield College on March 22 & 23, 2019.
2) Contributed talks and posters are solicited in these topic areas:
  a.  Applying and Exploring Physics though Engineering Design/Maker Spaces
  b. The hybrid disciplines: Intersection of Physics with Other Scientific 
       Domains (e.g. Geophysics, Biomechanics, etc)
  c. Physics Education Research
3) More information and Registration will be on
    around January 25.

Seeking Massachusetts Educators for Test Development Opportunities

5 Dec

MA DESE is collaborating with Pearson to review the Physics MTEL (high school teacher licensure exam) Jan 22-23 and is inviting educators to participate in the review. Would you be interested in forwarding this to MA-specific AAPT Board members…? See forwarded message below:

Dear Educator,

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in partnership with the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson is holding an Objective Review Conference for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Program.  The conference will take place in Milford, MA.


For this conference, we are seeking Massachusetts educators with expertise in the following subject areas to meet to review, approve, and/or revise the draft test objectives and to help ensure that the content of the materials are accurate and appropriate for testing.


Each committee with meet for a one-day meeting as listed below:
  • Biology – January 23, 2019
  • Physics – January 23, 2019
  • Technology/Engineering – January 23, 2019
  • Digital Literacy/Computer Science – January 24, 2019
  • Chemistry – January 24, 2019
  • Elementary Mathematics – January 24, 2019


In addition, we will convene a Bias Review Committee, on January 22, 2019, to review draft test objectives to help ensure that the test materials are free from bias and reflective of the diversity of the Massachusetts population.  


Substitute reimbursement is available to school districts. In addition, committee member’s travel and meal expenses are reimbursed, and hotel accommodations provided, if necessary. Additional details regarding benefits of participation are provided on the Massachusetts Educator Recruitment website.


How You Can Get Involved

ApplyClick here to complete an application for consideration for committee participation.

Nominate—Click here to submit your nominations of colleagues who may be interested in participating.

Forward this message to other Massachusetts educators to share with colleagues.

Learn more—Visit the
Massachusetts Educator Recruitment website to learn more about educator involvement in the test development process, eligibility criteria, and benefits of participation.

Questions—Contact me at if you have questions or need additional information.


Robyn Kaczowka
Committee Recruitment Group

Fall Regional Meeting in NJ – Call for Papers

27 Sep

For more information on the Northeast Regional Fall meeting, click here to go to the New Jersey Section to submit a paper and register.


Call for Papers — Regional AAPT meeting Nov 16-17, 2018



NJ / NY / LI / NE / SEPA


NJAAPT is requesting proposals for papers (~20 min presentation/question time) or posters to be presented to NJ / NY / New England area Physics educators

Dates:            Friday evening and Saturday   Nov 16 & 17, 2018

Location:       Bergen Community College   Paramus, NJ

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Physics education topics / issues / research
  • Classroom / lab ideas, use of technology
  • Physics/science research of interest to science teachers to keep current in the field

Abstract submissions can be emailed to  (deadline Oct 15, 2018)

 Questions:  contact Jim Signorelli at

Spring Meeting Update

20 Jan

AAPT – New England Section 2018 Spring Meeting, March 16-17, at Nashua Community College

AAPT-NES 2018 Spring Meeting

Please pass this information on to your Physics colleagues.

The 2018 Spring Meeting of the AAPT New England Section will be held on March 16 & 17 at Nashua Community College, Amherst Street, Nashua, NH.

Theme:  Increasing Diversity in Physics

Keynote speaker: Dr. Beth Cunningham, Executive Officer of AAPT.

Working Schedule:

Friday, March 16, 2018
4:00 pm Registration
5:00 pm Poster Session & Vendors
6:30 pm Buffet Dinner
7:30 pm Keynote Speaker

Saturday, March 17, 2018 
7:30 am Continental Breakfast & Late Registration, Posters & Vendors
8:45 am Contributed Talks**
10:15 am Coffee Break
10:30 am Panel Session & Discussion
12:30 pm Buffet Lunch. Posters & Vendors
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm Workshops (1.5 hour and/or 3 hour sessions)4:30 pm – 5:00 pm Pick up Professional Development certificates.

Workshops Run Concurrently:
Choose Track A or either / both of the Track B offerings.

Track A

A: 1:30 – 4:30 pm  PTRA TIPERs Workshop by Steve Henning of PTRA
PTRA TIPERS (Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research) are tasks inspired by Physics Education Research to provide alternative learning formats. TIPERS provide students with tasks that address physical ideas and principles in a variety of ways. Some of these are Ranking Tasks, Bar Chart Tasks, Linked Multiple Choice Tasks, Working Backwards Tasks, Predict and Explain Tasks and many others. These are designed to help students learn the important concepts and principles of physics while providing a conceptual base upon which students can solve physics problems with understanding. Participants will be receiving two free books: the latest TIPERS Manual and the Ranking Tasks manual.

Track B

B1: 1:30 – 3:00 pm  Integrating Computation into STEM Courses by Jay Wang, UMass Dartmouth — Integration of computation into STEM education is increasingly being recognized nationally as an important component to increasing students’ computational thinking skills. In this workshop, a learning-by-doing framework will be described that integrates computation into the physics classes at every level from introductory physics classes to graduate courses. It enables students to actively do, rather than just think, physics.

B2: 3:00 – 4:30 pm  Getting Started in Physics Education Research by Andria Schwortz, Quinsigamond CC.  — Do you have burning questions about how your students are learning?  Why can they answer a question if phrased one way but not another?  What can you do to improve your teaching?  Skeptical of new teaching styles and want to test if they’re effective in your classroom?  This workshop will give you some basics on how to perform education research, including styles of research, when and how to get approval from an Institutional Review Board, what to do with your results, and publishing.  Group time will include discussing your own questions and how you can investigate them.

** The call for contributed papers/posters is at

We are encouraging contributions in these 3 tracks:

  1. Increasing Diversity in Physics
  2. General Physics Pedagogy: ideas related to effective high school and post-secondary physics teaching
  3. Assessment: how & what do we measure so that we know our teaching is effective.

There is a block of 24 rooms reserved for Friday night for $99.00 at the Hampton Inn Nashua, 407 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03063. Reservations: 844-262-2822. You will need to request the Nashua Community College rate. Register by 2/16 for the discount.

Spring 2018 meeting

8 Jan

Spring New England AAPT Meeting

Location: Nashua Community College

Dates: Friday and Saturday, March 16-17, 2018
Theme:  Effective Ways for Increasing Diversity in Physics.
Please submit papers on this Google Form
We will solicit contributed papers/posters in three tracks. 
– Increasing diversity in Physics
– General Physics pedagogy contributions: ideas related to effective high school and post-
  secondary physics teaching
– Assessment: how & what do we measure so that we know our teaching is effective. (At
  least at the post-secondary level, assessment pressure is increasing.)

Fall Northeast Regional AAPT Meeting

9 Aug

So, New York State section is moving fast to finalize the Regional for September 29/30 at Syracuse University.

Friday, September 29 will include registration from 4 to 6, vendors, posters and cocktail hour 6 to 7, banquet 7 to 8:30 including keynote plenary in person from Dr. Beth Cunningham, Executive Officer of AAPT.

Saturday, September 30 will include contributed talks and invited speakers featuring both AAPT candidates for Vice President, Chandralekha Singh, and Genaro Zavala; and including talks from Joseph Ribaudo (How killer black holes saved astronomy–see article in July 2017 Physics Today), and Ryan Fisher (LIGO).  Workshops will include a PTRA workshop from Steve Henning, a new workshop from Shawn Reeves, and a demo workshop.

Syracuse SPS will also host a concurrent Saturday+Sunday Zone Meeting for SPS chapters from all around the Northeast.

Costs should be under $60 for registration, banquet, and Saturday breakfast and lunch inclusive.  Registration site details to follow.  Submit contributed papers now to Sam Sampere

HOTEL for Spring meeting

31 Jan
HOTEL:  Marriott Courtyard in Worcester.
To make a reservation, guests should call the hotel at 800-363-0300 and mention Quinsigamond Community College to get the group rate. For Friday, 3/17 they reserved 10 king bed rooms, and 10 rooms with 2 queen beds.  For Saturday 3/18 they also reserved 5 of each type of room, so, if some people want to stay 2 nights, they can still get the group rate.

Spring Meeting 2017

31 Jan

AAPT–New England Section
Spring Meeting

March 17-18, 2017

Quinsigamond Community College

602 West Boylston ST, Worcester, MA 01606

Theme:  AIM Higher – Astronomy, Instrumentation and Making

You are cordially invited to the 2017 Spring Meeting of the AAPT–New England Section, and encouraged to contribute posters, papers and demonstrations related to teaching at the high school and college/university levels.

Register for the meeting:

There are special registration rates for students and early career high school teachers.

Submit Abstracts Online by March 1, 2017 for Posters, Contributed Talks & Share-a-Demo Contest:

Contributed Talks & Posters: We invite you (and your students) to contribute 15-minute talks and posters relevant to secondary- and college-level physics instruction in these areas:

  • Astronomy: observation & measurements; optics; etc.
  • Instrumentation: using or programming instrumentation for instruction/lab experiences
  • Making: Have you or your students built a device that you used to explain a concept or experiment with some phenomenon? (3-D printing, etc.)
  • Teaching: What new approaches/methods are you trying in your classes?
  • Assessment: how do you know that your students are learning?

Share-a-Demo Contest: Do you have an especially effective 5-10 minute demo that you use in your teaching?  Enter it in the Share-a-Demo Contest.  The winner will be chosen by audience vote.  Please note: due to facilities restrictions, we will not be able to host anything pyrotechnic.

Venue: All events will be in the Harrington Learning Center and the QuEST Building on the QCC campus at 602 West Boylston ST, Worcester, MA.

Hotels: We have reserved a block of 20 rooms at the Marriott Courtyard. You must book by 2/17 for the group rate of $189.  We are also working on other hotel options. See for details.

Parking & Access: Parking will be available in the Faculty and Staff lots.  Both buildings are handicap accessible.

Planned Schedule

Friday, March 17, 2017 – Room 109 & Adjacent Foyer, Harrington

4:00 pm       Registration
5:00 pm       Poster Session, Vendors
6:30 pm       Buffet Dinner
7:30 pm       Key Note: Dr. Jay Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor & Director of the Hopkins
Observatory, Williams College

The August 21, 2017, Total Solar Eclipse: Science, Equipment, and Circumstances

9:00 pm       Observing with the local Amateur Astronomers (weather permitting).

Saturday, March 18, 2017

7:30 am       Continental Breakfast, Registration, Posters & Vendors – Harrington
8:00 am       Share-a-Demo Contest – Harrington
9:00 am       Coffee Break – Harrington
9:15 am       Contributed Talks – QuEST
11:00 am     Invited Talks – Harrington
12:30 pm     Buffet Lunch. Board Meeting and Brief Section Meeting
Posters, Vendors, Janet Guernsey Award and Share-a-Demo Prizes

1:30-4:30    Workshops in the QuEST Building.

4:30 pm       Pick up Professional Development Certificates – Harrington


Teaching with Telescopes
A. Schwortz, QCC

Do you have a telescope just gathering dust? Are you looking for ways to integrate it into your curriculum?  Or do you just want to take some students out at night to look at the stars?  This workshop will include hands on time with reflecting and refracting telescopes, examples of class activities, time to brainstorm and lesson plan with colleagues, and resources for maintaining or purchasing telescopes.  If you have access to a telescope, you are encouraged to bring it (and any accessories) and will learn to use it or assess the maintenance needs.

R. Dorland, St. Joseph’s College

Design & build creative circuit projects using Arduino!  Unlock the “do-it-yourself” maker potential in your classroom. Participants will build a simple sensor project using an Arduino UNO board that can be used to introduce circuits and E/M topics in any level physics course.  The workshop assumes no prior experience with Arduino.  You will learn how to setup and connect to a new board, and how to adapt existing code for your project.  Materials provided, and registered participants will be able to take their completed project home. Partly funded by a NASA grant.

Video Analysis
S. Henning, PTRA

Short videos, often just 20 to 30 frames long, are designed for analysis in a computer, iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Using LoggerPro (or, the free Tracker software) positions of objects in the video frame can be measured. The data can be graphed, analyzed, compared to theoretical models, and even used to display vectors or points superimposed on the original video.  Participants will receive hands on experience with video analysis and a copy of Physics with Video Analysis from Vernier, which has a generous site license. AAPT-NES will cover part of the PTRA cost. $20 fee for participants.