Register for the Spring Meeting

18 Apr

You can now register online for your spring meeting


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)

Spring meeting at Thayer Academy

7 Jan
FridayMay 20
 4-6 pm Registration Vendors
 5-6:30 pm Poster Session
 6 pm Hors d’euvres
 6:30 pm Share a Demo
 7 pm Dinner
 following dinner Keynote Speaker
9:15 PM Observatory open
SaturdayMay 21
7:30-8:00 AM Registration
7:30 AM Continental Breakfast
8-10 AM Contributed Talks A Contributed Talks B
10-10:15 AM Coffee Break
10:15-11:45 AM Invited Speakers (2)
11:45 AM Lunch / Board Meeting Vendors
1:00 PM Membership Meeting
1:30-3:00 PM Workshop I Workshop II
3:00-4:30 PM Workshop II Workshop IV

Upcoming Meetings

24 Nov


AAPT-NES Spring Meeting @ Thayer Academy, Friday May 20 – Saturday May 21, 2016
Provisional topic:  “NGSS and its Impact on Teaching”
AAPT-NES Fall Regional Meeting with AAPT-NYS & NJ @ Wesleyan University, Friday October 21 – Sunday October 23, 2016
Provisional topic:  “How Physics Teaching Has Changed Since 1950:
                        66 years after the landmark AAPT National Meeting at Wesleyan”
APS-NES Spring Meeting @ Wheaton, Friday April 1 – Saturday April 2, 2016
APS-NES Fall Meeting @ MCLA, Friday October 28 – Saturday October 29, 2016

Two Year College New Faculty Training Experience.

24 Nov

New England Joint APS/AAPT Meeting at Dartmouth

23 Sep

Dear NES-AAPT Members and Friends,

The Fall Joint meeting of the New England Sections of the AAPT and APS will be held at Dartmouth College on November 6-7, 2015.  The theme is Inner Space Meets Outer Space.
There is a poster session scheduled from 5:30-6:30 pm Friday evening, and we will have a Physics Education parallel contributed talk session on Saturday morning from 8:30-10:30 am.
I invite all of you to consider submitting posters and papers related to teaching, physics education research, or  combined demonstration/talks. The deadline for abstracts is October 10th.
The links for registering and abstract submissions are at:
To submit abstracts for the Joint meeting in November, you will need to do the following:
once you click on submit abstract, the APS website asks for your member ID.  For the purposes
of this meeting, type 9999999 into the member ID field.  Or type Membership Pending.
I have tested the “seven-nines” method, and it seems to be working properly.  Remember,
abstracts are due by October 10th.

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
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 ( ). 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: