Upcoming Plans

19 May

Our tentative plans for the upcoming 2014-2015 Year:


AAPT Northeast Regional Meeting at Sienna College October 9-10 2014

AAPT New England Section Meeting at Salem State College March 20-21 2015


Final Scores of the New England Physics Olympics

13 Apr





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Today was a great day for physics in New England!   We had students from six school attend the 28th annual New England Physics Olympics!!!

We tried something new this year.  All of the participating teams took the actual AAPT Physics Bowl exam as one of the events.  So we had six schools (several of whom had never participated in the Physics Bowl before) taking the exam at the same time!  I will be mailing in the scantron sheets this week.  Many thanks to AAPT-New England for the grant to make this possible.

Another big thank-you to all of the Physics major undergraduates from Boston University who helped out as judges at this event.  Another win-win as we had young physics majors (and future AAPT members) working with aspiring physics students!


Directions and Room Locations for AAPT Meeting

11 Mar

Go to this page for updates on room locations and directions to campus.

AAPT Meeting this Saturday!

11 Mar
Dear NES-AAPT Participants,
We are looking forward to welcoming you to Salem State University for the NES-AAPT
Spring Meeting on March 14 and 15.
We will meet in the Ellison Campus Center (2nd floor) on Friday evening, and in Meier
Hall (4th floor) on Saturday. These buildings are both on North Campus.
Directions to North Campus, which is adjacent to the intersection of Lafayette Street and
Loring Avenue in Salem are available on the SSU website:
I have attached a campus map.  North Campus is on the right side of the map.
Ellison Campus Center is building #10, and Meier Hall is building #4.  General parking
is available in the Peabody Lot, which is south-most of the two parking lots on North
Campus.  There will be parking directional signs on the sidewalk starting at the
Lafayette Street entrance to campus (near the star on the map).  Please note: College
Drive is a one-way street.
For person’s requiring handicap parking, there are two spaces on Lafayette Street near
Meier Hall and there are two spaces in the small lot right near Ellison Campus Center.
Our events begin at 5 pm on Friday with registration and a poster session, followed by
demonstrations, dinner and our speaker, Richard Larson, from the MIT Blossom project.
Weather permitting, the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club will open the Collins
Observatory for us around 8:30 pm. If you plan to visit the observatory, they recommend
dressing warmly.
On Saturday, we have a full day beginning with breakfast at 7:30 am near the Slater
Lecture Hall in Meier Hall.  In addition to six contributed papers, Ethan Danahy from Tufts
Center for Engineering Education and Outreach and Manher Jariwala from the BU Studio
Physics project will be making presentations. David Sturm from U. Maine and Vacek
Miglus from Wesleyan are planing a demonstration session, and Judy Donnelly from
Three Rivers Community College will present a Workshop on Problem Based Learning
in the afternoon.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Deb Mason-McCaffrey


Deborah Mason-McCaffrey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Salem State University
352 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA 01970

New England AAPT meetings for 2013-2014

27 Aug

The objective of the New England Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers is the advancement and integration of the teaching of physics at all educational levels and the furtherance of an appreciation for the role of physics in our culture. Its membership consists of those interested in the teaching of physics. NES-AAPT membership is not contingent upon membership in the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

Save these dates for the 2013-2014 School Year

There are four great physics teaching events coming up this year I would like to encourage you to attend:
Sept 27-28: Northeast Regional AAPT meeting at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY (NJ, NY, and NES sections).  More info below.
Oct 11-12: New England Section American Physical Society Meeting in Bridgewater, MA with a theme a biophysics and optics in industry with cross disciplinary and industry related talks.  Including a strand of talks with an education emphasis.
Mar 14-15: New England Section AAPT meeting at Salem State College in Salem, MA

April 3-6: National Meeting of NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) in Boston, MA   One of the days will be a Physics Day with lots of workshops!

STEM Education Regional Meeting

18 Mar


Summer Modeling Workshops

11 Mar
Nearby Workshops in New England
Kennebunk – First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
Dates: July 29-Aug 9

Content: Intro to Modeling Physics (9 core units of mechanics)
Leaders: Mike Waters & Chad Hodgkins
Dates: July 29-Aug 9
Content: Intro to Modeling Chemistry (9 core units of chemistry)
Leader: Tom Pfeiffer & Dean Meggison
Fees: $650/week  (can be taken separately), includes breakfast and lunch.
Free housing available for participants.
Optional graduate credit available from the University of Maine
Contact: Jamie Vesenka or 207-749-7913
Follow this link to a brochure and application form
For further details: http://www.uukennebunk.org/featureStory-modelingworkshop2013.php
SUNY-Buffalo State College
Dates: July 22-August 9

PHY620 (6cr) Powerful Ideas & Quantitative Modeling in Mechanics
leaders: Dr. Luanna Gomez & colleagues
Contact: Luanna Gomez
PHY622 (6cr) Powerful Ideas & Quantitative Modeling in Electricity and Magnetism with supplements (microscopic models of matter).
leaders: Dr. Dan MacIsaac & colleagues
Modeling workshop master teachers TBA
tuition: $2245.20 in state, $3595.20 non residents
some financing available
housing available on campus, approximately $320 per week
parking permit $10
Contact: Dan MacIsaac or (716) 878-3802
Click here for further detailsTeachers College-Columbia University
Dates: July 22-August 9

Content: Mechanics
Leaders: Craig Buzska & TBA
Content: Electricity & Magnetism
Leader: Michael Crofton & Mark Schober
Content: Chemistry I (9 core units)
Leaders: Donghong Sun & Larry Dukerich
Contact: Fernand Brunschwig
Visit the Physics Teachers NYC for details

Clearview Regional HS – Mullica Hills, NJ
Dates: July 8 – 26

Content: Mechanics
Leader: Doug Valette
Content: Chemistry I (9 core units)
Leaders: Jim Navins & Maureen Huhman
Dates: July 29 – August 16
Content: Biology
Leader: Angela Gard
Limited housing is available – $700 for 20 nights
Follow these links to a brochure for details and for an application form
General information:
Fifty Modeling Workshops in high school physics, chemistry,  physical
science, and biology will be offered in summer 2013, in many states.
Modeling Workshops are peer-led. Modeling Instruction is designated
by the U.S. Department of Education as an Exemplary K-12 science
program.Some sites offer stipends, usually for in-state teachers.  Graduate
credit is available at some sites. Pre-service teachers and TYC
faculty are welcome too.

information:  <http://modelinginstruction.org/teachers/workshops-2013/>
Most workshops are described at  http://www.ptec.org/pd .

Teachers say:
*  “After the first year of teaching using the modeling method, I
wished I had learned about modeling years ago.”
— David Braunschweig (retired; consultant for Vernier Software &
*  In the one year that I have been modeling, I have seen wonderful results.
*  [As a graduate student in physics], I discovered the modeling method
of instruction to be a rigorous approach to physics instruction on
the high school level, and one that is consistent with the way
physicists understand the universe.
— Doug Vallette
*  Compared to “traditional” physics teaching, at our school modeling
has created:
(A) Larger enrollment in physics and AP Physics
(B) Higher retention of students majoring in engineering and science when
they go off to college
(C) Greater quantitative analytical skills
(D) Greater quantitative presentation skills
(E) Much higher ability for “future non-science students” to communicate
with science people
(F) No plugging and chugging.
*  We have had 3 physics teachers and 5 chemistry teachers enhance
their professional development at your ASU modeling workshops.
Modeling has made a world of difference in our science courses.
–Ray Howanski

Deadline extended to March 9th for Abstract Submissions

6 Mar

Submit an abstract now for the spring meeting!!!



Phys Ex at MIT

21 Feb

PhysEx is an opportunity for high school girls (and guys!) to learn about becoming a physicist. Students will have the chance to see the in’s-and-out’s of the life of a female physics major at MIT. PhysEx will be held Mar. 9th, from 10am-4pm on the MIT campus (see our website for me details). Events will include a discussion with a panel of current undergrads, lab tours and a poster session.

June Workshop by Laws, Sokoloff and Thorton

8 Feb

Research-Based Active Learning in Introductory Physics

NEW: Including RealTime Physics 3rd Edition, Clicker Interactive Lecture Demos and Video Analysis

Chautauqua Short Course

June 21-23, 2013, Portland, OR

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

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

This hands-on course is designed for those interested in making learning in their introductory course more active either within a traditional course structure  (lectures, labs, and recitation hours), or by re-structuring their course (e.g., into a workshop or studio course).

Participants will be introduced to physics education research-validated strategies for each component of the introductory course such as Interactive Lecture Demonstration (ILDs), RealTime Physics (RTP) labs, Activity Based Tutorials, Collaborative Problem-Solving Tutorials, Workshop Physics, and Physics with Video Analysis, along with strategies for analytic mathematical modeling. Some recent developments include the new electricity and magnetism labs in the 3rd Ed. of RTP, and ILDs using personal response systems (clickers) and interactive video analysis. The tools and software accompanying these active learning strategies are available for both Macintosh and Windows computers.

Results of studies on the effectiveness of these curricula will also be discussed. Participants will receive complimentary copies of the active learning curricula, along with 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. (The curricula are also available in the  High School e-dition–a more convenient form for high school use .) Physics topics will be chosen from both semesters of the introductory physics course.

* Up to two hours of graduate credit will be available from the University of Oregon.

For more information and to register: http://pages.uoregon.edu/sokoloff/CHAUT.htm

or contact David Sokoloff, Department of Physics, 1274 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1274, E-mail:sokoloff@uoregon.edu<mailto:sokoloff@uoregon.edu>, Phone: (541) 346-4755, Fax:  (541) 346-5861.