Regional Meetings

Upcoming Meetings

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

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.



Teaching with Telescopes
A. Schwortz, QCCDo 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 CollegeDesign & 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, PTRAShort 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.

Jay Pasachoff is Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Hopkins Observatory at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.  A veteran of 65 solar eclipses, he is Chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Solar Eclipses and a member of the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Eclipse Task Force.  His recent research includes studies of the dynamics of the solar corona studied from the ground at eclipses and from spacecraft, and the temperature and structure of the corona over the solar-activity cycle from images and spectra.  He also studies the atmosphere of Pluto through observation of stellar occultations.  His recent eclipse and other solar research is and has been supported by the NSF and the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society; his Pluto research has recently been supported by NASA.

   Pasachoff received the 2003 Education Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the 2012 Janssen Prize of the Société Astronomique de France, and the 2017 Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers.
The August 21, 2017, Total Solar Eclipse: Science, Equipment, and Circumstances
On August 31, 2017, a total solar eclipse’s 70-mile-wide band of totality will sweep across the Continental United States from coast to coast for the first time in 99 years.  The zone from which the partially eclipsed sun will be visible includes all of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  But only during the 2+ minutes of totality will it get as dark as twilight and will the interesting solar phenomena–such as Baily’s beads, the diamond-ring effect, and totality–become visible.  At that time, the beautiful corona will show streamers and other structure, held in place by the sun’s magnetic field.  The corona is about the same brightness as the full moon and equally safe to look at.  But before and after totality even in the band of totality, or off to the sides of the band where only a partial eclipse is visible, one can look safely at the sun only with special partial-eclipse filters or by projection. Even when 99% of the sun is covered, the remaining 1% is nearly 10,000 times brighter than totality (or the full moon), so eye-protection precautions are needed.  Still, seeing an eclipse in general and totality in particular is so exciting and so remarkable that it can be inspirational for students–not only causing some of them to go into science but also inspiring them about their other academic studies.  Coverage in the US will be over 71% of the solar diameter from Worcester and Boston with New England ranging from 75%  in southeastern Connecticut to 58% at the top of Maine, as the path of totality proceeds from Salem, Oregon, to Charlestown, South Carolina; cloudiness statistics from decades of satellite images are available.
   I will not only describe the circumstances for viewing the 2017 eclipse, whether it is total or partial, but also show and discuss the beautiful images and spectra we have obtained at the most recent eclipses, including total eclipses in Easter Island (2010), Australia (2012), Gabon (2013), Svalbard (2015), and Indonesia (2016) as well as annular or partial eclipses observed elsewhere.  Our images are taken with CCD detectors, with a test of coronal heating using frame-transfer CCDs and studies of coronal emission lines made with slitless spectrographs.
  My work at solar eclipses has recently been supported by the NSF and the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society, and I thank them both for research grants for our scientific studies of the 2017 total eclipse, including AGS-1602461 from the NSF and 987816 from National Geographic.


Theme: How Physics Teaching Has Changed Since 1950: 66 years after the landmark AAPT National Meeting at Wesleyan University

In 1950, the first AAPT National Meeting was held at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. Travel down Rt. 66 and meet us on October 21-22, 2016 for the Tri-Regional meeting of the New England, New York and New Jersey Sections of AAPT.

We will look at how we taught Physics, how we teach Physics now, and where we’re headed in the future.

AAPT Tri-Regional Meeting New England, New Jersey & New York Sections

Wesleyan University
Exley Science Center
265 Church Street
Middletown, CT

Friday, October 21, 2016
4:00 pm Registration
5:00 pm Poster Session
Beverages & Hors d’oevres
6:30 pm Buffet Dinner
6:45-7:30 pm Demonstrations
7:30 pm Key Note Speaker
9:00 pm Van Vleck Observatory open, weather permitting

Saturday, October 22, 2016
7:30 am Continental Breakfast & Late Registration & Posters
8 –9:15 am Teslamania Contest
9:15 am Coffee Break
9:30 – 11 am Contributed Talks
11 -12:30 pm Invited Talks
12:30 pm Buffet Lunch and Teslamania Prizes

1. Computation in
1:30-4:30 pm
2. BU Private AP Physics
Online Course
1:30-3:00 pm

3. Make & Take-Glass
3:00-4:30 pm

4. PTRA – Activities
from the Perimeter
Institute-Including GPS,
Plancks Constant, and
1:30-4:30 pm

4:30 pm Pick up professional development certificates.

 Topic:  “NGSS and its Impact on Teaching”
Click here for the meeting website
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


Oct 2-3  Fall Regional AAPT meeting at Bergen Community College in Paramus NJ

Nov 6-7  Joint Fall meeting of New England APS and AAPT sections at  Dartmouth College. (Click here for conference)

TBD  Spring New England Section AAPT meeting at TBD

Our Fall and Spring section meetings provide a nice way for our members to meet and share experiences. Each meeting has a program chair who works with section officers to bring you the best possible speakers. Do you know someone whom you think would be an excellent speaker for our Friday evening dinner? Do you have a favorite lab or demonstration you want to share with your fellow physics teachers at our next section meeting? If so, let us hear from you. Your comments and suggestions are needed and welcomed. Just go to the Members of the Board page and email us.

Future Meetings:

Fall 2016   Northeastern Regional Meeting in Western CT.

Recent Past Meetings:

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

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

APS New England Section Fall Meeting at Wentworth College Nov 7-8

April 3-6 2014: National Meeting of NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) in Boston, MA

Sept 27-28 2013: Northeast Regional AAPT meeting at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY (NJ, NY, and NES sections).  More info below.

2013 Spring Meeting at Milton Academy

2012 Fall Meeting Joint with NES-APS at Williams College

2012 Spring Meeting at Thayer Academy April 27 and April 28

2011 Fall Physics Day at NSTA Hartford Regional Meeting: Click here for a recap and to see photos!

For information on 2011 Fall Meeting at UMASS Amherst Nov 18 and Nov 19 click here.  Recap on the AGW debate by Paul Carr and Larry Gould.

Spring 2011      UMASS Lowell.  For a recap on the UMASS Lowell meeting from the NES-APS Newsletter click here.

Fall 2010          Brown University

Fall 2009          University of New Hampshire

Spring 2009      Northeastern University

2008- Spring Northeastern University Elementary Particle Physics in the 21st Century
2008- Fall Univ. of Mass.- Boston Out of Equilibrium
2008-Spring U.S. Coast Guard Academy Science of Homeland Security
2007 – Fall University of Connecticut, Storrs  Carbon in the 21st Century
2007 – Spring University of Maine, Orono Statistical Physics and Applications
2006 – Fall The College of the Holy Cross The Physics of Sports
2006 – Spring Boston University Physics and Cosmology – at the interface
2005 – Fall University of Vermont Nano and Soft Matter Physics
2005-Spring Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Einstein
2004 – Fall Pratt & Whitney Corporation  Climate and Filght
2004-Spring Philips Exeter Academy Astronomy and Space Physics
2003-Fall Bates College Physics We Haven’t Told You Yet and “Passing The Torch: Helping new Physics Teachers without getting burned (out)”
2003-Spring Williams College Quantum Bits, Ultrafast Pulses, Beyond the Visible Spectrum, and Teaching Physics
2002-Fall Bridgewater State College Exploring the Physics of the Big and Small
2002-Spring Brandeis University Expanding Horizons of Physics
2001-Fall Keene State College Confluence of Physics & Chemistry
2001-Spring Middlebury College Chaos, Complexity, and Self – Organization
2000-Fall Milton Academy
2000-Spring  Rhode Island College Physics, Industry, and Society, Teaching Physics
 1999-Fall1999 Spring  Norwich UniversityNashua, NH