We are at CCSF in November!

Save the date, we’ll be at the City College of San Francisco for our fall conference.  We’ll have a social event at the Mission Science Workshop on the evening of Friday, November 3, from 6-9 (your arrival and departure times are flexible).   On Saturday the 4th, we’ll have our main event.  If you paid dues last Spring, registration is free (we’ll send you an email with a discount code), otherwise dues are $20 through Wednesday November 1, $25 at the door. Click here to register for Saturday: http://ncnaapt.org/event-registration?ee=40.

The Saturday highlights include a Q&A with science author Mary Roach, San Jose State’s Brian Holmes on the Physics of Music, a memorial demo show honoring Paul Doherty and an expert panel on how to best serve our transgendered students.  And, of course, there will be a poster session, lots of tacos and Share & Tell.

Does this sound great?  But you have kids or other loved ones you care for and can’t come?  We have a grant that will help us subsidize your dependent care!  Click this link for details.


Friday Night Social
We will be at the Mission Science Workshop located at 3750 18th Street in San Francisco.

People can start showing up at 6–we will have food and folks can explore the workshop. From 6:30-7:30pm we’ll start showing our 2 main exhibits for the evening: 1) our DIY solar unit and 2) a variety of radioactive rocks and ceramics with our Geiger counters hooked up to speakers, showing different ways to demo. The rest of the evening folks are welcome to explore and hang out until we close the doors at 9pm.

There will be a $10 flat fee for food: beans, rice, corn tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and meat, so folks can eat Mexican and vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free eaters will be OK.

Please RSVP at http://ncnaapt.org/event-registration?ee=41


Tentative Saturday Schedule:
8:00 Doors and Registration Opens

8:30 Poster Session
Do you have something neat to share with your fellow physics teachers? We’ve got a poster session. Even better, we subsidize posters. If you are K-12 or a grad student, we’ll print your poster for free. Click on http://ncnaapt.org/archives/2217 for more details.

9:00 A Tribute to Paul Doherty featuring Favorite Demos
We recently lost long-time chapter member Paul Doherty. A series of speakers will show us their favorite demos that they learned from Paul.  If you want to share a Paul-inspired demo, drop us a line at https://goo.gl/forms/a8mwhGLL7Xrhwyys2.

10:00 Invited Speaker – Brian Holmes, The Physics of Brass Musical Instruments

I will explain and demonstrate the physics of brass instruments.  During the talk I will build a trumpet, showing the acoustics of its various sections; show why brass instruments have valves instead  of side holes to get different notes; tootle an alphorn and a keyed bugle;  explain what horn players do with their right hands (while playing their instruments.)


11:15 Group Photo
Let those pesky administrators know you were here by showing them the photo of you and your physics family.

11:30 Lunch!
Yes, this will be tacos and topic tables.  We’ll also do another go-around of posters for late-comers.

1:00 Invited Speaker – Mary Roach
Mary Roach is the author of Stiff, Spook, Bonk, Packing for Mars and Grunt. She uses humor to help bring science to a general audience. We’ll be able to pick her brains in a Q&A session.

2:15 Break

2:30 Expert Panel – Transgendered in School
People who identify as transgendered are becoming more visible in our classrooms, this panel will explore how to best serve them.

3:30 Share & Tell
You have five minutes to show us your cool new (or new to us) demo.  We will bring our dreaded gong.  Please bring 80 copies of any handouts.

4:30 Official Close

A link to Google Maps (we are at the Ocean campus).

There is free parking in the Upper Reservoir Lot:

It is never too early to think about carpooling: https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/qhecun

Or public transportation:


More details will be posted in the coming weeks.

Dependent Care Grants

Our chapter has received limited funding that allows us to subsidize dependent care costs for members who otherwise would not be able to attend.  We can distribute grants of $75 for parents/caregivers with one dependent or $150 for multiple dependents.  Applications are due October 20 October 27 (two weeks one week before our meeting).  If you are interested in applying, please complete the form below.


Unrecognized/unknown equipment in your physics closet?

It’s summer, which means many of us will be moving into new schools, or cleaning out old ones. It’s not unusual to come across equipment that you have no idea how it is used (even for veteran teachers!). In light of that, we and PTSOS have created a new Twitter hashtag to use our collective wisdom to help identify unknown equipment:Twitter unkown equipment image


If you are on Twitter, feel free to ask and answer questions about equipment.

Spring Meeting – Mt. Diablo HS – April 28/29

We’ll be in Concord for our Spring Meeting!

Our keynote speaker is Jessie Dotson, project scientist for NASA’s K2 Mission.  Invited Speaker Jessie DotsonPictured to the right, she’ll tell us about recent Kepler results.  We’ll also have all of the other things that make our meetings so much fun,  Share&Tell, a panel, workshops and we are bringing back the poster session. If you paid dues last Fall, registration is free (we’ll send you an email with a discount code), otherwise dues are $20 through Wednesday night, $25 at the door. Click here to register for the main event: http://ncnaapt.org/event-registration?ee=39 Continue reading Spring Meeting – Mt. Diablo HS – April 28/29

In Memoriam – Elender Wall

I’m very sad to report the daughter of one of our longtime members and contributors Dave Wall of City College of San Francisco, Elender Wall, passed away last Monday evening from complications of thyroid cancer.  She was 47 years old.  Dave was well-known for his demos that involved magic tricks, and years later his daughter Elender joined our ranks. Despite her musical training in voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she degreed in physics and went on to edit and distribute Dave’s textbook Introductory Physics: A Problem-Solving Approach.  Continue reading In Memoriam – Elender Wall

Fall Meeting is at Cal – October 21/22

We are returning to Berkeley for our Fall meeting!

Friday October 21

For those that are driving in the night before, or folks who just like to hang out with other physics teachers, we’ve got some Friday night events.  We’ll meet at 6 at Pyramids Restaurant: http://www.pyramidsrestaurantandgrill.com/.  They feature Egyptian fare, but of course you can always get a burger.  At 8 we’ll be at the telescopes at the Chabot Science Center:  http://www.chabotspace.org/observatories.htm Continue reading Fall Meeting is at Cal – October 21/22

Astronomy Teaching Summit at SF City College


August 1-3, 2016 – City College of San Francisco-North Beach ChinaTown Campus

The Astronomy Teaching Summit (ATS) brings together dedicated astronomy and planetary sciences educators to share innovative teaching techniques and successful instructional strategies that increase students’ engagement, achievement, and motivation.  Although the ATS is designed primarily for college professors teaching the introductory astronomy survey course (ASTRO 101), science teacher educators and high school teachers that touch on earth & space concepts, and outreach enthusiasts will find the talks and workshops valuable. The summit includes formal presentations, interactive workshops, and roundtable discussions all designed around astronomy teaching innovations. This is a great opportunity to upgrade your innovative teaching toolkit! Astronomy educators and outreach enthusiasts from all levels are invited to participate and submit proposals for presentations. Continue reading Astronomy Teaching Summit at SF City College

AAPT High School Physics Teacher Camp near Sacramento this summer

Our local high school teachers are encouraged to attend the 2nd annual AAPT High School Physics Teacher Camp. The camp will be held on Sunday, July 17, 2016, just prior to the AAPT Summer Meeting at the Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, California.
AAPT High School Physics Teacher Camp logo
What:  The camp is a self-organizing opportunity for teachers of high school physics classes to discuss topics such as inquiry labs, standards-based grading, video analysis, and computer–based labs. The registrants will determine the topics. There will also be an expectation to share something about your teaching with the group.

When: July 17, 2016 Continue reading AAPT High School Physics Teacher Camp near Sacramento this summer

The American Association of Physics Teachers, Northern California/Nevada Section