Registration is open for fall 2014 conference at City College of San Francisco

ISEE-3 Reboot Project logoOur next meeting will be at the City College of San Francisco this November. There will be a social event on the night of the 14th followed by a full day on Saturday the 15th. Our keynote speaker will be Dennis Wingo of the ISEE-3 Reboot Team, a group of space enthusiasts who are attempting (with good progress) to revive a NASA space probe launched in 1978.

Registration is now open here.

Call for Posters is here

Our draft schedule is below the page-jump

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Call for Posters

This fall we are going to try something new.  We are asking for poster presentations rather than talks from the membership.  We hope that this will encourage more people to present, let people better invest their time in subjects that interest them, and allow for greater interaction between the presenters and their audience.

What topics can be covered?  Anything that tickles your fancy as a physics teacher that you think will help our community.  This could be a neat experiment, original research, cool projects for your students, a report-back from a field trip that work, an innovative way to approach grading, or anything else that you would like to share with fellow teachers.

(Click “Read more” to for more information…) Read more »

App Share-a-thon from AAPT in Minneapolis

apps presented at Share-a-thon

The following links are in the order they were presented.

Error Calc screenshot

Error Calc screenshot from an iPhone

  • Tom Huber. Personal iPhone app; ErrorCalc website
  • Frequency Meter Pro; Analyzes frequency of sounds ($1.99 iOS, $3.66 Android)
  • Decibal 10th (decibal meter) (Free)
  • Ripple Tank (Free and $5.99 versions)
  • Sensor Log; accesses and displays all iPhone/pad sensors; can record data as .csv that can easily be analyzed in a spreadsheet. App allows for higher frequency than device actually collects, so be careful that you’re not collecting “junk” between phone collections. (iOS and Android versions available) Read more »

AAPT National meetings through February 2017

If you are interested in planning your vacations around AAPT National Meeting/Conferences (or if you’d just like to attend), here are the upcoming dates and locations (note that in July 2016 it will be in our section!):

  • AAPT logoWinter 2015: San Diego, 3-6 Jan 2015
  • Summer 2015: College Park, Md, 25-29 Jul 2015
  • Winter 2016: New Orleans, 9-12 Jan 2016
  • Summer 2016: Sacramento, 16-20 July 2016
  • Winter 2017: Atlanta, 18-21 Feb 2017

Note that Winter Meetings are now four days, and Summer Meetings are five days. The first two days of summer meetings are generally workshops; for the Winter Meetings the workshops have been limited to one-and-a-half days. Read more »

Registration for August PTSOS Now Open!

The next PTSOS meeting will be on August 23 at Los Gatos High School from 9 to 4.

Our format is informal, flexible, and friendly. We like to think that everyone leaves the workshop with something they can use right away in their classrooms. Most of the teachers who attend teach regular high-school physics, but we also see many AP Physics teachers, college physics teachers, junior-high physical-science teachers, and even math, chemistry, and biology teachers.

Thanks to our generous benefactors (especially the Karl Brown family), the workshop is free, including a free, onsite lunch and coffee and doughnuts. Read more »

Keynote Speaker: Douglas Stone

Einstein’s scientific image was systematically distorted for historical reasons (not discussed here) however Einstein spent much more time on quantum theory than anything else (including relativity). Stone discovered and wrote an article on some of Einstein’s early and extremely lucid explanations of the problem with quantizing chaos. The article appeared in 2005 during the World Year of Physics and resulted in many speaking engagements which sparked Stone’s intensive research into Einstein’s life and works. Most of the available literature on Einstein’s research was too technical for the general public so Stone wrote his own. Read more »

Business Meeting & Elections

Discussion of proposed new dues structure by President David Marasco

Motion made by Don Rathjen, seconded by Hookama, to accept the proposed dues structure.

Approved by voice Read more »

Photo gallery from Exploratorium April 12, 2014

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Group Photo Exploratorium April 12, 2014

NCNAAPT Group photo

Click on photo for a printable version.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Pascal Lee

Dr. Lee gave us information about the plans for the first human mission to Mars. He gave a background of the surface temperatures, pressures and topography all of which present unique difficulties to a human mission. Lee shared the mission goals and results from each of the successful rover missions. He was able to share several images from the Mars missions to discuss the difference in terrain, air quality and the sky. The sky on Mars is only blue at sunrise and sunset as the sky clears of dust. Conjuction vs Opposition timing plans each have their benefits and drawbacks to the amount of time in space and the amount of time spent on the surface of Mars. There are private endeavors including the Inspiration Mars program. Lee is more interested in whether or not Mars has alien life, as in different from our own, more than if there is life on Mars. He advocates the continued exploration and study of Mars and hopefully an eventual human mission to Mars. Lee believes that NASA plans and achievements will help increase science education and the number of students that graduate with upper level degrees in Science. A similar trend was seen after the Apollo missions in the 1960’s. Read more »

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