Save the Date: April 6, 2019

Our spring meeting will be at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. We look forward to seeing many of you there.

Photos of students engaging in physics activities.

As usual, Friday evening will have some sort of social and scientific gathering, and Saturday will be our main meeting with panel discussion(s), invited speakers, mini-workshop(s), a poster session, lunch, and the ever favorite Share and Tell.

KITP Physics Teachers’ Conference: Automating Insight; Feb 16, 2019

The machine learning algorithms that make self-driving cars, virtual personal assistants, and computer vision work are also changing how physicists investigate matter at the quantum level. In 2019, the annual Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) Teachers’ Conference will give teachers an accessible introduction to the topic—no quantum mechanics or machine learning background needed! Then, in interactive lectures, they will hear world-class physicists explain how they are using machine learning tools in their research.

Automating Insight: Pushing the Frontier of Quantum Physics with Machine Learning will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at KITP, University of California, Santa Barbara. Join Dr. Miles Stoudenmire (Flatiron Institute) and physics educators from around the country for a look at how machine learning algorithms are advancing our understanding of physics. A description and logistical information is at  https://www.kitp.ucsb.edu/activities/machinet-c19.

Continue reading “KITP Physics Teachers’ Conference: Automating Insight; Feb 16, 2019”

PTSOS 2018-19 is here!

PTSOS logoPhysics Teacher SOS (PTSOS) is once again offering its excellent workshops in the SF Bay Area. This year’s start on Saturday, September 15th, at Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos. Get complete details and sign up here.

PTSOS is a workshop and support program for new high and middle school physics teachers in Northern California. We offer 3 all-day Saturday workshops during the school year. In addition to learning about the details of the craft of physics teaching from experienced teachers, participants receive continental breakfast, lunch, and physics equipment for them to use in their classroom. The PTSOS program is recognized as one of the most effective programs for training and retaining new physics teachers.

Fall Meeting at Bellarmine (San Jose) Nov 9/10!

Our next meeting will be at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose on November 9 and 10. We are pulling out all of the stops for this one! We’ve got two great invited speakers. In the morning we’ll have Carl Wieman, 2001 Nobel Prize winner, and the driving force behind the PhET simulations project.

In the afternoon we’ll feature Tracy Van Houten. She took a leave from NASA’sTracy Van Houten Jet Propulsion Laboratory to run for California’s 34th Congressional District, in an attempt to become the first woman engineer in Congress. She was showcased in this article from The Atlantic.  She spoke to us via Skype at a previous meeting, and we liked her so much we’re bringing her north.

To register, go to http://ncnaapt.org/event-registration?ee=43.  If your dues are current, you should have received an email giving you a free registration coupon code.  If not, then yearly dues are $20, which includes two meetings and a whole lot of food.  If you are interested, but have responsibilities around taking care of loved ones on Saturdays, we have mini-grants that help cover dependent care.  Read here for details: http://ncnaapt.org/archives/2948.  We will also have a lactation room available. Continue reading “Fall Meeting at Bellarmine (San Jose) Nov 9/10!”

Physics for James Lick High School

UPDATE:  We have been informed that James Lick High School will be offering Physics during the 2018-19 academic year!

We, the members of the Northern California and Nevada Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (NCNAAPT), are concerned about the inequity of physics education at James Lick High School for the 2018-2019 school year. Recently Principal David Porter decided to cut all physics classes for 2018-2019 at James Lick High School. Physics education opportunities in the East Side Union High School District will be unequal if the physics programs at James Lick High School are cut. While not every James Lick High School student is interested in physics, each student deserves the same opportunity to learn physics as peers at other East Side Union High School District high schools. To deny only the students at James Lick High School the opportunity to take physics is unilaterally limiting their future opportunities. As a professional society of physics teachers, we were appalled to hear that restricting students’ opportunities was even considered. Continue reading “Physics for James Lick High School”