Fall Conference – Nov. 13/14, 2015 @ Sacramento State University

Maps and carpool info are at the bottom of the page.

Draft Schedule (Subject to Revision)

Friday Evening Program

No-Host Dinner
We will meet for food and socializing, at Sacramento State’s University Union.
SPS Event – Josh Moss on Recent Discoveries at Atlas
Sac State’s SPS chapter is hosting a free-to-the-public event on campus and we are invited! Josh Moss will give a talk on what’s been going at the ATLAS experiment at CERN.

Saturday Program at Mendocino Hall 1015

8:00     Registration, Coffee, & Breakfast Food
8:55     Welcome and Announcements
9:00     Poster Session
We are doing another poster session this conference.  If there is something that would interest  physics teachers and you have something to add to the conversation, make a poster and let the world know! BONUS! If you want to submit a poster we are subsidizing printing for 3×2 posters, $5 for K-12 + student teachers or $25 for college/university folks.  We want to see what you have for our wall.
10:00     Keynote Speaker – Jennie Guzman (Cal State East Bay)
We are excited to have Jennie Guzman as our keynote speaker.  Her talk is entitled “Mind the gap: A discussion of gender and other biases on STEM.”


11:15     Group Photo + Break
A photo is a nice reminder of the meeting, and helps convince administrators that you attended.
11:30     Mini-Business Meeting
We usually don’t have a business meeting in the Fall, but we want to ratify our new (lower) dues structure, and have a quick chat about teacher recognition awards.
12:00     Lunch With Topic Tables
Sit with old friends, new friends or at a topic table. Possible topic tables: AP Physics, Physics First, Rookie Teachers, Two Year Colleges, Next Generation Science Standards, Labs and/or anything you want to bring to the table that meets a critical mass. These topic tables allow time for informal but focused conversations about topics important to those in attendance.
1:30    Discussion Panel: How to Improve Lab Grading
Moderated by Tom Woosnam (Crystal Springs Uplands School) with Leanna Felardo (Oroville High School) and David Marasco (Foothill College)
2:30   Share & Tell
Share your favorite demonstration or teaching tip. Since new teachers and section members will be at this meeting, you are  encouraged to dust off some of your oldies but goodies. If you have handouts, please bring 75 copies. Time limit is 5 minutes per person or you risk the dreaded GONG.
3:30   Workshops & Talks
3:30 Mendocino Hall 1015 – The Strange Buoyant Object by Cynthia Cudaback, Orinda Academy
3:30 Mendocino Hall 1005 – Graphing with a TI 83/84 Calculator by Lee Trampleasure, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory
4:00 Mendocino Hall 1015 – Teaching with Science Notebooks by Leanna Felardo, Oroville High School
4:00 Mendocino Hall 1005 – One Interesting Property of a Vibrating Slinky by Phil Gash, Chico State
 After you register, please take our “two click” poll to let us know which workshops you will likely attend. The poll appears in the upper left sidebar on all our web pages.
4:30   Official Close


Willing to carpool? Here’s the link: http://www.groupcarpool.com/t/a0htqj

Sac State Maps

Google Map to Campus
Click on the link for the University Union and Mendocino Hall:
Interactive Campus Map
Parking Permits Available at Registration

Call for Posters/Presentations/Workshops



Are you doing something that should be shared with other physics teachers?  Will it take more time than the five-minute limit in Share-and-Tell?  In that case, please sign up to present either a poster, presentation or workshop.  We’ll start the conference with our poster session, and close with contributed talks.

In order to encourage people to contribute posters, we will print 3×2 posters at a subsidized rate, $5 for K-12 teachers and student teachers, and $25 for college and university professors. These posters should be submitted as PDF files, and this offer has a deadline of November 9.  Once your abstract is registered, you will be emailed additional instructions.

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 worked, an innovative way to approach grading, or anything else that you would like to share with fellow teachers.

But what if you’ve never done a poster?  Here are some templates plus a sample poster:

Here are some more links that might help get you started:

At the end of the day, don’t get too caught up on how pretty or ugly the poster looks, we want to hear your ideas!

For those printing out their own posters, let’s max out at roughly four feet by four feet.

Pluto New Horizon Mission Tweets

You can see the latest developments for the Pluto Hew Horizons mission. Their most recent tweets appear below (they make take a few seconds to appear, and you can scroll down to see older ones).

Let’s Save Physics Teachers Some Money

If you were at our last meeting, you heard that we were going to change our dues structure.  Due to a generous annual donation from the Foothill College Physics Show, we will be able to reduce membership costs to in-the-trenches physics teachers.  We will no longer charge fees for our meetings, but will instead revert to a membership model.  When you attend a meeting, you will be required to pay a year’s worth of dues.  These will be set at $25, although if you register via the web we will discount to $20.  Membership covers two meetings (plus associated meals).

Here’s a quick FAQ:

Continue reading Let’s Save Physics Teachers Some Money

iFly SF Bay educator open house

Dear Educators,

I’m John Boyce, Education Director at iFLY SF Bay. I’m in charge of iFLY’s STEM education program, and I use a 1000 horsepower vertical wind tunnel as a classroom and laboratory. This unique invention provides airflows approaching 48 million standard liters/minute, at true airspeeds up to 200 mph (90 m/s). Continue reading iFly SF Bay educator open house

AAPT High School Physics Teacher Camp this summer

If you’re a high school teacher looking to collaborate with other physics teachers with an open agenda, you may want to attend AAPT this summer. Kelly O’Shea is one of the organizers, and here’s her review of it:

“How great would it be to have a day at AAPT that was designed to be totally collaborative and interactive? Where you could decide on that day what you were excited to share with other high school physics teachers? Where you had time and space to work together on a new idea?
Physics Teacher Camp image
Pretty great, right? Yes, amazingly great. And how about if it only cost $20 to attend? And if that included food for breakfast and lunch?”

Continue reading AAPT High School Physics Teacher Camp this summer

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