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:

Q: Can you explain the two-meeting model?

A: When you pay your dues at the Fall Meeting, you are a member for the year, so the Spring Meeting is already covered.  If for some reason you can’t make the Fall Meeting, and pay dues at the Spring Meeting, then your membership will “wrap around” to the following Fall Meeting.  In other words, if you pay for a meeting, the next one is covered.

Q: Things just got much cheaper, are you going to be cutting corners at the meetings?

A: No, meetings will be the same.  We’ll have share-and-tell, speakers, panels, opportunities for members to contribute via posters or talks, and of course, lunch with your friends and colleagues in physics education.

Q: Wait, doesn’t the constitution say that dues are voted upon by the general membership at the Spring Meeting?  Can the officers really decide this on their own?

A: That’s a valid point.  By our constitution any change in dues needs to be approved by the membership at the Spring Meting.  If an increase was proposed, then certainly we would wait until the spring, defend our case, and then obey the will of the membership.  However, seeing as this is a reduction, we feel comfortable setting this in place and then asking for a vote in the Fall Meeting.  Other options here would be to charge our normal rates for another year, or to retroactively refund collected money after a vote.  Neither of those are appealing.  Sometimes practicality should trump the letter of the law.

Q: Doesn’t the constitution also state that emeritus members (in other words, retired physics teachers) are exempt from dues?  Are they going to be charged now?

A: Yes, the constitution does waive dues for retired teachers, and we’ve historically made that part of the pricing structure.  However, retired teachers have been required to pay for meeting fees, which are now disappearing.  In order to be fair to all that attend meetings everyone will be asked to pay for dues.  Retired members who choose not to attend meetings but still wish to be members of NCNAAPT may write the treasurer for a waiver.

Q: Is there anything else you need to change in the constitution?

A: Yes, the constitution states that the membership year starts in July, we’ll have to craft wording that supports the wrap-around dues structure.

Q: Is this sustainable?

A: Our numbers support this price-point, but if in the long run this puts us in troubled waters financially, then we would probably ask for a small ($5) bump.  This would need to be formally approved by the membership at a future Spring Meeting.

Early Bird Pricing ends in two weeks

summer meeting logo/photoMessage from National AAPT:

With the Early Bird Registration Deadline just over 2 weeks away (May 28th), we hope you will take a few minutes to discover how attending the 2015 AAPT Summer Meeting can improve your career.

This is your chance to meet other physics, astronomy, and physical science educators, at all levels, and from across the globe. Gain the skills you need to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing society.
Early Bird registration rates end May 28th, so register now to save over $300! Register online or call us at 301-209-3340; we would be happy to assist.

Don’t forget to book your stay at one of the host hotels. Reserve your room by Wednesday, July 1st to take advantage of the special pricing.

Tiffany Hayes
Director, Programs and Conferences

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).

I am pleased to announce the Spring Open House for the iFLY STEM program, which has been available to teachers continuously since 2009. Join us for a fun, educational evening of flying, live demonstrations, curriculum review, refreshments and socializing. Come see the fabulous learning opportunity your students will have from an iFLY field trip. Experience a powerful science lesson that can range from Elementary through College:​

Please shoot me a quick note if you would like to come, and please include the information noted below.

Grades you teach
Subjects you teach:
Phone Number:
Do you want to fly: (yes/no)

iFLY Indoor Skydiving is located at 31310 Alvarado-Niles Road, Union City CA 94587. Open House will be on Thursday May 28th 2015, at 4:00 PM. There is no charge, and we encourage everybody tell other certified colleagues who are unfamiliar with iFLY and would like to sign up and learn more. Come and find
out your terminal velocity (hint: it will be ≥ 100 mph). See you at the tunnel, and be ready to fly!
John Boyce
Education Director
(408) 219 – 9020  mobile
(510) 401 – 5198  fax
jdbpilot  SKYPEVideo:

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?”

The Camp is scheduled for Sunday, July 26, 2015, at the AAPT National Meeting in College Park, MD. (Note: The $20 registration is just for the camp; if you wish to attend the AAPT National Meeting, and who wouldn’t if you’ve traveled across the continent, you will need to register for that for an additional cost.)

For more details, and to register, see Kelly’s blog: https://kellyoshea.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/aapt-high-school-physics-teacher-camp/

Vernier Data Collection workshop in SF Bay Area

There are hands-on Vernier workshops coming to our area, and seats are still available.

Photo of data collectionData-collection Workshop in Santa Clara, CA

  • Monday, April 27, 2015
  • 4:00 – 8:00 PM
  • Santa Clara Marriott
    2700 Mission College Blvd.
    Santa Clara, CA 95054
  • Details and registration »

Data-collection Workshop in San Francisco, CA

Join us to learn how to integrate our data-collection technology into your science curriculum. You will have the opportunity to explore our award-winning sensor interface, the Vernier LabQuest.

For more information and online registration, go to our website or e-mail us at register@vernier.com.

Best regards,
Vernier Software & Technology

PS. Our local Vernier contact is long-time NCN AAPT member Clarence Bakken, who you can reach at cbakken2001@yahoo.com

Active Learning in Introductory Physics Courses: Research-Based Strategies that Improve Student Learning (Portland, OR)

Some spaces still remain in University of Oregon’s June 18-20 short course on active learning in physics, Active Learning in Introductory Physics Courses: Research-Based Strategies that Improve Student Learning.

Chautauqua Short Course

NEW: Including RealTime Physics 3rd Edition, Clicker Interactive Lecture Demonstrations and Video Analysis
June 18-20, 2015  •  Portland, Oregon
Presented by: David Sokoloff  •  Priscilla Laws  •  Ronald Thornton
This hands-on course is designed for college, university and high school* teachers of physics interested in making learning in their introductory courses more active. Participants will be introduced to research-validated strategies for each component of the course: lecture, lab, problem-solving, modeling and video analysis. Course fee is $200. For more information: http://pages.uoregon.edu/sokoloff/CHAUT.htm
*One or two graduate credits are available from the University of Oregon for $90 per credit.
For registration and payment information, please visit: http://academicextension.uoregon.edu/course_desc.php?CourseKey=724907 or call 800-824-2714; or e-mail academicextension@uoregon.edu

David Sokoloff
Professor of Physics, University of Oregon
Way Past President, American Association of Physics Teachers (2011)

Exploratorium celebrates two years at Pier 15, win a lifetime membership

Kid at ExploratoriumHelp the Exploratorium celebrate their 2nd anniversary at Pier 15 on April 17. Share what you love most about our new home for a chance to win a lifetime Dual Explorers membership and a $500 gift card to the Exploratorium Store.

Share your favorite exhibits, views, and memories of Pier 15 for a chance to win a lifetime of exploration, curiosity, and creativity.

Complete details here: http://exploratorium.tumblr.com/post/114682402009/2nd-year-at-the-pier-instagram-contest

2015 The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) Open House

You and your students are cordially invited to the 2015 The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) Open House on Stanford campus.

Talks, Movie of the Universe, Planetarium Dome, Sun and Stargazing and much more.

Free hot dogs, snacks and beverages and raffle drawing for a chance to win great prizes.

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 5:00pm – 10:00pm Continue reading 2015 The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) Open House

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