Detailed program for November 2013 Conference at Carondelet High School

We look forward to seeing you at our Fall 2013 Section conference. Below is the complete program.

Friday evening program

5:00-7:00 PM: Tour and presentation of the DoE Joint Genome Institute

2800 Mitchell Drive; Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Join us for a tour and presentation on the work of the Joint Genome Institute.

The mission of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is to advance genomics in support of the DOE missions related to clean energy generation and environmental characterization and cleanup. Supported by the DOE Office of Science, the DOE JGI unites the expertise of five national laboratories—Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest—along with the Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology. Located in Walnut Creek, California, the DOE JGI is operated by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy and the facility provides integrated high-throughput sequencing and computational analysis that enable systems-based scientific approaches to these challenges.

Friday evening social

Rocco's logo7:30-9:00 PM: N0-host dinner at Rocco’s Ristorante Pizzeria.

2909 Ygnacio Valley Road; Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Join your colleagues for dinner and socializing only a couple blocks away from the JGI.

Saturday program

CHS welcome sign8:00-4:30 Carondelet High School

1133 Winton Dr.; Concord, CA 94518

8:00 Registration, Coffee, & Breakfast Food

8:45 Welcome and announcements

8:55 Show and 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 by referee David Kagan!

9:55 Break

9:00 Invited Talk: “S4: Small Satellites for Secondary Students”

Lynn Cominsky; Sonoma State University,

Professor Lynn Cominsky, Director of Sonoma State University’s NASA Education and Public Outreach group will discuss an ex-citing project that teaches STEM principles to middle and high school students by incorporating Arduino-based electronics and programming with the thrill of launching high-powered rockets or flying tethered weather balloons. Learn how to build the S4 payload with your students, how to launch the payloads, the types of experiments you can do, and how you can receive the data in real time using standard WiFi communications.

10:55 Break

11:00 Panel Discussion: “The Elephant in the Room —Cheating in the Modern Classroom”

Dean Baird (Rio Americano HS, ), Pablo Robinson (San Mateo HS, retired,, Dan Burns (Los Gatos HS, plus special guests including a high school student.

cell phones at boardTeachers have been dealing with cheating since the dawn of time. What are the hows and whys in today’s classrooms?

11:55 Group photo

12:00 Lunch with topic tables

Lunch is included with your registration. 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, and/or Labs. These topic tables allow time for informal but focused conversations about topics important to those in attendance.

1:15 “NITARP Participation”

Lauren Novatne; Reedley College, lauren.novatne@reedleycollege

NITARP is NASA IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program. My presentation will outline the program as well as report out my experience with it. As a community college instructor, I am one of a few who were able to participate as such, as the program is targeted mostly for middle and high school teachers and their students. This is a fantastic opportunity for teachers and their students to participate in real, rigorous astronomy research with NASA scientists, and can lead to journal publications.

2:00 “Teaching Students to Do Work in Teams”

Karen Lowande; Mt. Diablo High School,

Have you struggled with students being off task during lab time? Maybe they don’t know how to do what you expect of them. I’ve used portions of this process of teaching working in teams from low performing classes to AP Physics and everything in between. For students that require the most scaffolding I focus on all parts of the process. For higher performing students only one or two of the steps are required. First we learn about what is a team. Next, by having them select their own team’s student buy-in is increased. They develop their norms, consequences and acknowledgement of each member’s attributes. Finally, at the end of every lab or group work students reflect and grade each other on their contribution to their team. Use some or all of this method and increase student engagement during group work.

2:20 “Using Your Test Scanner Software to Reveal Patterns in Student Knowledge ”

Lee Trampleasure; Carondelet High School,

Many of us use multiple-choice tests to save time. But are you getting the most information possible from your test results? I will show how you can use test scanner software to evaluate your students’ performance in standards/content areas within a test. Want to know how the average student did on a specific question or class of questions? There’s a report for that! Want to provide your students with individualized reports highlighting the content areas they are succeeding with and those they are struggling with? There’s a report for that.

I will be demonstrating with the Apperson ScanMaster scanner and DataLink software, but if your school has another brand (ScanTron, perhaps?), the keystrokes may be different, but the reports and value from them are the same.

2:40 Break

2:50 Break out workshops

Workshop A: “Details of the Cavendish Balance”

Chuck Hunt; American River College—Retired,

Cavendish balanceUsing Video Analysis turns the Cavendish balance into a laboratory that is easily done in a three hour lab. Examination of the system in detail allows us to change this from a lab with an accuracy of 10% to a lab with an accuracy of 1%. Also a nice example of how one does error analysis and how one examines an experiment for systematic errors. For those without a Cavendish balance but with PASCO Capstone, the video is available on flash drive.

Workshop B: “Converting a Computer Power Supply into a Lab Supply”

Zeke Kossover; The Jewish Community High School of the Bay,

Computer power supplies are cheap–often free–and are bullet-proof. Many can handle 20 A or more and nearly all have excellent short circuit protection. I’ll bring some computer power sup-plies and we’ll convert them for lab use. Then we’ll do a few experiments so that you’ll see how great they are for the class-room.

3:20 Break to regroup

3:30 “Hollywood Movie Physics and Quantitative Analysis”

Dan Burns; Los Gatos High School,

Several clips from popular and classic Hollywood movies will be used to do quantitative analysis to answer questions about the events shown. This will include pouring lead on an alien, trying to reenter the Discovery One over Hal’s objections, and lighting up the Griswald family house for the holidays. Attendees will gain access to the clips and the slides containing the analysis for use with their students.

4:00 “Next Generation Science Standards – Pendulum on a Moving Platform”

Michael Boykin; Golden Valley High School,

The NGSS have been adopted by the California State Board of Education. How are they different from current standards? The NGSS contain an expectation of how content is presented in the classroom. There are changes in the way students will be tested in the future. We will discuss the changes and give all an opportunity to respond.

4:30 Close

Dues and Registration information

  • $20 for NCNAAPT members (includes lunch). If your membership is lapsed, you can pay for your annual membership at the same time (membership is currently $25/year).
  • Free for first-time attendees and students (lunch tickets will be available for $10.)

Please pre-register at (registration is not required, but it helps us with planning out if you do).

We will distribute a group photo documenting attendance for any teacher who needs one for their district/professional development purposes.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.