Fall 2014 conference at City College of San Francisco

ISEE-3 Reboot Project logoOur fall 2014 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

DRAFT SCHEDULE (Subject to Revision)

Friday Afternoon/Evening Program

3:00 Tour of the Excelsior​ Science Workshop.

The Excelsior Science Workshop is an extension of the Mission Science Workshop, and is dedicated bring hands-on Science to low-income and historically under-served youth.​ We will meet at the Excelsior Science Workshop at 3PM. The ​Workshop is at 35 San Juan Ave., and is about a 15 minute walk from City College of San Francisco.​


4:30 “Diego Rivera: The Reconciliation of Art and Science.” – A Walking Tour of CCSF Art with Will Maynez

Will Maynez is CCSF Physics’ former storeroom manager, and he is also an expert on Diego Rivera. CCSF has a Diego Rivera Mural in the theater, which has an interesting history, as well as some great mosaics with science themes.  We will meet in room S-158, on the first floor of the Science building.


6:00 No-Host Dinner at Cafe De Meliano

We will meet for food and socializing at Cafe De Meliano, 1314 Ocean Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112.  This is a short walk from campus.

 See maps at the bottom of this post for location of Friday and Saturday events.  Campus parking will not be enforced Friday afternoon and Saturday during the conference.

Saturday Program

8:00     Registration, Coffee, & Breakfast Food

8:45     Welcome and Announcements (Room S-136)

9:00     Show & 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!

10:00 Break


10:15 Invited Talk: “The Saga of the International Sun Earth Explorer -3 Recovery Project…”

Dennis Wingo, SkyCorp

The ISEE-3 Reboot project began as a group that wanted to save a 36 year old spacecraft, returning to the Earth for the first time since 1983.  It has turned into a global adventure with many players, all of whom share a common interest in space, science, and education.  This talk will explain the ISEE-3 Reboot project from its beginning in April of 2014 through the end of this year and its interplanetary citizen science mission.

11:15 Break


11:30 Panel Discussion: “How to Implement Projects in Your Physics Classroom”

Tom Woosnam (Crystal Springs Uplands School), Bree Barnett Dreyfuss (Amador Valley High School), Christopher Wall (Notre Dame Belmont), James Dann (Menlo School), moderated by Val Monticue (Pinewood School)

Projects can be a fun way to delve deeper into fun topics.  They can also be used to develop team skills.  Our panel of long-time physics teachers will go through the how-to’s and pitfalls of this approach to help you plan, implement and assess student projects.


12:30  Group Photo & Lunch (Rooms S-158, S-159, S-178, S-179)

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, Labs and/or anything you want to bring to the table that meets a critical mass. These topic tables will be held in CCSF’s lab rooms, and allow time for informal but focused conversations about topics important to those in attendance.


1:30 Poster Session

We are trying something new this conference, instead of oral presentations from the membership, we are asking for poster presentations.  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! Click here for the Call for Posters submission form.


2:30 Workshop Session I

Choose one of the three workshops:

Belonging in Physics (Lauren J. Aguilar, Stanford University) (Room S-136)

This talk will take a social psychological approach to examining the current lack of diversity in the field of physics. Research suggests that stereotypes and underrepresentation can lead women and underrepresented minorities to doubt whether they belong socially or whether they “fit in” within the physics community, and about whether they be valued and respected by peers and teachers in physics, all of which can impede their success. The talk will present research from both the laboratory and the field to address the question of belonging in physics. And furthermore, the talk will impart empirically tested real-world strategies to improve diversity in physics.


Reading in STEM Courses (Denise Hum and Michael Hoffman, Canada College) (Room S-108)

Many students struggle with making sense of texts in academic settings. Poor reading comprehension results in difficulty with applying critical thinking skills when solving problems in math and physics. This talk, which focuses on the theme “Making the Invisible Visible,” will introduce classroom techniques that can help students formulate better questions, read STEM-focused text critically, and learn how to be better problem solvers.


Amusement Park Physics (Clarence Bakken, ret.) (Room S-113)

Look at some tried and true suggestions for taking your physics class to Great America. Follow up with an approach to examining data from rides in order to get the maximum understanding. Resources will be available during the workshop.  Clarence has been involved with taking classes to Great America since the 1990’s. In addition to maintaining the physicsday.org website and serving on the Teacher Steering Committee at Great America, he authored the second edition book Amusement Park Physics for AAPT


3:30  Workshop Session II

These workshops repeat in the second hour:

  • Reading in STEM Courses (Room S-108)
  • Amusement Park Physics (Room S-136)


4:30 Raffle & Close of Program

We’ll close with our must-be-present to win raffle, and announce details of our Spring Conference.

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