Spring Conference – April 22/23 at Foothill College

We’ll be back at Foothill in April!

We are very pleased to have Carl Wieman, 2001 Nobel Prize winner, and the driving force behind the PhET simulations, as our keynote speaker.  The title of his talk is “Taking a scientific approach to teaching physics.”

$20 Annual Dues for new members, $0 for active members, food included.  Register for our Spring Conference!  Note that online registration will close on Wednesday, and the price is $25 at the door.

And while you are at it, get our shirt.  They are $7, pick up at the meeting.

shirtfront shirtback


Car pool and map informaton is at the bottom of the program.

Draft Schedule (Subject to Revision)

Friday Program

3:00 Vendor Workshops
Representatives from PASCO, Vernier and PocketLab will offer one-hour workshops showcasing their latest and greatest. These workshops are free for members. Can’t make it here at three? We are running the workshops in parallel, so even if you miss one you can still make your choice of the other two workshops. These will be held in the 4700 building, so park in Lot 4 and follow signs.  Parking is $3 on Friday.
Click here to register for the Friday afternoon workshops.
 7:00 No-Host Dinner
We will meet for food and socializing at First&Main in downtown Los Altos. If you plan on coming, please RSVP so we can get a headcount.
9:00 A Night at the Foothill Observatory
We will return to campus for stargazing at Foothill’s observatory.

Saturday Program at Foothill College

The main events will take place in room 5015 in the 5000 building, so park in lot 5.  Registered attendees will be sent parking permits as the date approaches, and we’ll have parking permits at registration.
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!  Click here for the Call for Posters submission form (http://ncnaapt.org/archives/2217). 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.
Headshot of Carl Wieman10:00     Keynote Speaker –Carl Wieman (Stanford)
“Taking a scientific approach to teaching physics.”

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
Report-outs, elections and recognition awards.  Have a candidate for our Excellence in Teaching award?  Nominate them at our nomination form.  Contact David Marasco (marascodavid at foothill.edu) if you are interested in running for an officer’s seat.
12:00     Tacos With Topic Tables
Tired of the box lunches you get at other meetings?  We are bringing in a taco service!  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.
1:00    Late Lunch Workshop
Continue with your lunch, or join Bernard Cleyet for Frustrated Total Internal Reflection in the microwave spectrum.
1:30    Expert Q&A Panel: AP Physics
We’ll have a panel of veterans to help us figure out what is going on with the AP exams.
1:30    College Roundup
Discussions for the college community, run in parallel to our AP panel.
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  Critical thinking labs in intro physics
Natasha Holmes – Stanford University
Lab courses have unique affordances for students to learn about the nature of science experimentation and to develop critical thinking skills. To address these goals, a new framework for labs relies on iterative cycles of making, interpreting, and acting on comparisons between data and models. By focusing the iterations on evaluating and improving measurements and uncertainty, students explore the limits of physical models in the real world and engage in the evaluation and refinement  of these models and methods. I will describe our research studies that have implemented and evaluated the effectiveness of this structure in a variety of courses, including one at Foothill College. We will discuss how relatively simple restructuring of lab activities can elicit dynamic improvements in students’ critical thinking and reasoning about data, methods, and models, as well as their experimentation behaviors. I will also discuss new methods of evaluating student mastery of these skills on a widespread basis.
4:00  DoseNet: Building scientific literacy through a network of radiation detection devices
Ali Hanks – UC Berkeley
After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in March 2011, there was a great deal of misinformation and fear on the western coast of the United States regarding radiation from the damaged power plant in Japan reaching US residents. This fear reflects the general public’s lack of understanding of radioactivity in our environment and how to assess risks associated with radiation exposure. More generally, this response exposed a lack of scientific literacy in our community. The DoseNet project is a multidisciplinary effort to educate the next generation about radiation science, improve scientific literacy, and improve our communication of technical concepts to our communities. We are actively building a network of radiation measurement devices (dosimeters) in schools around the Bay Area and beyond, with the data collated and displayed through our website (radwatch.berkeley.edu/dosenet). Our network provides students with access to real world background radiation data and the tools to analyze this data. Students will also have the opportunity to be involved in hands-on work with these radiation detection devices, as well as future developments such as the addition of new types of sensors (CO2, UV, etc.). This project will therefore engage students at all levels and allow them to “see” and learn what is normal in our world by applying fundamental science and engineering concepts.
4:30   Official Close

This is the link for car pools

And a link to Google Maps

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