All posts by David Marasco

Spring Meeting – Mt. Diablo HS – April 28/29

We’ll be in Concord for our Spring Meeting!

Our keynote speaker is Jessie Dotson, project scientist for NASA’s K2 Mission.  Invited Speaker Jessie DotsonPictured to the right, she’ll tell us about recent Kepler results.  We’ll also have all of the other things that make our meetings so much fun,  Share&Tell, a panel, workshops and we are bringing back the poster session. If you paid dues last Fall, registration is free (we’ll send you an email with a discount code), otherwise dues are $20 through Wednesday night, $25 at the door. Click here to register for the main event: http://ncnaapt.org/event-registration?ee=39

A tentative schedule of events:

Friday Night Social

Meet us at Mt. Diablo HS for a viewing of Hidden Figures, some pizza, soft drinks and cool friends.  A lucky participant will walk home with a movie DVD.  Doors open at 6PM, we’ll start the movie at roughly 6:30.  Food courtesy of Paul Robinson.

 

Saturday Timeline

8:00     Registration, Coffee, & Breakfast Food
A special thanks to Vernier for helping to subsidize coffee&snacks.

 

8:30-8:55 Poster Session (Registration & Breakfast continue)
Posters will be on display prior to Share & Tell.
8:55- 9:00 Official Welcome

 

9:00-10:00 Show & Tell
Bring your favorite demo to share with us.  If you are making photocopies for distribution, 75 is a good number.

 

10-11:15 Invited Speaker: Jessie Dotson

A tour of the universe as seen by NASA’s K2 Mission
NASA launched the Kepler space telescope in 2009 to search for earth-sized planets around sun-like stars. Kepler monitored 170,000 stars in Cygnus continuously over 4 years seeking the telltale dimming of a transiting planet. After losing its second of four reaction wheels in May 2013, the spacecraft was repurposed as the K2 mission, pointing in the ecliptic where the solar pressure stays on the spacecraft axis of symmetry, allowing 80-day long observation of a field-of-view. Observing along the ecliptic allows the tool of high-precision time domain observations to be applied to a variety of areas of research including exoplanets, asteroids, white dwarfs and supernova (to name a few).

11:15-11:25 Break

11:25-11:45 Business Meeting
We will have an election, will hear from our Treasurer and Section Rep. and  we’ll present our teaching award!

 

11:45 Group Photo
Always good to show those administrators who are interested in your professional development.

12-1:30 Lunch with Table Topics and Poster Reprise
Yes, tacos.  Sit with old friends, new friends or at a topic table. Possible topic tables: AP Physics, Physics First, Rookie Teachers, 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.

 

1:30-3:00 NGSS Workshops and College Roundup
We’ll break into two different streams in the 1:30-3:00 segment

NGSS Workshops
1:30 “Physics in the Universe”
Val Monticue will discuss this the new NGSS physics class.
2:15 “Modeling, Energy and the NGSS”
Lee Trampleasure leads us through a Modeling approach that connects energy across the sciences.
College Roundup
1:30 Small group discussions for topics in college instruction.

 

3:00 – Close March for Science Follow-Up

3:00-3:45 Q&A with Tracy Van Houten
We are excited that Tracy Van Houten will be joining us remotely.  She is leaving a position at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to run for California’s 34th Congressional District.  If elected, she will be the first woman engineer in Congress. Read more about her in this article in The Atlantic.

3:45-???  Advocacy Workshops
Learn how to take direction action to address issues that concern you and your community, and then do it.
No, it’s never too early to think about carpooling: https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/rcyaxb

 

 

In Memoriam – Elender Wall

I’m very sad to report the daughter of one of our longtime members and contributors Dave Wall of City College of San Francisco, Elender Wall, passed away last Monday evening from complications of thyroid cancer.  She was 47 years old.  Dave was well-known for his demos that involved magic tricks, and years later his daughter Elender joined our ranks. Despite her musical training in voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she degreed in physics and went on to edit and distribute Dave’s textbook Introductory Physics: A Problem-Solving Approach. 

Years later she pursued her lifelong goal of being an opera singer. She performed in many venues larger and small. In 2004 she teamed up with pianist and composer Bryant Kong and recorded the musical CD entitled “The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld and Other Fresh American Art Songs.” which received national attention on NPR.
 In 2011 she moved to Berlin where she sang in a variety of roles.
She appeared on an episode of “To Tell The Truth” in which Elender was the imposter for her and her long-time friend and physics chanteuse, Lynda Williams. It was hilarious and can be seen on my website (Physics on TV): http://laserpablo.com/videos/videos.htm
Other information about Elender and her repertoire.
Elender was a very talented and stunningly beautiful woman and she will be sorely missed.
A memorial for Elender was held January 28, 2017 at the Diego Rivera Theatre at CCSF. A video of it can be seen by clicking on the following link: http://laserpablo.com/elender/
If you wish to contact David Wall, drop Paul Robinson an email at pablo@laserpablo.com

Fall Meeting is at Cal – October 21/22

We are returning to Berkeley for our Fall meeting!

Friday October 21

For those that are driving in the night before, or folks who just like to hang out with other physics teachers, we’ve got some Friday night events.  We’ll meet at 6 at Pyramids Restaurant: http://www.pyramidsrestaurantandgrill.com/.  They feature Egyptian fare, but of course you can always get a burger.  At 8 we’ll be at the telescopes at the Chabot Science Center:  http://www.chabotspace.org/observatories.htm

Saturday October 22

Our keynote speaker is Bob Jacobsen, Berkeley physics faculty member and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.  If you paid dues last Spring, registration is free (we’ll send you an email with a discount code), otherwise it is $25 at the door.

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

shirtfront shirtback
Here’s our preliminary schedule for the day (subject to change):

8AM – Open for registration – LeConte Hall

 

9 –  Share & Tell – LeConte 1
Bring your favorite demo to share with us.  If you are making photocopies for distribution, 75 is a good number.

 

10-11:15 Keynote Speaker – Bob Jacobsen – LeConte 1

 “Dark Matter and Improved Pedagogy – Searching for Elusive Evidence”

A look at the similarities behind doing a search for a new phenomenon, and trying to find better  pedagogies.

 

11:15 Group Photo
Yes, you will get to take home a photo of you and scores of other physics teachers.  This is good evidence for administrators checking up on professional development activities.

 

11:30-1 Lunch w/Topic Tables
Once again we’ll have tacos.   We’ll embark by table, with tables for things like NGSS, AP, TYCs, Newbies & Old Farts, PER and whatever else people are interested in.

 

1-2:30 Lab tours, advanced lab, workshops.
  • There will be a 45-minute workshop by Berkeley’s DoseNet that will repeat.

DoseNet is a radiation and environmental sensor network including schools throughout the Bay Area and internationally that serves to establish a relationship between UC Berkeley and member high schools, with long-term goals of building students’ understanding of scientific and technologic thinking while engaging and informing the community about radiation in their environment. We see interacting with young students as vital to improving community understanding of radiation and radiation risks as well as providing valuable hands-on experimentation in a relevant and cutting-edge scientific endeavor.

  • We’ll have a 45-minute NGSS workshop that will repeat
  • We’ll have tours of various Cal research labs and teaching labs
2:30-3:30 Panel on Gender Issues in Physics/Physics Ed – LeConte 1
Moderated by Jennie Guzman with  Mary Gaillard, Sylvia Lewin and Valerie Risk.   Jennie Guzman is faculty at CSU East Bay, and was our keynote speaker at our meeting at Sacramento St.  Mary Gaillard is a long-time faculty member in the Cal Physics Department and LBNL, and is the author of “A Singularly Unfeminine Profession: One Woman’s Journey in Physics.” Sylvia Lewin is a Cal grad student and one of the head coordinators of SWPS.  Valerie Risk is a long-time member of our local chapter and teaches at Albany High School.
3:30-4:30 Berkeley Physics Demo Show – LeConte 4
We’ll close with a bang as department shows off its stockroom.

 

We strongly suggest using public transportation and carpooling.   The link for carpooling is https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/4muhxw

 

Call for Presentations

 

SAVE THE DATE – OUR NEXT MEETING IS April 29 at Mt. Diablo 

 

 

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, we’ll start the conference with our poster session, and you should present.

In order to encourage people to contribute posters, we will print 3×2 posters at a subsidized rate, FREE for K-12 teachers, grad students and student teachers, and $25 for college and university professors. These posters should be submitted as PDF files.  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.

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.”

Continue reading Spring Conference – April 22/23 at Foothill College

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

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

Call for Posters/Presentations/Workshops

 

SAVE THE DATE – OUR NEXT MEETING IS APRIL 23!

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. Continue reading Call for Posters/Presentations/Workshops

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

Spring 2015 Conference – April 24/25 – PASCO; registration is now open

PASCO is hosting our spring 2015 conference at their headquarters in Roseville. In addition to our usual amazing speakers, share and tell, and networking, we will also have the opportunity to see “behind the scenes” at PASCO and see some of their latest implements for our classrooms. We are also pleased to have Alex Filippenko, famed Berkeley astronomer/astrophysicist, as our keynote speaker.

Video of Alex Filippenko at TedXBerkeley

As usual, we will have a Friday evening social and brief program. PASCO will give a brief presentation on their history and some of their recent product developments (click the “View details” link below for more details).

Saturday will include a Poster Session (introduced with a great success at our conference last fall at CCSF), share and tell, discussion groups, our keynote speaker, and another option for tours of PASCO for those who couldn’t attend Friday evening (click the “View details” link below for more details). Lunch and breakfasty snacks are included with registration.

The complete schedule is available on our registration page, so click here now 🙂

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

Continue reading Fall 2014 conference at City College of San Francisco