Val Monticue, our very own Secretary, continues to contribute to our deeper understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Her website is full of resources, and her goal is “to introduce teachers to the pros while mitigating the cons as much as possible.” We encourage you to visit her site:
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.
Our 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.
The next PTSOS meeting will be on August 23 at Los Gatos High School from 9 to 4.
Our format is informal, flexible, and friendly. We like to think that everyone leaves the workshop with something they can use right away in their classrooms. Most of the teachers who attend teach regular high-school physics, but we also see many AP Physics teachers, college physics teachers, junior-high physical-science teachers, and even math, chemistry, and biology teachers.
Last year, after more than a decade of bringing students (and their accelerometers) to Great America, Phillip Becker of Saint Helena High School was shocked to be informed by park staff that students would not be allowed to bring their accelerometers on the rides. Disappointment ruled the day, but his students made the best of it. Upon returning to school, Mr. Becker typed out a to-the-point letter to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (the parent company for Great America), expressing his outrage at this change in policy. Shortly thereafter, Cedar Fair Entertainment replied, with a letter notifying him that there had been no change in policy, and apologizing for the mistake by the local park staff/management.
If you are planning on attending a Physics/Math day at Great America, you may want to print out a copy of the letter from Cedar Fair and carry it with you to the park, just in case this year’s staff/management makes a similar mistake.