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 Continue reading “Spring Meeting – Mt. Diablo HS – April 28/29”

Astronomy Teaching Summit at SF City College


August 1-3, 2016 – City College of San Francisco-North Beach ChinaTown Campus

The Astronomy Teaching Summit (ATS) brings together dedicated astronomy and planetary sciences educators to share innovative teaching techniques and successful instructional strategies that increase students’ engagement, achievement, and motivation.  Although the ATS is designed primarily for college professors teaching the introductory astronomy survey course (ASTRO 101), science teacher educators and high school teachers that touch on earth & space concepts, and outreach enthusiasts will find the talks and workshops valuable. The summit includes formal presentations, interactive workshops, and roundtable discussions all designed around astronomy teaching innovations. This is a great opportunity to upgrade your innovative teaching toolkit! Astronomy educators and outreach enthusiasts from all levels are invited to participate and submit proposals for presentations. Continue reading “Astronomy Teaching Summit at SF City College”

2015 The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) Open House

You and your students are cordially invited to the 2015 The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) Open House on Stanford campus.

Talks, Movie of the Universe, Planetarium Dome, Sun and Stargazing and much more.

Free hot dogs, snacks and beverages and raffle drawing for a chance to win great prizes.

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 5:00pm – 10:00pm Continue reading “2015 The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) Open House”

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 🙂

Spring Section Conference at Foothill College: April 26-27, 2013

Join us at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA (just 16 miles NW of San Jose, 40 miles south of San Francisco) for the spring conference of the Northern California/Nevada Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. Starting with a social and physics show, and observatory tour Friday evening, followed by a full day of physics education speakers and workshops on Saturday.

Foothill entrance

Continue reading “Spring Section Conference at Foothill College: April 26-27, 2013”

New physics job listings bulletin board on our website

Employmnet banner

For 2012 we’re introducing a new online bulletin board where you can post and search for job openings. The web address is http://ncnaapt.org/jobs.

  • To search, just click the links in the menu on the right side.
  • To post, click the “Register” link at the bottom of the right side menu, and follow the simple instructions to register. You can then post your job opening announcement.

We are limiting postings to positions at schools, colleges, and universities, so please don’t post jobs with tutoring agencies, etc. (if you’d like us to do this, please contact us with what you’d like to post and we’ll reconsider this policy). The NCN AAPT website gets about 500 hits per month, so we hope to be a resource for connecting job seekers with jobs.

Spring Section Conference

Our spring 2011 Spring Conference has two components:


Friday Evening Social

April 22: San Mateo High School

  • Hot Dog Reception
  • Tour of new biotech wing
  • “My Favorite Movie Clips” presented by Adam Weiner and Paul Robinson

More details below

Saturday Mini-Conference

April 23: Exploratorium, San Francisco

  • Show and Tell
  • Invited speaker, Adam Weiner: “Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies”
  • Brief business meeting
  • “A Physics Teachers’ Guided Tour of the Exploratorium” by Paul Doherty
  • Contributed presentations

More details below.

Continue reading “Spring Section Conference”

Fall Section Event/Meeting: November 5th & 6th, 2010, Concord, CA

You are invited to our Fall 2010 Mini-conference / Meeting, Friday and Saturday, November 5th & 6th.

Friday afternoon/evening


Join us for a tour and presentation on some of the cutting edge energy research being conducted at the DOE Joint Genome Institute.

5:00-6:30 PM

2800 Mitchell Drive
Walnut Creek, CA 94598


Food and drink (no host) and socializing at one of the Bay Area’s quality brewpubs.

7:00-9:00 PM

Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant

Pyramid Alehouse1410 Locust Street
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Saturday, November 6th

Mini-conference and Meeting


CHS CougarsCarondelet High School

1133 Winton Drive (@ Treat)
Concord, CA 94518

7:45 Registration, Coffee, Donuts and other culinary delights

Sign up for lunch if you would like one.

8:55 Welcome and Announcements

9:00 Show & Tell — Part 1

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 limite is 5 minutes per person or you risk the dreaded Gong!

10:00 “Blinky Lights — Quantized Motion”

Invited Speakers: Paul Doherty & Don Rathjen

Join the crew from the Exploratorium investigating the motion of objects using time exposure digital images of Inova microlights which blink at 100 Hz. We’ll do quantitative analysis of constant velocity, accelerating and rotational motion. We’ll produce some artistic images as well. Bring your own digital camera and learn ahead how to take long exposures.

11:15 Break

11:30 Business Meeting

12:00 Show & Tell — Part 2

12:30 Lunch

For those staying for the afternoon workshops, or just to socialize.

1:00-3:00 Workshops

Workshop A: Introduction to Modeling

Lee Trampleasure, Carondelet High School

Modeling logoHave you been interested in the Modeling Method of High School Physics Instruction? Come to a two-hour mini-workshop to get your hands on some of the activities, and have some of your questions answered. “Modeling,” developed in 1990, cultivates physics teachers as experts on effective use of guided inquiry in physic teaching. Program goals are fully aligned with National Science Education Standards. The Modeling Method corrects many weaknesses of the traditional lecture-demonstration method, including fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity, and persistence of naive beliefs about the physical world. The Modeling Method organizes the course around a small number of scientific models, thus making a more course coherent.

Workshop B: Exploring Optics at the Convenient Three Centimeter Wavelength

Bernard Cleyet, Retired

While many of the properties of E-M radiation are readily demonstrated with visible light (the geometric) some are not (many physical), because of its microscopic wavelength. The invention of the klystron and more recently the Gun diode makes it possible to more easily demonstrate those of microscopic character, because their generated wavelengths are about five orders of magnitude greater. These include measurement of the evanescent wave resulting from frustrated total internal reflection, Miraldi’s spot, zone plates, and the phase speed of E-M radiation confined in a waveguide. We can demonstrate some of these using the X-band radiation generated by a WW II surplus klystron. Several firms sell instructional systems using Gun diodes. However, they don’t include the apparatus or directions for the above and other more esoteric effects. If time permits, we can explore those in addition to the former listed above. They include dichroism (birefringence), retardation plates, and various optical elements using artificial dielectrics including optical activity. The commercial systems include such basic demonstrations as polarization and refraction. If desired, we can do these, also.


$10 for NCNAAPT members; Free for first-time attendees and students.

Lunch tickets will be available for $10

If you know you’re coming, please RSVP to let us get an approximate head count. If you decide to come at the last minute, please come even if you didn’t RSVP.

We will have “proof of attendance” letters documenting attendance for any teacher who needs one for their district/credential professional development purposes.

Dues and Don’ts

Section dues are $25 for the academic year, due each Fall. If you cannot attend the meeting, remain an active member and ensure you’ll receive all our mailings by sending dues to our treasurer, Dennis Buckly, PO Box 735, Brentwood, CA 94513


Three local hotels include:

Embassy Suites; 1345 Treat Blvd.
Walnut Creek, CA


Holiday Inn Express; 2730 N. Main Street
Walnut Creek, CA 94597


Motel 6; 2389 North Main Street
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Exploring Optics at the Convenient Three Centimeter Wavelength