Category: Online resources (external)

Call for Posters

With the success of our poster session at our Fall 2014 meeting, we will continue to provide a poster session in addition to Share and Tell and other speakers.  We hope that this will encourage more people to present, let people better invest their time in subjects that interest them, and allow for greater interaction between the presenters and their audience.

In order to encourage people to contribute posters, we will print 3×2 posters at a subsidized rate, $5 for K-12 teachers and student teachers, and $25 for college and university professors. These posters should be submitted as PDF files, and this offer has a deadline of April 17.  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.

Next Generation Science Standards, second draft version

The second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards have come and gone (comment period was in January 2013). The January 2013 draft version has been removed from the official website, but you can still find it here.

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Physics in “The Simpsons.” Great video clips

NCNAAPT member Dan Burns has collected a great set of clips from The Simpsons TV series. Each clip includes a brief description of the physics involved in the clip. You can see them here:

LCROSS lunar impact videos and images on the web

Here’s a video:

a mid-infrared (MIR) image showing the flash of the Centaur impact:
and an image of an even larger impact we performed  about 40 years ago: the Apollo 14 booster stage for calibrating Apollo 12’s seismometers:
And NASA’s LCROSS page:

Mythbusters Premiere tonight!

In their Season Premiere the Mythbusters will take on the infamous projectile problem of a dropped vs shot bullet. While teaching projectiles, many teachers use an example of shooting a bullet horizontally and dropping one next to it at the same time. While students agree that this may hold true for slow projectiles, they often don’t believe that that gravity would act on something moving really fast, like a bullet. On their season premiere tonight, 9pm PST, the Mythbusters will be testing this out in “Knock Your Socks Off.”

NASA Releases Restored Apollo 11 Moonwalk Video

NASA moon logoWASHINGTON, July 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA released Thursday newly restored video from the July 20, 1969, live television broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. The release commemorates the 40th anniversary of the first mission to land astronauts on the moon.

The initial video release, part of a larger Apollo 11 moonwalk restoration project, features 15 key moments from the historic lunar excursion of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

A team of Apollo-era engineers who helped produce the 1969 live broadcast of the moonwalk acquired the best of the broadcast-format video from a variety of sources for the restoration effort. These included a copy of a tape recorded at NASA’s Sydney, Australia, video switching center, where down-linked television from Parkes and Honeysuckle Creek was received for transmission to the U.S.; original broadcast tapes from the CBS News Archive recorded via direct microwave and landline feeds from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston; and kinescopes found in film vaults at Johnson that had not been viewed for 36 years.

NASA Television will provide an HD video feed of the Apollo footage hourly from 12 – 7 p.m. on July 16 and 17. Each feed is one hour. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information, visit:

A copy of the newly restored scenes from the Apollo 11 restoration effort can be found at:

NASA’s Apollo 40th anniversary Web sites provide easy access to various agency resources and multimedia about the program and the history of human spaceflight, including a gallery of Apollo multimedia features. Visit the site at:

Other Apollo 11 resources

  • JFK Library Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the First Moon Landing
  • “The site will plug you into the current state of the mission and has many tangents to keep you occupied during quiet times (especially the “loss of signal” intervals). Keep the site running in the background while you work away at the tasks of the day.” [Thanks, Dean Baird, for the quote]

Using Google Maps to show wave refraction in water

Physics educators have used photos of natural and man-made breakwaters to show refraction for probably as long as we’ve had photography. But now online mapping web sites (Google, Yahoo. etc.) allow you to find locations near you to make the images more tangible to your students. Oceans and bays are full of images of refraction, but you may also find diffraction patterns in a large lake.

Below is an example from a breakwater in Berkeley, CA, in the San Francisco Bay

View Larger Map
Check water bodies around your institution to find examples you can use with your students. Most mapping sites allow you to save landmarks in a “My maps” section, so once you find a good location, you can save it, then pull it up from a list when you need to show it in class.

One warning: Map sites update their satellite photographs every so often (as the USGS releases newer ones), so check your location before your lecture to make sure your pattern is still there!

Participate in a global light pollution campaign & make a world of difference!

Once again, the GLOBE community is invited to participate in the annual global sky observation known as GLOBE at Night. GLOBE at Night brings people outside to observe the constellation Orion from 16-28 March 2009. Participants simply choose a clear night on which stars are visible, take measurements of stars in this portion of the sky using GLOBE’s Magnitude Charts, and enter observations into the GLOBE at Night Web site. Students — alongside teachers, parents and community members– amass a data set from which they can begin to explore the concept of light pollution and to research the patterns of light pollution across the globe.

You can enter your observations on the GLOBE at Night Report web page from 16 March – 7 April.

Complete details at:

New YouTube NCNAAPT channel

CJ Chretien has started a channel on YouTube for NCNAAPT members to share their favorite videos. Please visit to see videos and add your favorites.

From CJ:

Call for Videos

I am in the process of getting a YouTube channel going to promote NCNAAPT. Since there has been a few messages going around about video I thought I would put this out.

If you have any videos of demos that you have done and you want to have them put on the NCNAAPT YouTube channel send them my way. These do not have to be videos of anything out of this world; although those are great too. The idea is to create a resource for teachers to find demos that they can easily incorporate into their curriculum.

If you have a video that you want to share you can send me a link to the WWW or you can e-mail me a file. If you have a large file you might want to use or equivalent, which makes sending large files really easy and is free.

When I get the video I will put the NCNAAPT name and web address on the beginning and end and get it up on our channel.

If you want to keep up with the channel the link is, although there is nothing there as of now. Act fast and you could be the first video up there.

Email CJ at: groovitude AT gmail DOT com

Check out ComPADRE

ComPADRE is part of the National Digital Library concentrating on physics and physics teaching. Check it out. Make a bookmark. Tell your friends!

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