Come to the Fall Meeting!

November 7–8, 2008 at Foothill College.

Click here to download a pdf of the program.


—from Stephanie Finander:

I am pleased to announce that the registration for the two PTSOS Fall New Teacher Workshops is now open.

Both workshops are:

  • all day Saturday
  • full of physics fun
  • focused on the topics of Mechanics
  • free to participants (including lunch) thanks to a VERY generous grant from the Karl Brown Foundation.

The dates and locations are:

  • Saturday, September 13 at San Mateo High School (San Mateo, CA) hosted by Paul Robinson with Dan Burns
  • Saturday, October 18 at Rio Americano High School (Sacramento, CA) hosted by Dean Baird with Steve Keith

If you would like to register, all you have to do is email me (Stephanie Finander): All I need is your name, school name, school city, mailing address, and telephone number and which workshop you'd like to attend. Registration is on a first-email, first-served basis for first-time attendees. Participants who want to attend a workshop for the second time will be registered as space permits. Register as soon as you can because our workshops typically fill up fast.

If you know someone else who'd like to go, have them email me.

LHC Article

Here is a news article about the LHC. Cool pictures and background for your class.

Brentwood Debrief

Our Spring 2008 Meeting took place April 18–19 at Heritage High School in Brentwood. Check out the program! The SNAAPT petition (you can download it here) was voted upon by the 50 or so attendees and passed unanimously. We wish them luck!

Dean Baird, documentor and presenter extraordinaire, has assembled some cool stuff here. In includes links to:

  • Skepticism in the Classroom (a page of mini-lessons in critical thinking)
  • The Amazing Meeting (hosted by the James Randi Educational Foundation)

And photos, of course! [camera]

So You Have $1000 to Spend


Dean also links to a movie he took of a water balloon popping. It's from the relatively new Casio Exilim EX-F1. It's a still camera that will let you capture motion at really high speeds.

Click the image at right to see a smaller (1 MB, QuickTime) version of Dean's movie.

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!

Modeling Instruction and Workshops

Over the years, the Modeling Instruction program at Arizona State has created materials and a pedagogical approach that focuses on (and seems to get) deep student understaning of basic physics concepts. And they're branching out into other disciplines.

It takes a commitment of time, energy, and possibly a willingness to be in Phoenix for a few weeks in the summer, but it's worth learning more. Visit for more background.

Their national workshop list is at

Interactive Engagement in Eugene

If you teach undergraduates, consider the NSF-sponsored Chautauqua course from David Sokoloff and his colleagues. It's called "Using Research-Based Curricula and Tools to Promote Active Learning in Introductory Courses." Whew. Learn more at

More Great Summer Programs for Teachers

You can learn cool summer stuff and earn money while you're doing it.

  • In the IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Mathematics Education) Summer Fellowship Program, you work in a technically-oriented workplace or research lab, contribute to what goes on there, and translate your experience into improved instruction. Summer 2007, you could earn up to $8200!
    Check out
    You can read sample postings from previous summers at
    Applicants must currently teach K–16 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara or Santa Cruz County.

  • The Edward Teller Education Center (ETEC) of the UC Davis School of Education in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), is offering two new programs this summer for the Teacher Research Academy and an option for an advanced degree. You can learn more at These may be related to other LLNL offerings, below.

  • Once again, Lawrence Livermore is hosting a series of summer opportunities for teachers. You can work in biotechnology, fusion/astrophysics, or energy technologies and environment. Summer programs starting in 2007 can lead to internships as part of a research team. The idea is that your new knowledge and skills will enhance your instruction. There is money for stipends, lodging, and travel.
    Check it out at


PTSOS helps new teachers become their very best! They have a website which is under constant revision:

You can find some photos of the September 2005 workshop here:

More about PTSOS here. Information: Stephanie Finander


Membership in NCAAPT is $25 per academic year. Dues can be paid at the section meetings, or can be paid by mail. Contact the treasurer, Dennis Buckley.

Meetings of the section are held twice a year: normally in November and April. Meeting registration fee is $20. The first meeting for a new member is free. See the schedule of upcoming events above for future meeting dates and places.

If you want to contact the national AAPT office to inquire about membership information, click here.

banner photos by Dean Baird and from NASA archives

This is the home page! Click here to read not-quite-new news.

Upcoming Events

2008 Fall NCNAAPT

November 7–8 2008,
Foothill College

2009 Winter AAPT

February 2009

2009 Spring NCNAAPT

TBA • It could be you! Contact Paul Robinson if you're interested in hosting.



Archives of Past Meetings

List of Officers

Section Constitution

Duties of the Officers

List of Member E-Mail Addresses

Professional Links

Updates from national AAPT

AAPT's Online Jobs Page

Communicate with NCNAAPT Officers


The Northern California/Nevada Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (NCNAAPT) runs from the Oregon border on the north to San Luis Obispo and Fresno on the south, and includes the state of Nevada.

The membership of NCNAAPT consists of high school, community college, college and university physics instructors. Many important contributions to the physics teaching community have come from NCNAAPT members.

Last updated 9/14/08