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.
Invited Talk: “Changes in the Teaching of Introductory Physics at Stanford” Chaya Nanavati or Stanford University
Chaya discussed the existing structure that has an instructor that leads lectures and has Head TAs, Discussion TAs and Lab TAs that assist the smaller groups. Often we encounter several barriers to change: Administration or Colleagues are often resistant to change and need convincing, materials and time are necessary for change. She suggests using the already developed resources from Maryland University, Harvard, CU Boulder, etc. on group work and student-centered learning. Eric Mazur has lots of resources and evidence that interactive engagement increases the post-test gain on the Force Concept Inventory test. Read more »
Further updates and links to come… If you have any corrections please let the secretary know.
Tom Woosnam , Crystal Springs Uplands School
Tom discussed the Perimeter Institute; more information is available here: Perimeter Institute Catalogue (1)
Don Rathjen, Exploratorium Read more »
If you attended our conference at Foothill College as your first Nothern Cal/Nevada section conference, please complete the following survey:
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.
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.
- DCI Arranged Standards Public Release Jan 2013
- DCI Arranged Standards Public Release High School only Jan 2013
- DCI Arranged Standards Public Release High School physics only Jan 2013