AAPT-NES Fall 2020 Meeting

  • 2020-10-31
  • 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Online via Zoom
  • 262


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • Saturday keynote, invited & contributed talks, discussion.
  • Special Registration for new teachers of physics who are in their first five years of teaching and have yet to participate in AAPT-NES. Please email for approval for this registration to sturmde@maine.edu.
  • Registration for H.S., Undergraduate, and Graduate Students only.

Registration is closed

The Fall 2020 Meeting of the New England Section of AAPT will be virtual.  

Location:  Virtual, via Zoom link sent to registered participants.

The Meeting Theme is:  Improving Physics Instructional Experiences

Open question fitting the theme:  What are some strategies to improve physics instructional experiences?  How can modifications and extensions facilitate students' understanding and application of STEM practices?  How are we using technology such as wireless sensors or methods such as group work?

Our Keynote speaker is Dr. Natasha Holmes, Department of Physics, Cornell University.  "When Developing Conceptual Understanding Interferes with Teaching Authentic Physics"   https://physics.cornell.edu/natasha-holmes

Saturday invited speakers are Lucas Walker and Michael Briggs.

If you plan to contribute a paper that will make the program, please send your abstract by October 26.  The Link to submit abstracts https://forms.gle/9jyMzMZtrvfoEk2RA

All are welcome.  Topics could include:

1) Applying and Exploring Physics Lab though Engineering Design / Maker Spaces

2) The hybrid disciplines: Intersection of Physics with Other Lab-based Scientific Domains (e.g. Geophysics, Biomechanics, etc)

3) Physics Education Research in the Laboratory

Schedule:  As of 10/29/2020, talk start times will be consecutive as much as possible.

Saturday, October 31, 2020; AAPT Saturday Session
9:30 am Zoom Room opens for Conversation, Testing, Open Chat, Etc.

10:00 am MEETING CALLED TO ORDER, Opening Remarks

10:05 - 10:50 am Keynote Speaker - Natasha Holmes (Cornell University): "When Developing Conceptual Understanding Interferes with Teaching Authentic Physics"

10:50 - 11:30 am Invited Talk: Lucas Walker (Weston High School): "Expanding Learning in the Physics Lab via Integration of Computation"

11:30 am - 12:10 pm Invited Talk: Michael Briggs (University of New Hampshire): "Comparison of Academically Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Groups"

12:10 -12:40 pm  Lunch break and AAPT-NES Fall Business Meeting

Contributed Talks:

12:40 - 1:00 pm Andria Schwortz and Anita Soracco (Quinsigamond Community College): "Development of Lab Manuals for College/University Physics - On-Ground and Online"

1:00 - 1:20 pm Calin Galeriu (Mark Twain International School): "An Arduino Investigation of the Temperature Dependence of the Speed of Sound in Air"

1:20 - 1:40 pm William H. Waller (Endicott College and The Galactic Inquirer): "Experiential Learning Opportunities in Astronomy and Astrophysics"

1:40 - 2:00 pm William Fenton (The Hotchkiss School): "STEM Guitar as a Physics Class"

2:00 pm Workshop Block: Details and information current as of 10/29/2020

Workshop A  2 - 3 pm - Interactive Lecture Demonstrations in a Virtual Environment by Steve Henning, AAPT Physics Teaching Resource Agents (PTRA) —  This workshop will focus on using ILDs that were developed by David Sokoloff and Ron Thornton.  David Sokoloff has provided the ILD text in pdf format and updated some of the ILDs for use virtually.  There will also be additional examples using PASCO and Vernier smart carts and software.  This workshop will have a separate online link run via the presenter, via information sent to workshop registrants...

Workshop B  2 - 4 pm - Computation and Modeling by Jay Wang, UMass Dartmouth and Tim Atherton, Tufts University — This workshop will focus on computation and modeling activities integrated into introductory and advanced physics courses appropriate for high school to college levels. The participants will be guided to work on concrete examples and will be encouraged to develop their own plans or activities. We will introduce common tools such as Jupyter notebook, excel, glowscript, and tracker, as well as useful resources such as PICUP and Physlets, some are particularly suitable for online delivery.  See http://www.faculty.umassd.edu/j.wang/ for more information.  This workshop will have a separate online link run via the presenter, via information sent to workshop registrants... Time: 2 hours, with an optional 3rd hour and follow-up meeting.

Workshop C  2 pm - STEP UP: Teaching Students about Career Potentials in Physics by Emily James, Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro NH and Vivian O’Brian, STEP UP Ambassador for APS/AAPT — Did you know that physics is the only undergraduate science field with women represented at less than 50%? In fact, women make up only 20% of recipients of bachelor's degrees in physics.  The good news is that high school teachers can strongly influence women to pursue a degree in physics.  The STEP UP project has developed research-based lessons to engage women in this discipline and has created a nationwide community of teachers committed to increasing the representation of women in physics.  We will be presenting one of the lesson plans entitled “Careers in Physics” which may be successfully taught remotely, in person, or in a hybrid classroom situation. These lessons will help your students assess their personal values in relation to a career in physics, examine profiles of professionals with a physics degree, and envision themselves in a physics career. In addition, some of the student misconceptions surrounding the relevance of physics to other fields of study as well as its pivotal role in solving many societal problems such as climate change and curing cancer will be addressed.  This workshop will run on the primary Zoom ... Time: 1.5 hours

***  Note, APS members are always welcome to register for AAPT sessions and workshops with the understanding that there is no APS documentation of presentations as at AAPT or AAPT-led joint meetings.

** AAPT welcomes all other contributed papers/posters at 
All are welcome.  Topics might include:

  1. Applying and Exploring Physics Lab though Engineering Design/Maker Spaces
  2. The hybrid disciplines: Intersection of Physics with Other Lab-based Scientific Domains (e.g. Geophysics, Biomechanics, etc.)
  3. Physics Education Research in the Laboratory
        Any other contributed talks and posters are of course welcome!
    *  Open posters: "Post-deadline" posters are always welcome, space as available.

ZOOM HOST Contact:
David Sturm, University of Maine
sturmde.AT.maine.edu 207-478-4937 (texts only)

Conference Hotels:  (No travel, virtual meeting)

The New England Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT-NES) is an affiliate section of AAPT representing physics teachers in the six New England states and other interested teachers.  AAPT-NES can currently be reached by mail in care of David Sturm, Section Representative to AAPT, 274 French St, Bangor, ME 04401.  AAPT-NES.org is the primary website for AAPT-NES.  Consult it for further information.

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