August Update

Alabama Section of AAPT


We have the following reports for the AAPT Summer Meeting in Edmonton, Canada


From Stan Jones, our Section Representative:


Let me add my two cents worth about the Edmonton meeting.  I have been going to almost every meeting since becoming section rep, and I found this to be one of the most rewarding.  Perhaps it is because I am starting to know more people…  except that I have found that people at AAPT meetings are among the friendliest, most open people you will meet.  It is always easy to get into an interesting conversation at national AAPT meetings, and I encourage everyone to go if you find it within reach (financially and geographically).  There is a winter meeting (February in Chicago this year…brrr.) and a summer meeting every year.


At this AAPT meeting, there were several very stimulating and entertaining talks…one by Eric Mazur comes immediately to mind.  He talked about the strange way we represent the real world in many textbooks and urged us to try to be more realistic in our representations in order to make better contact with students and the general public.  The talk by Michio Kaku, on the physics of the impossible (the title of his latest book) was also quite interesting, as he showed how we are getting closer to accomplishing some things such as invisibility cloaks that once were thought impossible. 


The Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) which followed The APT meeting was also full of good interactions.  It focused on reaching atypical students: non-science majors, minorities, inner-city youth, and elementary students. 


From Chuck Hanke, our 2008-09 President:


Summer AAPT meeting in Edmonton, Alberta

The Summer 2008 AAPT meeting was the first national AAPT meeting I have attended and I enjoyed it very much. The University of Alberta where the conference was held was celebrating its 100th anniversary. The campus was beautiful, the temperatures pleasant and the flora and fauna were different than Alabama in July. Since it gets to -35C during the winter there were skywalks or tunnels connecting many of the campus buildings. Stan Hart and I presented a poster on the Alabama Science in Motion program and talked to a number of physics teachers and professors interested in our statewide program. We met Dr Robert Bauman who many of you may remember from UAB.  I went to the section presidents meeting and found out many sections around the United States are small like Alabama with yearly meetings while other sections are large with quarterly activities and may be one of several sections that represent a single state. Also, there is interest in international membership in AAPT from teachers in the Caribbean, African, Central and South American countries. The sessions offered covered many areas of concern to High School, Junior College and University Physics teachers. I found the presentation of the Institute of Nanotechnology very interesting and the Physics Demo show held on Tuesday evening to be very entertaining. The demonstrations were a part of 4 or 5 themed skits which had physics demonstrations as the tools for telling or supporting the actions in the skit.



Everyone is starting a new school year with eager physics students.  Our networking can help new and seasoned physics teachers.  Pass along this application to someone you know.  


The Alabama Science Teachers Association Conference is September 30th and October 1st at the McWayne Center in Birmingham.  Go to:

http://asta.auburn.edu/   to register and to learn more.  We will have a “mini-meeting” of the Ala Section of AAPT to introduce our alliance to more high school teachers.  Contact Barbara Reynolds, bareynolds@troy.edu or Tommi Holsenbeck, eholsenbeck@alasu.edu, it you would like to help.  

aapt  Alabama Section AAPT

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