March 2009 e-Wave

Alabama Section of AAPT


The weather didn’t stop Physics Teachers and the Section Meeting was on Saturday, 2/28.  Here is a brief report.


Program Alabama Section of AAPT Meeting Saturday February 28.




Chris McDuffie               Implementing Inquiry in the Physics Classroom

Doreen Brisendine                    Celebrating Einstein and Pi Day

Mark Maddox                  Projectile Motion Made Easy

Christina Steele                       Using Clickers in the Physics Classroom

Dan O’Halloran                 Exploring the PhET Simulations

Dawn Williams                  Opportunities for High School Connections in Particle Physics and Astrophysics

Mark Rupright                Measuring Systematic Errors with Curve Fits (in introductory labs)

Paul Helminger &             Physics Demonstrations on the Cheap

Justin Sanders

Bob Bauman                     Global Warming How Much is Demonstrable

Explaining How Energy Relates to Force and Rate of Change of Momentum

Marllin Simon & Cathy Miller

                                      A New Vision for the Alabama Section of AAPT/Physics Fantasy ? What Were You Thinking      

Julie Covin                      Great Online Resources for Teachers and How Organize Them




Minutes / Meeting Notes


Stan Jones – Section representative Report. There is grant money for training teachers who are not physics majors that are teaching physics.


Marllin Simon – Proposed starting and supporting a  Best Robotics like competition maybe a Lego Robotics Competition to generate interest in math, physics and technology in middle school.


AAPT business meeting:

Marllin Simon was elected AL Section AAPT president for 2009 – 2010.

Duane Pontius was elected AL Section AAPT president – elect and president for 2010 – 2011.

Tommi Holsenbeck was elected secretary/treasurer for 2009 -2010.

We have a little over $1000 in the treasury.

We got from Ali Yazdi some $600 from Junior College AAPT organization.

We approved setting up a $300 grant named for Barry Walker to go to an Alabama Section member teacher to help with the cost of attending the summer AAPT meeting. Stan Jones is the awards chair and will work on a process and form to help select the individual who gets the grant.



Other news of interest:


Check out this opportunity for teachers to do physics research:





Another fun time-kill game with some educational value.  Unfortunately, the game doesn't involve math much, and it doesn't give any perspective on cost per launch and failure.  To add more educational value you could have students keep track of the number of launches before success.  Set a cost per launch.  If any rocket crashes perhaps that's an astronaut's life.  Since the game doesn't give you any inkling as to where to start, perhaps you can give a couple free test flights before the launch/life counts begin.  Bragging rights go to the students that accomplish each mission first.  (Nothing like a little time pressure to convey what the Space Race was like.)  It might also be of some interest to see how many students orbit the moon clockwise and how many counterclockwise.





The new year for the Section runs from annual meeting to annual meeting.  So the dues for 2009-10 are due now.  Please mail your check to:

Tommi Holsenbeck

2833 McGehee Rd

Montgomery, Al 36111


Dues are $5


Please email us with any questions:

Stan Jones, Section Representative   stjones@bama.ua.edu

Marllin Simon, President                    msimon@physics.auburn.edu

Tommi Holsenbeck, Sec/Treas           eholsenbeck@alasu.edu