August 23, 2014 - Models, Curriculum and Standards
The terms “models”, “curriculum” and “standards” are misunderstood and ambiguous. Our goal for this workshop is to develop a shared understanding of what they are and what they are not. Participants will engage with several different types of models, experience several examples of the modeling approach to teaching physics, see how the modeling philosophy leads to a powerful narrative (i.e. curriculum), and evaluate the compatibility of this narrative with the Next Generation Science Standards. Email Contacts linked above.
September 27, 2014 Six Flags for Teachers
Date: Saturday, September 27, 2014
Time: 8:00 a.m. - Noon
Where: Six Flags St. Louis, Eureka, MO
Host: Rex Rice, Jen Meyer, Gabe DelaPaz and Six Flags Personnel
Six Flags has been a long time supporter of SLAPT’s development of a comprehensive educational component for Physics Day. Students have a great opportunity to experience one of the best and larger than life physics labs around. To learn more about how to include amusement park physics into your classroom and to better prepare teachers for the April 2015 Physics Day, join us (and bring a guest) for a free workshop at Six Flags on September 27 at 8am. We'll begin with a behind-the-scenes tour of the engineering that makes the rides work. Next, we'll provide an overview of the resources available to use with students in preparation for Physics Day and to use at Physics Day. Finally, we'll strap on our wireless data collection devices and ride, ride, ride!
RSVP to Michelle Westerman, email@example.com with "Physics Workshop" in the subject line and you and your guest's name in the body of the note. Additional Six Flags Physics Day curriculum materials and information can be obtained at: http://www.slapt.org/resources/sixflags/index.html
October 4, 2014 - Competitions and Citizen Scientist Projects for Physics Students (formerly: Resources for an Enriched Physics Program)
Date: October 4, 2014
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Location: Clayton High School (printed newsletter was in error as it listed the place as Kirkwood)
The October 4 meeting of the St. Louis Area Physics Teachers will take place at Clayton High School. The topic for the meeting will be Competitions and Citizen Scientist Projects for Physics Students. The meeting will start at 8:00 am with refreshments with the actual topical discussion beginning at 8:30 am.
You will receive information about the following competitions with a physics or engineering theme that you might consider making available to your students:
Physics Bowl (American Association of Physics Teachers)
International Physics Olympiad (American Association of Physics Teachers)
St. Louis Area Physics Teachers Association High School Physics Competition (Washington University and SLAPT)
Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering--WYSE (University of Illinois)
Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science--TEAMS (Technology Student Association--TSA)
First Robotics Competition--FRC (FIRST)
Team America Rocketry Challenge--TARC (Aerospace Industries Association--AIA and National Association of Rocketry--NAR)
Bob Brazzle will familiarize you with several projects that fall under the "Citizen Scientist" category. These include the Stanford Protein Folding Project, SETI at home, Stardust at home, and The Journey North Project.
If you know of other competitions or projects that would be of interest to physics students, and would be willing to spend 15 minutes or so informing the group about them, please contact Rex Rice (firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-276-0069) and he will add you and your competition to the agenda.
If you bring your flash drive with you, copies of old exams and answer keys from Physics Bowl, International Physics Olympiad, WYSE, TEAMS, and the SLAPT competition will be made available for you to take away on that flash drive.
The meeting will take place in room 203 at Clayton High School. You should park in the faculty parking lot on the east side of the school (near the globe) and enter through the main entrance across from the globe. Clayton High School is located on 1 Mark Twain Circle just south of Maryland Avenue/Ladue Road near the Brown Shoe Company headquarters in Clayton.
A map can be found by clicking HERE.
October 25, 2014 - Introductory Physics for the the Life Sciences - "You Too Can Do Biophysics" - Joint Meeting with the Missouri Association of Physics Teachers (MAPT)
Call for Papers Deadline is October 17
Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014
Time: 8:00 a.m. - early afternoon
Location: St. Louis College of Pharmacy
The SLAPT membership has been invited to the Fall meeting of the MAPT with the primary focus being Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences. Among other topics and presentations, Associate Professor of Physics, Juan Rodriguez, of the Department of Basic Sciences at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy will give a talk titled "You Too Can Do BioPhysis." The new MCAT format, which calls for competencies in how physics relates to the life sciences, is driving a demand for introductory physics courses with a greater biophysics focus. Biophysics is also an enticing area of research that many departments wish to add. Despite the demand, many members of the physics community are reluctant to teach biophysics-related courses, or to undertake biophysics research projects, for fear they are unprepared to bridge biology and physics. Professor McCall will share his personal experiences, and those of others, which will hopefully allay those fears and demonstrate that you too can do biophysics.
Click HERE for full details, plus the opportunity to bring your own discussion topics on any aspect of Physics education to a varied audience. This is a great opportunity.
November 8, 2014 - Using LEDs in your Physics Course
Date: November 8, 2014
Time: Daily - 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: John Burroughs School
Eugenia Etkina published two papers in The Physics Teacher about using LEDs in nearly every unit within a general physics course. Val Michael and Wayne Winters will facilitate several activities using LEDs and will utilize the guided inquiry approach (called the “ISLE” approach) developed by Etkina and her colleagues. Email contacts: Val Michael email@example.com and Wayne Winters firstname.lastname@example.org
December 13, 2014 Magnetism Lab Equipment Make and Take. (Reprise)
Date: December 13, 2014
Time: Daily - 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clayton High School
Rex Rice and others will bring back a popular make and take that Mark Schober presented several years ago. Participants will help construct a platform which can be used for several different activities and experiments involving magnetism. Experience the activities yourself, and then help our team build the set(s) you will take with you. The sets will be available for a modest cost, which we will advertise closer to the date of the workshop (after we have purchased the materials). Contact email: Rex Rice email@example.com
January 24, 2015 - Teacher's Choice Workshop
Date: Saturday, January 24, 2015
Time: 8:00 a.m. - noon
Location: Chaminade College Preparatory School room 301 third floor Chaminade Hall
Hosts: Mike Johns and several others
Many of our members responded to our survey and ranked the topics for which they are most interested. We will have several SLAPT members present their favorite lessons/activities/demos related to the highest ranking topics from the survey results. A more detailed list will follow. Email contact: Mike Johns firstname.lastname@example.org
February 7, 2015 - Joint American Chemical Society/SLAPT Meeting and Workshop
What: Joint Meeting of SLAPT and ACS
Where: To be AnnouncedWhen: To be Announced
The February meeting will be a sharing session in the areas we all hold in common. Full details will be posted here later in the school year.
March 7, 2015 - Using Free Videos in your Physics Classroom
Date: Saturday, March 7, 2015
Time: 8:00 a.m. - Noon
Location: Parkway Central High School
Host: Jen Meyer
There are an abundance of free videos available for you to use in all of your courses (from physical science to AP C). Jen will present videos developed by Dan Meyer, Peter Bohaceks and even our own David Schuster. She will also present ways to download these ahead of time – useful for schools that block YouTube – as well as a way for students to collect data from their own cell phone videos. Email Contact: Jen Meyer email@example.com
April 24, 2015 - Six Flags Physics Day
Date: Friday , April 24, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Six Flags St. Louis
Again this year, Physics Day is exclusive to high school physics -- Math and Science day is one week later -- giving your students even better access to the rides. SLAPT highly recommends the picnic combo package that includes buffet lunch in the catering grove - it's much better than waiting in lines at the food vendor stations. If you choose to buy park admission tickets without the lunch, you can save several dollars per ticket if you order in advance. You also get one free chaperone ticket for every 15 paid tickets. Bus and car parking is $20 per vehicle. Processing fee is $10 and is indicated on the order form. Last year's 2014 order form isavailable on this website HERE for planning purposes. The 2015 order form will posted here when available -- or call Six Flags at 636-938-4800 ext 288 for further information. Also again, this year, there will be data collection opportunities at Mr. Freeze with Vernier accelerometers. Students can wear a vest with the equipment attached and then download data following the ride. Teacher volunteers are needed throughout the day to staff the data collection equipment. If you are available, email Jen Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up on the online form HERE to volunteer for as little as a couple of hours or as much as the whole day. Further information and curriculum materials can be downloaded HERE on this web site.
April 25, 2015 - 30th Annual Physics Contest and Teachers Workshop (Entry deadline April xx)
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Time: To be Announced, but here is last year's schedule: Tests 9:00 am - 11:00 a.m. (arrive by 8:40); Lunch (provided by Wash U) and demos/discussions 11:00 a.m. - 12:45 pm.; awards ceremony 12:45 pm - 1:15 pm
Location: Tentative: Washington University Crowe Hall (Maps at: http://wustl.edu/community/visitors/maps/)
Entry Deadline: April xx, 2015 via email
Full details will be posted on this website when they become finalized. : click HERE for last years details. In addition to the great opportunity for your students to show their Physics prowess in the contest -- which is a great way to practice for the AP and other exams -- there are great opportunities to interact with Wash U. Physics faculty and see some demonstrations.
Local deadline March 2015 ---- Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest -- formerly the West Point Bridge Design Contest
The St. Louis Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will hold a local contest in conjunction with the national Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest. (Which was previously named the West Point Bridge Design contest.) It uses the same West Point Bridge Design software. Click HERE for the Information on the 2014 National AND St. Louis local contest. The local contest ends March xx, 2015, and the National initial qualifying round deadline is May 2015. The local contest is one round only. Here is the link to the main contest website: http://bridgecontest.org/
May 2015 - SLAPT Planning Meeting for 2015-2016 School Year
The annual SLAPT planning event for 2015-2016 school year will be sometime in later portion of May 2015. 8:00 a.m. - noon. Please check back here later on in the year for finalized plans. Please go through the coming school year noting your ideas for workshops and events that we can put to action the following year. Meanwhile, please fill out the online form linked HERE to give us your thoughts on workshops and events that would be useful to you. Also, if you have more specific ideas and input to provide in advance, please email Bob Brazzle at email@example.com ---------- TO HELP US PLAN FOR FUTURE WORKSHOPS, PLEASE FILL OUT OUR OPINION SURVEY HERE
Bob Brazzle, President – Saint Louis Area Physics Teachers
Presidential Greeting For 2014-2015
Welcome to the 2014-15 school year! I hope you had a rejuvenating summer and are ready for the challenges and opportunities of the coming school year. During our planning meeting in May, we attempted to honor the feedback you all provided in our online survey. I believe we’ve put together a terrific portfolio of professional development offerings (summarized in the left column of this newsletter) and that these are highly relevant for novice and veteran alike; I hope you can attend most of these workshops.
The program-level changes I wrote about last year (brought on by the NGSS and the replacement of the AP Physics B course) are in full swing, and several survey responders expressed interest in program-level discussions. Therefore, Jim Cibulka and I will start the year off with a workshop devoted to the “big picture”, such as helping you make curriculum decisions with consideration of the standards and college readiness, pedagogic decisions based on Physics Education Research, etc. Several of the other workshops during the year are devoted to enriching your course, with things like contests, authentic inquiry projects, free online videos, and of course a field trip to Six Flags Physics day. We also will have a workshop specifically designed to address those content topics for which the survey responders expressed the most interest.
You may have heard of the idea of the “educational pendulum” swinging from one “hot approach” to another every few years. In my opinion, the solution is to never follow any pedagogic method exclusively. Teachers must develop a toolbox of diverse approaches to teaching, curriculum and assessment. Active participation in SLAPT generates this type of rich toolbox, because we are a community of professional learners and peer presenters. So I really hope to see big turnouts at all of our workshops this year. Enjoy!
Summer 2015 Workshops - Here is the start of a list of 2015 Summer Workshops hosted and sponsored by other organizations.
American Modeling Teachers Association: Modeling Workshops in high school physics, chemistry, physical science, and biology will be offered in summer 2015, in many states. Modeling Workshops are peer-led. Modeling Instruction is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an Exemplary K-12 science program. Some sites offer stipends, usually for in-state teachers. Graduate credit is available at some sites. For information, go to: http://modelinginstruction.org
June 2015- Nuclear Science & Engineering for Secondary Science Teachers A Three Credit Hour Faculty Development Course on the University of Missouri- Columbia Campus
Date: To Be announced but usually in June
Time: Daily -
Location: Various on campus sites at University of Missouri, Columbia - including visits to area energy sites.
This will be the 34th year Mizzou has offered this course and related energy events. Several SLAPT members have attended in the past and have many a postive comment about it. Seats are limited, so inquire soon. Please visit the website linked here for details, application, and points of contact. http://www.murr.missouri.edu/et_secondaryst.php
Join the American Association of Physics Teachers
Why should you become a member? It's easy, and there are nice tangible benefits: you will receive both Physics Today and either the Physics Teacher or the American Journal of Physics (your choice) in addition to online access to the magazines. AAPT sponsors contests, awards, pre-college and college teacher training programs, programs for physics students, two national meetings each year, facilitates collaborations between all sorts of physics teachers, and provides grants to sections.
Perhaps more importantly, though less tangibly, is that AAPT is our professional organization, and that membership is a professional responsibility. AAPT supports what we do, recruits and trains new teachers, voices our concerns to legislators, and boosts the prestige of our profession.
Additionally, our new AAPT section status gives SLAPT greater visibility and recognition in the national physics teacher community. Our involvement in AAPT through membership and participation in national meetings will further boost the strength and quality of service SLAPT provides to our members.
Click HERE to go to AAPT's online registration site.
Other Workshops and meetings planned for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year --- Many dates are TENTATIVE -- this website will be updated as they become firm.
Check back here for other possible events during the school year