------- Information on upcoming SLAPT Workshop Events for 2012-2013 School Year Posted Below ----- And past events are on the archive page linked above and HERE--------
------- Also scroll down to read the incoming SLAPT President's message. -------
April 26, 2013 - Six Flags Physics Day
Date: Friday, April 26, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5 pm
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 $15 per vehicle. Processing fee is $10 and is indicated on the order form. The 2013 order form is available on this website HERE or at Six Flags website HERE. -- or call Six Flags at 636-938-4800 ext 288. 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 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 27, 2013 - Annual Physics Competition - Washington University Physics Department
Date: April 27, 2013 --- with entry deadline April 22
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: Washington University Crow Hall
The Physics Department of Washington University in St. Louis will host a competition to be held on its campus Saturday, April 27th, 2013. The contest itself, open to all high school students, will have two different exams held at the same time. The first option ("The Mechanics Test") will be only mechanics and consist of 50 multiple-choice questions. The cash prizes for this exam will be: First Prize of $100, Second Prize of $50, and Third Prize of $25. We will present Certificates of Honorable Mention to the next highest scoring twenty percent of the contestants, and we will award certificates to the top three scoring schools. We encourage first-year physics students to take this test.
The second option ("The Senior Test") will consist of 50 multiple choice questions with one or two tiebreaker problems, and will include both qualitative and quantitative questions. The approximate numbers of questions covering the various topics will be: mechanics (18), waves (5), sound (3), fluids (1), thermodynamics (4), electricity and magnetism (11), optics (5), and modern physics (3). The cash prizes for this exam will be: First Prize of $100, Second Prize of $50, and Third Prize of $25. We will present Certificates of Honorable Mention to the next highest scoring twenty percent of the contestants, and we will award certificates to the top three scoring schools.
For both exams we will allow calculators of all types. It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that all calculator memories are cleared. We will supply the values of physical constants, but no equations. Students are not allowed to bring a formula sheet. As an added incentive, you might want to consider allowing those students who place on their physics contest exam to become excused from their final exam in your course. The test is also an excellent practice opportunity for students who will be taking the AP exam.
Each contestant may keep a copy of the test, but we will not return the graded answer sheets. We will send a list of all winners to teachers with students participating in the competition along with statistics on the test results. Individual scores will be kept confidential, except that we will report the score of each contestant to his or her teacher.
The tests will run from 9:00 am until 11:00 am followed by a 1-1/2 hour lunch break and an award ceremony lasting from 12:30 until 1:00 pm. Students should arrive at 8:40 am. The test and awards ceremony will take place in Crow Hall in the northeast section of Washington University's Danforth Campus. Maps can be found here: http://wustl.edu/community/visitors/maps/. Crow is building 23. Metered parking is available along Brookings Drive, and visitors may park in yellow parking spaces on Saturdays at the east end of campus. There is a cafeteria on campus. There will be no fee for entering the competition, as it is sponsored by Washington University's Institute for School Partnership. To register, please send an email to Kasey Wagoner, email@example.com, with your full contact information and a list of student names (and which test they will be taking) by April 22, 2013. We will be able to accommodate 200 students. To keep the teachers busy, Dr. Kasey Wagoner of Washington University will give a public lecture on Relativity and Collisions at 10am in the same building.
Results will be provided after the contest. To see details from years past, please click: Annual SLAPT Physics Contest.
June 1, 2013 SLAPT Planning Meeting for 2013-2014 School Year
What: SLAPT Planning Meeting
When: Saturday, June 1, 2013 8:00 a.m.
Where: John Burroughs School 755 S. Price, Ladue
2012-2013 SLAPT President's Welcome
Val Michael, President – Saint Louis Area Physics Teachers
Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year! I would like to share some thoughts with you about the offerings for this school from the SLAPT. Let me begin by saying that I have doing some reading about physics/science educational research. I am at best described as a “lurker” on the PER topical group listserve from AAPT. They have been having an illuminating discussion on the role of guided inquiry and on pre/post testing for conceptual understanding. The first thing I learned was that there is some research on exactly what does the FCI tell us about a student’s understanding if they get a question correct on a post test. It seems that some research is showing that a number of false/positive errors are occurring. In other words kids can get it wrong for the right reasons and kids can get it right for the wrong reasons. There is evidence in some research that kids taking the post -test revert to their original way of processing information rather than use their newly acquired expertise to deal with the questions. The conclusion on the listserve was that an end of course interview serves the teacher the best to determine the level of comprehension a kid has. Not to sure I know how to do this or if there is even time in a high school curriculum to do this. So to this point I recommend that the least we can do is practice with better questions during the term. The first workshop that will be offered in August will be on a new book called N-TIPERS where the N stands for Newtonian. (You will receive the book as part of the cost of the workshop. This workshop is limited due to number of books so respond quickly to reserve a spot.) These questions have a way of probing kids conceptually especially if they have to combine the response with a white board sharing with classmates. The new book is a continuation of the work done by the authors of Ranking Tasks, E-TIPERS and M-TIPERS.
The second thread in the last several months on the listserve was on guided inquiry labs as a means to achieve better gains on the FCI. Real Time Physics was an offering as well as Workshop Physics. Both of these books can be purchased at the Vernier website. Another important site to visit for free but having researched materials is Eugenia Etkina’s ISLE program at Rutgers. She uses so many videos labs and her promotion of students processing through a cycle of hypotheses is terrific. This website gets you to her video labs. http://paer.rutgers.edu/pt3/
If you are interested in video labs and technology of that type, please attend Jen and Ryan’s workshop on VPython. It looks like it can create a great deal of interest in our tech savy, visual kids. In considering guided inquiry labs, I would like you to think about the workshop we are offering on Energy II. Rex, Gary and Lee will present a workshop that is a continuation of the workshop on energy from last year and will show the added guided inquiry labs needed to form the mathematical relationships that proceed from the conceptual labs. While I was lurking I came across some materials referenced by Richard Haake on labs so I will include the web address because these are free for the investigating. These give a good sense on how other guided inquiry labs ate designed. http://bit.ly/9nGd3M
I am also reading a book called Assessing Science Learning from NSTA press. Again the question is how do you know what a student “knows”. This book is promoting formative assessment that, whether formally or informally, speaks to the teacher on intermediate progress and how the teacher must change the next lessons to accomplish the targeted concepts. They first suggest, from research, that one positive way to improve student scores on high stake tests is to improve teachers’ content understanding. Even if you do not teach Astronomy perhaps it would be advantageous to attend Frank Cange’s workshop on CLEA. It is program that can also benefit the physics classroom. Also, Bob Brazzle will address Newton’s Laws with materials he has used for his National Board Certification. Both sound like excellent sources of new materials and interesting content.
Again the book cycles back to the question of how to probe understanding. Jim Cibulka will be presenting a workshop on “goalless” problems. They move you away from “normal” style problems and again increase the probe at trying to understand what kids understand. They sound like a worthwhile hour to spend. Just for the fun of it, take a peak at Redish’s website at the University of Maryland. He has some interesting problems that can tease out a student’s knowledge. http://www.physics.umd.edu/perg/abp/TPProbs/ProbSubjs.htm
We will offer our continuing workshops on Six Flags. We encourage you to attend Six Flags Day and also the Physics competition both held in April. Watch the website for dates. We will offer a joint meeting with ACS but have not settled on the topic yet. We are looking for a few brave people who would like to make a one- hour presentation on “My Lesson” to the group. This could range anywhere in content, application or whatever. This is a great way to share an idea with the group without having to do a full -blown workshop. Perhaps this is your way to try out giving a presentation to a very friendly and supportive group. Hope to see you soon!
Val Michael, President -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer 2013 Workshops - Here is the start of a list of Summer Workshops hosted and sponsored by other organizations.
American Modeling Teachers Association: Fifty Modeling Workshops in high school physics, chemistry, physical science, and biology will be offered in summer 2013, 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/teachers/workshops-2013/
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 2012-2013 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
West Point Bridge Design Contest-2013 St. Louis Version
The St. Louis Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will hold a local contest in conjunction with the national West Point Bridge Design contest. Information on the 2013 local contest is available here: 2013 West Point Bridge Design Contest. Note that if you are wanting to enter the national qualifying round - the deadline this year is March 25, 2013. The local contest, however, is one round only and you can enter all the way up to April 1, 2013. Here is the link to the main USMA contest site: http://bridgecontest.usma.edu/index.htm check back here for any updates to this information.