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------- Information on upcoming SLAPT Workshop Events for 2016-2017 School Year Posted Below ----- And past events are on the archive page linked above and HERE--------

------- Scroll down to read the incoming SLAPT President's message -- or click HERE. -------

August 20, 2016: Spinning Tubes

Date: August 20, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Parway Central High School room 803
Host:  Jen Meyer

This workshop will focus on using a spinning tube to introduce students to inquiry learning and experimental methods, and to model the scientific community.  This is a great activity for the beginning of the school year.   
This activity was highlighted in an article in The Physics Teacher.  Here is the introduction to the article -- the title is linked to the online version:
Spinning tubes: An authentic research experience in a three-hour laboratory
Arnold E. SikkemaSteven D. Steenwyk and John W. Zwart
Am. J. Phys. 78, 467 (2010)
We discuss a three-hour laboratory that is a microcosm of physics research starting with the discovery of an intriguing phenomenon and including participation in “research conferences” and the interplay of theory andexperiment. Students are given a small segment of PVC pipe marked at opposite ends with different symbols and asked to observe what happens when the pipe is placed on a horizontal surface and one end is pushed downward by a finger to initiate a rotation. Most students immediately recognize that the symbol at one end is visible while the other is not and set about trying to understand why. Students initially work in pairs and are provided with opportunities to request equipment from a “granting agency” and conferences and collaborations are encouraged. Students are quickly caught up in their search for explanations usually culminating in a full-class effort with significant contributions coming from all students
Workshop participants will engage in this activity as students would in order to model the classroom dynamics of the activity.  The workshop host will provide PVC tubes of varying lengths and diameters.  This is a really fun activity.  Come and play with your fellow physics teachers!   Click HERE to let us know you are coming.

Parkway Central is located at 369 N. Woods Mill Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63017.  Park in the main parking lot in the front of the school and enter using the front door.  Signs will guide you to room 803.  You will walk straight into the building and through the upper commons.  Keep walking West until the hallway comes to a dead end.  Turn right and room 803 will be on your left.  

We hope to see you on the 20th.  Feel free to email Jen if you have any questions at


September 10, 2016: AP Physics Resources and Observational Astronomy Simulations

Date: September 10, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 
Location: Southwestern Illinois College
Hosts/Presenters: Frank Cange, Kyle Stumbaugh

Come and join a discussion of some teaching resources for the AP Physics 1 exam acquired by Frank Cange at the AP Physics Reading this summer.  Additional resources from the National AP Conference will be shared.

Unlike most other sciences, astronomy is largely observational and non-experimental. Making useful observations involves expensive equipment over time scales inconvenient for pedagogy.  In recent years, however, the advent of large on-line data bases and fast personal computers has made it possible to realistically simulate the experience of research astrophysics in the laboratory.  Since 1992, Project CLEA (Contemporary Laboratory Experiences in Astronomy) has been developing such computer-based exercises aimed primarily at the introductory astronomy laboratory. We will review some of the 14 CLEA exercises that simulate important techniques of astronomical research and provide ways to obtain CD-ROMS of the CLEA material, consisting of software, technical guides for teachers, and student manuals.  Project CLEA continues to develop and disseminate additional complete, educational astronomy modules that illustrate a specific area of astronomical research. It addresses the topic from both a historical perspective and an observational application.
 Project CLEA is supported by grants from Gettysburg College and the National Science Foundation and is distributed free of charge to the educational community.

Directions to Southwestern Illinois Jr. College (SWIC):
From Interstate 64, heading east on 64, past the Illinois 159 south exit, take the next exit (O'Fallon Exit-#14) go west (right) off the exit and immediately get into the left turn lane at the stop light (Hartman Lane). Hardee's is on your left. Turn left (south) on Hartman Lane and travel to the end of Hartman Lane (approx. 5 miles) At the stoplight, go left onto Lebanon Ave. and travel approx. 1 1/2 miles to Greenmount Rd. This intersection has a stop light, make a right (south) onto Greenmount Rd and travel to Southwestern Illinois College, approx. 3 miles. The Junior college is on the left. We will meet in the E building on campus on the 2nd floor in room 2163. The address is Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, Illinois.

October 1, 2016 Six Flags for Teachers

Date: Saturday, October 1, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Regular park hours Oct 3 are noon to midnight)
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 2017 Physics Day, join us (and bring a guest) for a free workshop at Six Flags on October 1 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 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:

November 12, 2016 - Air Columns

Date: November 12, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Location:  Parkway Central High School
Hosts: Jen Meyer and Ryan King

Jen Meyer and Ryan King will share activities which help physics students build models for the behavior of standing waves in open-open and open-closed air columns.  Students start by using Boom-whackers and microphones to determine the rules for the fundamental frequency of open-open pipes.  Then they use whirly tubes to expand their models to include multiple harmonics.  Next students develop rules for open-closed tubes using Boom-whackers and adjustable-length tubes and tuning forks.  Workshop participants will participate in the activities and be provided with documents to use with students.

If you are planning on coming please sign up here.

Parkway Central is located at 369 N. Woods Mill Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63017.  Park in the main parking lot in the front of the school and enter using the front door.  Signs will guide you to room 803.  You will walk straight into the building and through the upper commons.  Keep walking West until the hallway comes to a dead end.  Turn right and room 803 will be on your left.  

We hope to see you on the 12th.  Feel free to email Jen if you have any questions at


December 3, 2016 Kundts Tube - Make n' Take

---- Workshop Full as of 11/14 3:30 pm ---- 

Date: December 3, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: John Burroughs School - Lower Level Science Building
755 S. Price Road
St. Louis 63124

Host:  Val Michael and Wayne Winters

Wayne Winters and JBS Physics teachers cordially invite you to attend a SLAPT make ‘n take workshop.  We will be assembling and testing a Kundt’s tube which will be used to measure the speed of sound.  The device is discussed in the Physics Teacher in the article “An Inexpensive and Versatile Version of Kundt’s Tube for Measuring the Speed of Sound in Air” January 2016, Volume 54 Number 1 page 50.  The device works reasonably well to give a frequency versus wavelength graph.  We will make observations of the phenomena, “place” the lab in your curriculum, assemble the tubes, take the data, discuss and perform linearization of the data, and find the speed of sound.  The device utilizes a function generator but we will discuss an alternative.  Finally we will take the time to “engineer” the device for best results and maximum ease of use.

The workshop is limited to the first 16 people who contact me, Valerie Michael.  The grant will pay for the device and lunch.  To sign up, please email me at  


January 28, 2017: Smartphone APPs - In and Out of the Classroom

Date: Saturday, January 28, 2017 
Time: 8:30 - 12:00 pm (note start time change)
Location: Chaminade College Preparatory School
Presenters:  Mike Johns and Elegan Kramer

Sign up now, see you January 28th and have a chance to walk away with Google Play Store or Itunes gift card - and get some great tools to help your students use some technology they know very well. 

Plan now to attend next months SLAPT workshop.   To better help with our planning, please RSVP at below link - even if you are even remotely interested --- we won't hold your feet to the fire.   With the wealth of available resources we will want to narrow the focus a bit in advance to better fit your needs.  FORM: Click HERE    Note start time change...

This workshop will take a look at the multitude of SmartPhone and Tablet Apps for Physics teachers and students.   Lessons, instructions and practical applications of those tools will be provided.    Bring your phone or tablet - Android or Apple --- and any of your own apps that you have used.  Small group breakout sessions are planned.

Plus, we will take a look at how to build your own app using a simple online program.

Link for directions:     Park anywhere in the lot in front of the main older brick building near the flag pole. Go in the middle front door up the steps, then follow signs to the third floor via stairs or elevator to room 301.  

Contact email: Mike Johns, or Elegan Kramer

March 4, 2017 - The Total Solar Eclipse of August 21 --- How to prepare!

Date: Saturday, March 4, 2017
Time: 8:00 - 12:00 pm
Location:  Parkway North
Presenter/Host:  Bob Brazzle/Elegan Kramer

Bob Brazzle will share background information and activities related to the upcoming total Solar eclipse (which will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017).  For over a year now, Bob has been part of a regional task force dedicated to informing organizations and municipalities about this once-in-a-lifetime event (the last total Solar eclipse in the St. Louis area occurred in the year 1442 and the next one won’t happen until the year 2505).  Members of the task force have met with curriculum leaders from many school districts, and will soon meet with science coordinators from districts across the region.  Word about the eclipse is starting to spread, and by the time of this workshop, there should be a significant level of excitement about the ensuing event.  The timing of the eclipse is a bit unfortunate pedagogically speaking, as it will fall on one of the first school days of the year for most districts.  A logical time to present activities will be during the time after standardized testing ends and before the end of the 2016-17 school year.

 Is your district planning an event?  Whether or not that’s the case, come to the SLAPT workshop to learn more about this celestial event and how to explain it to your students.  Safety tips will also be shared.  We hope to see you there.

Contack email:  Bob Brazzle,

April 21, 2017- Six Flags Physics Day

Date: Friday, April 21, 2017
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 -- 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. Click HERE for the 2017 order form -- or call Six Flags at 636-938-4800 ext 6288 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 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 22, 2017 - 32nd Annual Physics Contest and Teachers Workshop

Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017  -----   With ENTRY Deadline April 17, 2017.   
Times: 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: Washington University Crowe Hall (Maps at:
Entry Deadline: April 17, 2017 via online form at: 

Complete details with links, prize information and locations for the April 2017 contest are posted here: CLICK HERE   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. and other area physics teachers.  There will also be a scientific talk geared to teachers and parents occurring during the exam.     To register your students, please fill out this brief form  entry form.  You'll need your contact information, the enrollment count of your school, and a list of student names with Mechanics or Senior test designation.  Kindly register by Monday, April 17, 2017. 

Local deadline March 2017 ---- Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest -- formerly the West Point Bridge Design Contest

(Will be updated when details are provided)  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 2016 National AND St. Louis local contest.  Here is the link to the main contest website:

April/May, 2017 - SLAPT Planning Meeting for 2017-2018 School Year

Date: April/May 2017
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: xxxxxxxxxx

Details to be provided here later in the year, and emailed to everyone....  You can provided input at links in below paragraph...

Please attend the planning meeting. The more input we get from our members, the better our workshops will meet your needs. There are many ways to help make next year successful and rewarding for our community. You could volunteer to present (or co-present) a workshop, or volunteer to host a workshop at your school. If you have a topic you’d like to present, but feel it is not enough material for a full workshop, we’d still love to hear about it, because we typically have a workshop composed of several short presentations by multiple teachers. If you have a connection to a regional business or governmental agency which does work related to physics or engineering, you could suggest a field trip to the site.

We have an online survey that will stay active throughout this school year through which you can tell us the topics of greatest interest to you for next year. We would like everyone’s input on this, so please take 5-10 minutes to make your voice heard. The survey can be accessed by clicking HERE. You can also e-mail Jen Meyer at if you have ideas or any other input. Additionally, we would like to hear your suggestions about how the SLAPT website and other communications tools we have used the last several years can be updated and improved.

Thank you in advance for your participation and for helping make a successful workshop series for the 2017-18 school year.


2016-2017 SLAPT President's Welcome

Jen Meyer – Saint Louis Area Physics Teachers Association

I started attending SLAPT workshops when I moved to St. Louis in 2007 because my colleague, Val Michael, dragged me along with her.  What I encountered was the some of the most enriching professional development workshops I have ever attended to date.  Our area is filled with talented physics teachers.  SLAPT provides a platform for physics teachers to grow and learn together.  The enriching experiences I have had at SLAPT workshops have played a major part in shaping me into the teacher I am today.  I hope to continue to grow and learn with you this year.

 We have been working hard to put together a great schedule of workshops for the school year.  In the spring we were awarded a grant from AAPT, which is allowing us to offer materials for several of our workshops at zero cost to participants.  Please visit for full details about this year’s exciting workshops.

 Many of the people who conducted workshops when I first joined SLAPT have retired or will retire soon.  In order to maintain SLAPT’s strong tradition of offering monthly workshops we need new people to get involved in the leadership of the organization and in conducting workshops.  As you go through your year I ask you to take note of the activities, labs, and methods you can share with others.  I further encourage you to attend the planning meeting at the end of the year and volunteering to host or conduct a workshop for the 2017-2018 school year.  The future of SLAPT depends on your involvement.

Jen Meyer,, President, SLAPT


Summer 2017 Workshops - Here is the start of a list of 2017 Summer Workshops hosted and sponsored by other organizations.

American Modeling Teachers Association: Modeling™ Instruction, under development since 1990 under the leadership of David Hestenes (Emeritus Professor of Physics, Arizona State University), corrects many weaknesses of the traditional lecture-demonstration method, including fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity, and persistence of naive beliefs about the physical world. Unlike the traditional approach, in which students wade through an endless stream of seemingly unrelated topics, Modeling ™Instruction organizes the course around a small number of scientific models, thus making the course coherent. It applies structured inquiry techniques to the teaching of basic skills and practices in mathematical modeling, proportional reasoning, quantitative estimation and technology-enabled data collection and analysis. Each summer, Modeling™ workshops are held all over the country. In 2014, almost 1200 teachers took one of the 75+ workshops in 20 states. The content areas of the workshops (depending on location) are mechanics (physics I), E&M, CASTLE, waves, light (physics II), chemistry I and II, biology, physical science, and we are proud to now offer workshops especially geared to middle school science teachers! On the website of the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) we have a list of workshops that will be offered this coming summer, --- the information is subject to change so check the site every so often to see if now your state offers a Modeling™ workshop: 

2016 Summer Modeling Workshops:

Workshop descriptions, dates, details:

June xx - xx, 2017 - Nuclear Science & Engineering for Secondary Science Teachers A Three Credit Hour Faculty Development Course on the University of Missouri- Columbia Campus

Date: June xx - xx, 2017
Time: Daily 8a.m. - various
Location: Various on campus sites at University of Missouri, Columbia - including visits to area energy sites.

This will be the 35th 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.

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 2016-2017 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



Past President: Val Michael | President: Bob Brazzle | President Elect:Jen Meyer
Web Page: Mike Johns | Treasurer & Membership:  Gene Bender
St. Louis Area Physics Teachers
- SLAPT Constitution