Opportunity: Chautauqua Short Course

Chautauqua Short Course

Active Learning in Introductory Physics Courses: Research-Based Strategies that Improve Student Learning

NEW: Including RealTime Physics 3rd Edition, Clicker Interactive Lecture Demonstrations and Video Analysis

June 18-20, 2015  •  Portland, Oregon

Presented by: David Sokoloff  •  Priscilla Laws  •  Ronald Thornton

This hands-on course is designed for college, university and high school* teachers of physics interested in making learning in their introductory courses more active. Participants will be introduced to research-validated strategies for each component of the course: lecture, lab, problem-solving, modeling and video analysis. Course fee is $200. For more information: http://pages.uoregon.edu/sokoloff/CHAUT.htm

*One or two graduate credits are available from the University of Oregon for $90 per credit.

For registration and payment information, please visit: http://academicextension.uoregon.edu/course_desc.php?CourseKey=724907

or call 800-824-2714; or e-mail academicextension@uoregon.edu

Spring 2016 Meeting

The next meeting of the Western Pennsylvania section of the AAPT is set for April 2, 2016 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Information will be sent to the listserv about submitting abstracts, but you can always check back here for more details.  We look forward to seeing you there!

2 Weeks until Spring 2015 WPA-AAPT Meeting

Please consider presenting at the Spring Meeting of the Western Pennsylvania Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers.
March 14th, 2015 (Pi Day!) at Grove City College in Grove City PA. Events will kick off at 8:30 AM with a student poster session.
To present, reply to this e-mail ( bal23@psu.edu ) and include:
Name, e-mail, and affiliation of presenter
Names, e-mails, and affiliations of any associated non-presenting authors
A title
A short abstract (up to 100 words)
If possible, please try to have your abstracts in by Monday, March 9th. We will happily accept late abstracts, but abstracts in by Monday will help us a great deal with the planning and scheduling process.
NOTE: This year, for the first time in a while, we will be hosting a student poster session as part of the meeting. Please consider having your students present a poster! See below for more information.
If you don’t want to present, please attend; these meetings are a great opportunity for making connections with other local physicists and physics teachers.
Hope to see you there!
Additional message from the Grove City College Physics Department:
Grove City College is pleased to be hosting the Spring, 2015 meeting of the Western Pennsylvania section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, on March 14, 2015.  We have a few atypical events scheduled that we would like to draw your attention to.  More information will be forthcoming during the next week.
·         Student Research Poster competition.  Please encourage your students to attend and to present.  Abstracts should be clearly marked for “student poster session” and should be submitted to Beth Lindsey (bal23@psu.edu) no later than Monday, March 9.  The poster session will kick off the meeting, running from 8:30 – 9:30 AM.
·         Judges needed for Student Research Poster competition.  If you are willing to serve as a judge, please emailgamarsch@gcc.edu.
·         Two parallel workshops which will run for 1-2 hours following the business meeting.  Pre-registration by March 9 is preferred but not required.
o   SPS Career Toolbox Workshop for students and their mentors, led by SPS director Sean Bentley.  The Career Toolbox (http://www.spsnational.org/careerstoolbox/) is a phenomenal resource to help physics students explore career options and prepare for job searches.  While designed for physics majors entering the workplace, the Toolbox has valuable tools for graduate-school-bound students too.  The workshop will introduce the product and work through some of the activities such as translating physics experience into specific skills to list on a resume.  Students will participate in the toolbox activities, and mentors will be trained in helping their students use the toolbox.  Attendees are encouraged to pre-register by emailing djwagner@gcc.edu before March 9, and indicating whether you are a student or a mentor, to ensure adequate resources are available.  But walk-ins are welcome too.
o   Best Practices in Teaching about Light Workshop, facilitated by Bill Bradley.  Bring your most effective light-based demo or other teaching tool (and a one-page summary), or just come to glean ideas from others. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register by emailing djwagner@gcc.edu, and indicating what, if any, teaching tool you will be bringing, to ensure adequate resources are available.  But walk-ins are welcome too.
·         Lunch details are still being worked out, but we may need a head count of those eating on campus.  Watch for emails closer to the date.

Spring 2015 Meeting

Save the Date!    
WPA AAPT Spring Meeting
3.14 (pi day)
Grove City College, Grove City PA
Host: DJ Wagner
To present,  e-mail ( bal23@psu.edu ) and include:
Name, e-mail, and affiliation of presenter
Names, e-mails, and affiliations of any associated non-presenting authors
A title
A short abstract (up to 100 words)
It doesn’t have to be fancy; it just has to be about physics, or teaching physics!

Fall 2014 Meeting – Thiel College

The Fall 2014 meeting is just around the corner!  If you haven’t submitted your abstract yet, please do so (see the post below for information.)  This post is meant to provide you with some additional information.  As soon as the schedule is developed, it will be posted here.


Invited Speaker:  Megan Nagel, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

Potential Energy: Perspectives from a Chemist

Recently, the topic of energy has been receiving increased attention in science education research literature, highlighting an interdisciplinary approach to the topic.   In chemistry courses alone, the topic of energy is introduced in numerous contexts including bond enthalpies, quantized energy, lattice energy, intermolecular forces, and nuclear energy.  The basis for many of these topics begins with an understanding of potential energy and electrostatic interactions which goes beyond that reached in a typical first-semester physics course.  So while students have not been exposed to the relevant content in physics, chemistry faculty operate under the assumption that a foundation is present for describing processes involving electrostatically interacting particles and their associated energies.  Our recent work has found that even after the appropriate instruction in both chemistry and physics, the majority of students still struggle to describe the basic relationship between particle position and electrostatic potential energy.  In particular, students do not spontaneously draw on concepts from physics when asked about energy in chemical contexts. We are researching the efficacy of an instructional sequence of scaffolded questions to help guide students to make relevant connections between their existing knowledge of gravitational potential energy and the required knowledge of electrostatic potential energy necessary for understanding countless chemical interactions.

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Local Accommodation Information:

  • Bethaven Inn- 386 Hamilton Avenue, Meadville, Pa. 16335
  • Buhl Mansion- 422 East State Street, Sharon, Pa. 16146
  • Casa DaCosta Bed & Breakfast- 116 West Market Street, Mercer, Pa. 16137
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  • Mayor Lord’s House Bed & Breakfast- 654 Park Avenue, Meadville, Pa. 16335
  • Mercer Motel- 213 Franklin Street (Junction 19 and 62), Mercer, Pa. 16137
  • Monroe Heights Hotel- 2049 Leesburg-Grove City Road, Grove City, Pa. 16127
  • Park Inn by Radisson- 3377 New Castle Road, West Middlesex, Pa. 16159
  • Plant’s Herb Farm Bed & Breakfast- 104 South Foster Road, Mercer, Pa. 16137
  • Seven Sisters Bed & Breakfast- 810 Hamburg Road, Fredonia, Pa. 16124
  • Quality Inn of Hermitage- 3200 South Hermitage Road, Hermitage, Pa. 16159
  • Red Roof Inn- 2700 Wilson Road, Hermitage, Pa. 16148
  • Tara, A Country Inn- 2844 Lake Road, Clark, Pa. 16113