The New Jersey Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (NJAAPT) is a professional organization whose focus is on physics education and educational research.  NJAAPT is committed to outreach and support for Physics teachers.  The majority of NJAAPT members are high school and college faculty teaching in New Jersey.    Activities and resources include Workshops, Conferences, Meetings, Sharing Sessions, Lectures, a Listserve, and a Website.

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President’s Message – February 2016

President’s Message

February, 2016


The new year is well underway and we have to wonder what makes time go by so quickly.  Before long many will be questioning each other as to whether they will have enough time to complete their physics courses to adequately prepare the students for their exams.  Time is becoming more precious to every teacher and with the additional requirements handed down from the state and federal governments, it is no wonder why teachers feel frustrated and under tremendous pressure.  How do you cope with this?  What can you do to make it easier on you and your students?  One answer is to partake in some of the activities offered by the NJAAPT.

It is very important that for an organization to prosper and serve its membership there must be active participation on the part of the members.  The NJAAPT has throughout its history sponsored workshops, make and takes, and meetings to fulfill its mission.  We have been very successful at providing opportunities to increase the information that teachers can use in the physics curriculum.

This past year, Jim Ferrara hosted a well attended and lively workshop on the changes in course and approaches to teaching AP Physics.  Even though a follow-up session had to be postponed to the snow storm of January 23, there will be another opportunity this spring to make up the session.  Jim presented some of this at our meeting last spring and has been invited to address the SEPA Section on this important topic.

Holiday Treats brought together our members and their families in a fun evening.  Boxes with classroom materials, a give-away table, and door prizes awaited the participants.

In the spring we will be sponsoring a Demo Night on March 4 at Princeton University.  This is a chance for our members to share a favorite demonstration in a very relaxed environment.  Why not show us what you do in your classroom?  Too often we feel that everyone has seen what we do, but not everyone does it in the same way.  Come join us and have a great Friday evening.

As you are aware, we hosted the Northeast Regional Meeting at Bergen Community College in October.  The result of the planning for this meeting meant that we had to make the decision not to hold a Spring Meeting as we normally do.  The effort to plan the Regional and a Spring Meeting seemed as if it would be an overwhelming task for the executive board.  Look forward to a Spring Meeting in 2017.

For those who attended the Holiday Treats, you heard my announcement that I informed the executive board last August that I will be stepping down as president of the NJAAPT effective at the end of this June.  It is time that someone else assume the leadership of the Section.

I believe that the NJAAPT will benefit from a person who is actively involved in teaching physics, someone who is directly affected the expectations of the Education Department, and be able to attend the national meetings of the AAPT.

It has been my pleasure to serve as president since 2002 and to meet so many great people in our Section and from around the country while attending the Winter and Summer Meetings.

John Valente is designated to conduct the search for individuals who would like to run for a position of leadership in the NJAAPT.  Each office is to be voted on  this May and it would be a chance for some new individuals to step up and continue the valuable work of the NJAAPT.


Ray Polomski