The 2014-15 year has come to an end and we can all be proud of the New Jersey Section for a very active term. Many members thoughts will be of relaxation for a couple of months before beginning a new school year, but the executive board will have the planning of the activities for 2015-16 to decide upon.
This past year provided many opportunities for the membership to be active in the life of the Section. So a summary of the sponsored events may encourage others to take part in the programs offered in the next school year.
The year began with a workshop on Energy at Georgian Court University chaired by Dan Kaplan and hosted by Anne Tabor-Morris of GCU. Numerous presenters, including Anthony Lapinski, provided valuable methods for teaching a difficult concept for students to grasp. A follow-up program on another topic is being discussed for next fall.
Also in October, the NJAAPT made its appearance at the NJSC with a table to promote our section and the national organization. Members of the section also conducted some sessions that were very popular from the attendance in the rooms.
November is the month that the northern part of the state gets to have a meeting at Bergen Community College in Paramus. Paul Griffo and Joe Civo put together a program of speakers along with the opportunity to view the sun through BCC’s solar telescopes. This year about 60 people attended and this included the general public.
December saw the return of Holiday Treats to our calendar. The site may have been different, Princeton University being our host, but the enthusiasm was as high as ever. Not only was a give-away table, and the presentation of the Holiday Treats boxes, but the door prizes donated by numerous organizations and suppliers provided a fitting end to a great evening. We look forward to being back at Princeton in December, 2015.
Congratulations to John Valente and Jessie Blair for the tremendous job they did in conducting the Physics Olympics in January. Over forty teams from more than twenty schools participated in the competition, not only demonstrating their knowledge of physics principles but also in answering the Fermi questions provided by Dave Maiullo and his student at Rutgers. Thanks to all who competed and volunteered their time to help conduct the Physics Olympics. This event is one of the most successful and longest running programs offered by the NJAAPT.
Our Sectional Meeting was held at Princeton University on Saturday, March 14 and was attended by over 50 of the Section. The theme was a follow-up to last year’s meeting to discuss the NGSS and the changes in the AP curriculum. In a similar format to the previous meeting, the morning session provided the group with information from our three speakers and the afternoon was devoted to breakout sessions so small groups could discuss the various topics that proved of greatest interest to the membership. The meeting concluded with a fast-paced demonstration show that captivated the audience.
On April 24th, a demonstration program was conducted at Princeton University and organized by Dan Kaplan. Ten of our members presented their favorite demonstrations and provided take home materials. A program that was supposed to last two hours extended to three and a half hours and they wanted more. It is our intention to repeat this event next year to excite even more people to attend.
Princeton University has been very supportive of the New Jersey Section and is willing to provide us with a site for future meetings and other events we may plan. We are extremely thankful to Geoff Gettlefinger, the Physics Dept. Manager, who has made it possible for us in the easiest possible way to use the facilities.
A very special thank you to Dan Kaplan for his proposing and conducting two workshops this summer. As you are well aware, Dan is teaching at the Governor’s School at Drew University for the second year. As he did last year, he will be leading a workshop in July for 20 of our members. He also will be conducting a QuarkNet workshop with Steve Schnitzer at Rutgers in July. Both of the events are completely filled and indicate that there is a need on the part of the NJAAPT to provide some events during the summer. These would certainly provide the spark for the new school year.
Personally, the work as president is made easier by the cooperation of the members of the executive board, especially this year. So a hearty thank you for all the hard work they put in during this year is warranted. To John Valente, Nancy Michelson, Tibi Dagiou-Luca, Dan Kaplan, Jessie Blair, Rich Urban, Dave Maiullo, Yitzhak Sharon, Joe Spaccavento, Jim Ferrara, Jim Signorelli, Carolyn Sealfon, and Pat Drury, thank you very much for all the hours spent in attending meetings and events to make the NJAAPT an organization that is so highly thought of by our colleagues at the AAPT. Special thanks must also be given to the members of our section who donate their time and efforts in presenting at the various workshops and events we sponsor. Without the help of the members of the section, we would not be able to provide the varied events that many attend. We are one of the most active sections of the national and it is something that all members should be proud.
As the summer is in full swing, a reminder that in October, the NJAAPT along with the New York and New England Sections will be meeting at Bergen Community College. The preliminary program is available at our website and we hope that you will take the opportunity to join us in attending the regional meeting.
Have a great summer and if you are attending either of the two summer programs, enjoy the time spent with your colleagues – it’s worth every minute of it.