What's Happening for Physics Teachers in the NJ area

NJAAPT Newsletter

September 2018


All of us here at the NJAAPT sincerely hope that your new school year started smoothly. The calendar is already filling up with exciting events for the 2018-2019 school year.  Please check out the calendar below and consider joining us for these events to take advantage of some of the opportunities to meet, learn, and collaborate with other Physics teachers from our area, as well as getting great professional development.

To keep abreast of what is going on in New Jersey and beyond for Physics teachers, check out our NJAAPT website, our Facebook Page and our YouTube Channel!  There are links to these social media accounts on our website homepage.  Please share this information with your physics colleagues who may not be members of the NJAAPT.  We want to reach as many New Jersey Physics educators as we possibly can!

As always, we are looking for workshop ideas and teachers who can host a workshop.  NJAAPT can help with organizing and publicizing workshops -- we need YOU and your ideas to make them happen. 

Here are the members of the 2018-2019 NJAAPT Executive Board. New members are notated in red:


Jim Ferrara--President 

John Valente-- Vice-President

Daniel Kaplan--Treasurer

Oliver Hakizimana -- Secretary

Board Members at-large

Ray Polomski, Jessie Blair, Nancy Michaelsen,

Rich Urban, Yitzhak Sharon, 

Jenn Broekmann, Debbie Andres,

Randy Pratt,  Erika Sherger 

Please consider helping us in our mission to support and enrich Physics Education in New Jersey by being part of the Executive Board.  You don't need to be Einstein, it is not a huge time commitment, and you will be helping other Physics teachers. Anyone is welcome!

Upcoming Events 2018-2019 :

Click here to register for NJAAPT events


9/28   Dave's Demo Show

Rutgers University

10/13  Workshop

Expanding Spreadsheet Modeling Capability with Numerical Methods in High School Physics Students

Cinnaminson HS

10/18  Executive Board Mtg

Rutgers University

10/23-24  NJ Science Convention

Princeton Marriott Forrestal

Princeton, NJ

10/27  SE-PA  Fall Demo Show 

SE-PA Section of AAPT Temple University

11/5   Executive Board Mtg.

11/16-17  AAPT Regional Mtg.   

NY/NJ/NE Sections    Bergen County College

12/15  Holiday Event,  TBA

1/12-15  AAPT WInter Mtg.

Houston, TX

1/19   Physics Olympics (2 locations)

NJAAPT Physics Olympics North

Monmouth Regional HS

NJAAPT Physics Olympics South

Washington Twp HS (Gloucester Co.)

2/TBA  NJAAPT Demo Show

Georgian Court University

2/27    Executive Board Mtg.

Princeton University

Plan Ahead -- Ideas

Plan to attend the Regional Meeting of the AAPT  / NJAAPT at Bergen County College in November!

Start planning to participate in the NJ Physics Olympics, to be held on January 19, 2019.  Events will be announced in soon!

Join our national professional organization, AAPT  (NJAAPT is the local section).  You'll get access to resources on the AAPT website,  and to the national meetings (summer/winter), where you can meet and hear from Physics teachers from all over the country.  Information here.

Recent News

Cosmology at Rutgers

This past July, a select group of high school students participated in the Quarknet program at Rutgers. 

On July 13th, there was a one day meeting for NJAAPT members to visit and work with the Quarknet students as well as a fascinating group of talks on a Current Tension about the Hubble Constant in Cosmology. Click here to see videos of the lectures and discussions.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

You may have read recently about Jocelyn Bell Burnell, whose 1967 discovery of pulsars won the 1974 Nobel Prize -- for her PhD advisor !  Over the years, she has been a teacher, researcher, and leader in Physics and Astronomy.  She was recently awarded the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.  She is donating the entire  $3 million in prize money to be used to fund underrepresented students in Physics.  Her work and her pioneering spirit make for interesting reading, or a good bulletin board post for you and your students.  Article here:  "Pulsar Discoverer Wins $3 Million Breakthrough Prize" ,   and here: "The Upside of Not Winning a Nobel Prize"

Teachers Clearinghouse for Science and Society Education Newsletter

The most current edition of this newsletter, which features articles about renewable and sustainable energy research as well as an assessment of STEM education in the US can be accessed here.  John Roeder, a NJAAPT member, is the editor.

NJAAPT Listserve

NJAAPT has a listserve for members.  You can ask/answer questions about Physics, teaching ideas, unidentified equipment, etc. 

To send a listserve message, send an email with your question to:  njaapt@mail.aapt.org   and it will be sent out to members.

If you do not with to be on the listserve, please contact Nancy Michaelsen (hhsphyics@comcast.net) & Daniel Kaplan. (DKaplan@marsd.k12.nj.us)



Are you interested in Physics Education Research (PER), but no one else at your school wants to talk about it? Do you want to bounce ideas for action research or meaningful measurements of student growth off someone who understands the challenges of teaching physics?  Check out the SoloPER group here at https://www.compadre.org/per/programs/program.cfm?ID=645  and join the SoloPER Discord server. (It's free!)

Have you tried DIAGNOSER?

Diagnoser (http://www.diagnoser.com/)  In this web-based assessment program, there are designed sets of questions as formative assessments (e.g., assessments to inform learning and instruction rather than assign scores.) Students receive feedback on their thinking as they work through their assignment. Teachers can access reports on students' thinking related to the assigned content.