What's Happening for Physics Teachers in the NJ area

NJAAPT Newsletter

February 2019

Hello NJAAPT Members-

It's hard to believe that we are already almost two months into the New Year! We hope this edition of our NJAAPT Newsletter finds you enjoying a healthy, productive and happy start to 2019.  NJAAPT has a few professional development events for Physics Teachers already planned or in the works over the next few months and we hope you will find something here or on our website that interests you.

Last month, we hosted another very successful NJAAPT Physics Olympics Competition.  It was the second year in a row that we had both a northern and southern venue for competitors. Competition was fierce but a good time was had by all! Many thanks to all the physics teachers who volunteered so much of their time to plan this great event and to show up on a Saturday to offer this amazing day of physics to our students. Winners for individual events as well as the overall winners are listed here!

NJAAPT is hosting a Physics Demo Show at Georgian Court University on the evening of Friday, March 22.  Various NJAAPT members will be showing you their favorite demos and in addition, we have scheduled a featured demonstrator. Retired NY physics educator Rich Terwilliger will be joining us to show you some of the amazing stuff he has designed over his many years in the classroom! Keep your eyes open for a spring workshop run by Rich, as well.  Details for that workshop are being worked out and will be posted soon.

To make sure you don't miss an event, periodically check out our NJAAPT website and "like" our Facebook Page! 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.  

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 2019 :

Click here to register for NJAAPT events

2/27  NJAAPT Board Meeting

Princeton University


3/22  NJAAPT Demo Show

Georgian Court University

7/20-24 AAPT Summer Meeting 

Provo, Utah



Here is a link to a printable file of science valentines! They can be printed back to back/duplex and then cut out.  Hand them out to your students!


The Dumont Sharing Sessions

contributed by Ray Polomski

 In the fall of 1988, the Dumont Sharing Sessions began as a result of reading an article in The Physics Teacher.  The thought was to bring physics teachers from Bergen and Hudson counties together just as the teachers in Chicago met to share ideas related to teaching various topics in the physics curriculum.

The sessions were held at Dumont HS and began with refreshments since the start time was 4 PM.  The decision to convene at this time was based on the hope that more people would be willing to attend after the school day ended rather than traveling in the evening or on a Saturday.  A questionnaire was sent to all the high schools in both counties and the response was less than enthusiastic.  Only 15 replies were received out of a mailing of about 80 letters. 

The format was very informal with a request that everyone bring something to share. Well, those that showed for the first session were sold on the idea and formed the nucleus of the group for years to come.  The surprise was that we drew teachers from Rockland county as well as Bergen and Hudson. 

We immediately bonded because many were teaching only one physics course or were the only physics teacher in the school.  This idea of getting together to discuss anything related to physics teaching certainly struck a chord and provided the opportunity to exchange testing techniques, lab exercises, teaching methods, and much more. 

The number of people attending varied each month, but the sessions met monthly and usually concluded about 6 PM.  This endeavor, which started out as a simple project, continued through the first year of my retirement in 2005.  We had a great run of 17 years and the best that can be said is that others also took up the challenge in other areas and started their own sharing sessions. 


The NJAAPT website has an entire page of links that you might be interested in. It includes links to:

  • Online Simulations
  • Online texts and other resources
  • Blogs by Physics Teachers
  • Physics Organizations
  • Physics Competitions
  • Videos
  • Printable

And more....

Plan Ahead -- Ideas

Summer Programs Are you or your students looking for something to do this summer? Take a look at our list of summer programs for students and teachers for ideas. Please let me know if there are any great programs that are not on our list by emailing me at erikasherger@icloud.com.

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.

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 wish to be on the listserve, please contact Nancy Michaelsen (hhsphyics@comcast.net) & Daniel Kaplan. (DKaplan@marsd.k12.nj.us)


There is a 4-week summer professional development training for physics teachers being offered at Rutgers this summer. Training is for all levels from conceptual to AP and each week focuses on a different set up topics. Enrolled teachers can expect to receive many resources and materials, to work on alignment of course content to NGSS standards, implementation of inquiry-based activities and much more. More information here.

Recent News In Physics

Scientists Search for Charged Higgs Particle Scientists are combing through recent CERN ATLAS data to look for new physics. Read more here.

Physicists Record Lifetime of Graphene Qubit Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have recorded the “temporal coherence” of a graphene qubit — how long it maintains a special state that lets it represent two logical states simultaneously — marking a critical step forward for practical quantum computing. Read more here.

Does a Negative Mass "Dark Fluid" Explain the Missing 95% of the Universe? One scientist says his study suggests that dark matter and dark energy may both be composed of a negative mass dark fluid. Read more here.