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Washington Section

of the

American Association of Physics Teachers

Annual Meeting

Teacher Workshops: Friday, October 7, 2011

Section Meeting: Saturday, October 8, 2011

Meeting and Workshop Location:

Department of Physics, Lind Hall

Central Washington Univeresity

Teacher Workshops - Friday, October 7

In association with the Section Meeting, we will hold free Teacher Workshops on Friday, October 7, 2011. Pre-service teachers are also encouraged to attend. Pizza will be provided for roudtable discussions between pre-service and in-service teachers. Clock hours for in-service teachers are available at a cost of $3 per clock hour.

Workshops will be held in Lind Hall, Room 113. The tentative workshop schedule for Friday, October 7 is

1 to 3 pm

"Using Vernier Probeware for Physics Labs," Jeff Hashimoto, Ellensburg High School.

Descrption: We will investigate options for using probeware to teach physics. Emphasis will be on getting away from the " cookbook " style of probeware labs and allowing students to explore and experiment. Participants will explore using a number of time-tested labs and then develop an activity of their own.

3:15 to 4:45 pm

"An activity-based project using the topic of wind energy," Michael Braunstein and Michael Jackson, Department of Physics, Central Washington University.

Description: In this session, participants will perform a wind energy based activity. This activity has been performed with middle school, high school, and entering college students. Participants will also discuss how the project could be modified, i.e. proposing different hypotheses to investigate other questions or other energy related projects such as solar energy.

Supported in part by the National Science Foundation (STEP award #0653094) and Central Washington University's Spheres of Distinction.

5 to 5:45 pm Pizza dinner for workshop participants with roundtable discussion between pre-service and in-service teachers.
6 to 7:30 pm

"Dynamic representations to better understand energy transfers and transformations in real-world contexts," Stamatis Vokos, Seattle Pacific University.

Description: The Energy Project at Seattle Pacific University has been investigating learner thinking about energy in multiple everyday scenarios. New dynamic representations of energy transfers have been developed that enable more rigorous discourse among students than the use of 'standard' representations. These novel representations, in turn, allow teachers greater access to students' evolving thinking. In this workshop, participants will tackle some deceivingly simple scenarios, which promise to illustrate the power of these representations. In addition, results from the ongoing research of the Energy Project will be discussed.

Supported in part by NSF DRL 0822342 and the Seattle Pacific University Science Initiative.

8 to 10 pm

Night Sky Observing with Bruce Palmquist, Central Washington University

Description: We will be celebrating International Observe the Moon night. There will be a brief presentation about the Moon in Room 215 Lind Hall followed by observing the Moon and other celestial objects at the CWU observatory. Weather Permitting.

NOTE: A one-hour workshop on reflection holography is also available upon request (time and space permitting). Please contact Mike Jackson ( for more information.

Registration for Teacher Workshops is required before the conference. Space is limited and will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please register by e-mail: contact Mike Jackson ( when registering for one or multiple workshops.

Registration Information for Saturday, October 8

Registration for the annual meeting will be from 8:00 to 8:45 AM on Saturday, October 8 in the main lobby of Lind Hall.  All presentations will be given in Lind Hall, Room 104. While no formal registration form is required, please contact Mike Jackson ( if you are planning to attend; this will help us with organizing the meeting.

The section charges a $10 registration fee ($5 for non-SPS students) solely to defray the expenses associated with the meeting.  The registration fee is due at the conference (cash or check; cash preferable). You do NOT need to be a member of the national AAPT organization to participate in this meeting. High School students and students who are members of SPS are admitted free. Participants will be responsible for their own lunch.


8 to 8:45 am Registration and Snacks
8:45 to 9 am Welcome. Brief summary of Teacher Workshop sessions.
9 to 9:20 am

"The Science Talent Expansion Program at Central Washington University," Michael Braunstein and Andy Piacsek, Central Washington University

9:20 to 9:30 am

"Mechanisms for Regional Collaboration in Physics Education Research," Andrew Boudreaux, Western Washington University

9:30 to 9:40 am "PhysTEC: The Physics Teacher Education Coalition program at Seattle Pacific University," StamatisVokos, Seattle Pacific University
9:40 to 9:50 am "The Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education and its role teacher preparation at Central Washington University," Bruce Palmquist, Central Washington University
9:50 to 9:55 am "AAPT Physics Day at NTSA," Robert Hobbs, Bellevue College
9:55 to 10:15 am Group discussion: Types of collaboration available/needed among Washington physics teachers along with what the Washington section can do to facilitate collaboration.
10:15 to 10:45 am Break (snacks provided) and Entertainment, LIND 113
10:45 to 11:00 am "Rates in unfamiliar circumstances: Investigating student reasoning abilities," Briana Ponzer and Andrew Boudreaux, Western Washington University
11:00 to 11:15 am "FIRST Robotics, A Physics Teacher's Perspective," Darren Collins, Tahoma High School
11:15 to 11:30 am "Atoms are Fictions of the Chemists," Sharon Rosell, Central Washington University
11:30 to 11:45 am "Interactive lecture demonstrations leading to homework. A mirror example," Robert Hobbs, Bellevue College
11:45 am to Noon "Initial Mass Functions: Now and Then," Robert Ruotsalainen, Eastern Washington University
Noon to 12:15 pm "Assembly and Operation of a Far-Infrared Laser Cavity," Henrique Alves and Michael Jackson, Central Washington University
12:15 to 12:30 pm Awards Ceremony
12:30 to 2:00 pm Lunch and Annual business meeting (lunch and snacks provided)

Ellensburg Motels and Hotels

There are a number of hotels and motels in Ellensburg. Please visit the city's Chamber of Commerce page below for a listing of available hotels/motels.

Please contact Mike Jackson ( if you have questions or if you need more information.

Directions and Parking

Directions to Central Washington University

Campus Map

Friday Parking: Suggested lot: G-16. Cost: $3; permit obtained from the yellow daily parking permit dispenser at the entrance to the G-16 lot off 9th avenue. Most parking lots are free after 4:30 pm on Friday (a sign will be there to indicate this). However, standard parking rules always apply (i.e. proper observation of disabled parking spots, etc).

Saturday Parking: Free, but standard rules apply (i.e. proper observation of disabled parking spots, etc). Suggested lots: G-15 or G-16.

Campus Parking Map


For more information about this meeting please contact:

Mike Jackson, Physics Department, Central Washington University, Ellensburg WA 98926-7422

Email:         phone:  (509) 963-2914

Contact Information

201 Lind Hall
Department of Physics

400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7422

Phone: (509) 963-2914
Fax: (509) 963-2728
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