Spring 2014 Meeting of the Illinois Section of the AAPT

Laboratory Instruction in Physics and Astronomy:
today and the near future

March 28-29, 2014
 Physics Department, Illinois Wesleyan University
Bloomington, Illinois 61701

Supernova SN 2014J

We are pleased to invite you to attend the Spring 2014 meeting of the ISAAPT.  The goal of this meeting is to have a broad conversation among Illinois physics and astronomy educators about the status, the state of the art, and the emerging future of laboratory instruction and demonstrations at all levels, ranging from high school to graduate school.

15 minute contributed papers are invited on all aspects of teaching physics and astronomy, and also in any other area in which you work with your students.  Come and share your experiences via contributed presentations and Take Fives, and meet old and new friends.

The registration table will be in the Atrium of the Center for Natural Science (building 7 on the campus map).   At the registration desk, please pick up your temporary parking tag; this will be valid for both days. On Friday, do not park in faculty lot F2 which is across the street from CNS.  On Saturday you may park in any lot.

In their respective areas of lab instruction, the invited speakers will be sharing:

The state-of-the-art
Recent innovations
Their own experiences
The near future
Their recommendations
Friday afternoon - 3:00 pm
"Beginnings and Endings: Using labs for introduction and assessment"
Diane Riendeau
Deerfield High School, Deerfield, Illinois
Friday afternoon - 3:30 pm
"Interactive Online Laboratories in Intro Physics Classes"
Mats Selen
Physics Department, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Friday evening banquet speaker - 7:15 pm
"Support for Updating Instructional Labs (and Demonstrations)"
Gabe Spalding

Physics Department, Illinois Wesleyan University
Saturday morning - 10:00 am
"Lab Physics Instruction in Two Year Colleges"
Anthony Escuadro
Physical Sciences Department, Harold Washington College, Chicago

Tours of our new 11-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with CCD camera

These tours will be given on Friday at 5:30 pm by physics majors who have done research in astronomy.  The observatory is on campus.  The telescope is used for General Education courses and for an upper level laboratory physics course.


Call for 15 minute Contributed Presentations - Deadlines: Title (Mar. 14), Description (Mar. 21)

Contributed presentations are scheduled on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.  There are six categories of presentations: (a) Active Learning, (b) Teaching Methods, (c) Demonstrations, (d) Research, (e) Student Research Symposium and (f) Other.  Please check the appropriate box when you fill out the Online form.  Here is the current list of presentations.

A special reminder for students:  As in the past, this spring you have an opportunity to win an award for your contributed presentation in the Student Research Symposium.


Call for judges:  We need instructors to serve as judges for this symposium.  Please indicate on your registration form if you are willing to serve.

Possible tour of the observatories at the Sugar Grove Nature Center on Friday after the banquet.
       Because of a cloudy sky on the evening of Oct. 4, 2013, many of us toured this facility but did not see it in
       operation.  After the banquet on Friday evening that opportunity will be repeated, on an informal basis.
       If you would like to join this tour, please contact Carl Wenning at carlwenning@gmail.com for details.
● The Council will meet on Saturday at 7:00 am.
● Awards for the Student Research Symposium will be presented during lunch on Saturday.

Take Fives.  Anyone who registers for the meeting may take 5 minutes or less to share a favorite item related to teaching physics - a demonstration, a new website or app, announcement of an upcoming event, ...  Please use the Registration form to tell us the title of your Take Five.  There may be time for a few unannounced Take Fives at the end of the last session of the day.

Registration.  The deadline for banquet and lunch reservations is Friday, Mar. 21.

In addition to paying by cash or check, you may also use  a credit card or PayPal.  This may be done at the Registration table when you arrive or when you register online, after the fees are calculated.  If you have already registered and would like to pay by this method NOW, check the current fees page for the amount, click on the Pay Now button below, and type in that amount.  You will receive an email receipt and our treasurer will be informed of the transaction.  Thank you.


Hands-on fun

Gabe Spalding
Instructional Labs

On-campus observatory
11" telescope

Council meeting

 ● The chair of this meeting and local contact for checking on classroom and lab facilities is:
     Narendra Jaggi, Physics Department, Illinois Wesleyan University, 309-556-3418, njaggi@iwu.edu
 ● If you have any problems with submitting information via the online forms or if there are corrections to be made,
David Renneke, 309-786-5247, davidrenneke@augustana.edu

Illinois Section of the AAPT
Last update:  September 2, 2014












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