January 2011

AAPT Winter Meeting 2011 – Why Professional Development Matters!

I am an active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers and I try to attend two AAPT meetings yearly. The 2011 AAPT Winter Meeting took place in Jacksonville, Florida from January 8-12, 2011 and I was very fortunate to attend it. I would like to share a few things that I will remember about this meeting a few years down the road.

Mary Mogge (South California Section Rep), I and Tetyana Antimirova (a section rep from ON)

I was so fortunate to be able to attend the meeting and in my view it was one of the best AAPT meetings ever! I love attending AAPT because I meet lots of my friends all over the world, listen to excellent talks and have a chance to present my talks. In addition, I am a member of the AAPT Executive Board – I am a Chair of the Section Representatives. Feeling that I can make a difference in how physics is taught is something that helps me keep going and volunteering with this wonderful organization. While there might be many reasons for why I enjoyed this meeting so much, I decided to mention a few:

a) Excellent plenaries. The quality of plenaries this year was just excellent. I especially enjoyed the talk by Stanford Professor, Dr. Kathryn Moler – who is doing cutting edge research and is also an excellent physics educator (she is an AAPT Richtmayer award recipient 2011). Congratulations Kathryn!

b) An amazing theatre production about Marie Curie: “A Living History of Madame Marie Curie”

AAPT Winter meeting attendees had an unusual opportunity to meet famous scientist, Madame Marie Curie, as protrayed by scholar/actress Susan Marie Frontczak. She has given over 300 performances as Marie Curie across the United States, Canada, and Europe. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie’s second Noble Prize, AAPT will host “Marie Curie” on January 11 in a ticketed performance. For more information, please go to

c) An excellent “Women in Physics Panel” where we talked about women careers in physics, problems, successes, trends and exchanged great ideas. We had many amazing women physicists and physics educators attending this conference.

d) Amazing contributed talks. I tried to attend a few sessions a day (in addition to plenaries) and I enjoyed many of the talks. I would like to thank the folks who took the time to share their work!

e) It was such an inspiring thing to see so many amazing physics teachers from all over the world: USA, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Denmark and many other countries!

I am truly looking forward to Omaha in the summer of 2011. And in the winter 2012 we are meeting in Ontario (CALIFORNIA!!!) and then we meet in Philadelphia in the summer of 2012. I hope you will be able to join AAPT meetings then. If you need any information, please do not hesitate to e-mail me.

Some AAPT 2011 photos:

Jacksonville City Tour

Tuesday day photo report

AAPT Run (so you don’t think that the conference is all about papers and talks).

River walk in Jacksonville.

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