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Spring Meeting of the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers

[WPA-AAPT]

Clarion University of Pennsylvania, March 27, 2010

8:00 – 9:00 Registration outside Planetarium, second floor of science and technology center. Continental Breakfast provided

9:00 – 9:05 Greeting by David Groh, President of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

9:05 – 9:15 Opening Remarks: Dr. John Heard, Clarion University of Pennsylvania

9:15 – 9:30 Gregory Reger(1), Benjamin Sturtz(1), Amy Brunner(2) and Chunfei Li(1), (1) Center for nanotechnology education and utilization, Pennsylvania State University; (2) Department of physics, Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Remote Control/Demonstration of Scanning Electron Microscope.
Capable of providing nano meter morphology and micrometer elemental information, scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), is arguably the most popular characterization instrument. However, the high price makes it unrealistic for most high schools and many colleges to purchase and maintain it. Fortunately, the progress in technology has enabled remote control/demonstration possible and the center for nanotechnology education and utilization at Pennsylvania State University has committed to make their SEM resource available to the general public. In this presentation, the function and advantages of SEM will be explained briefly, followed by a demonstration of remote control. Questions about the procedure will be accepted.

9:30 – 9:45 Paul Ashcraft, pga106@psu.edu, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Physics Day at Behrend!
Seventy AP or honors high school physics students visited Behrend, competed for the coveted Knacke Kup, visited our faculty and facilities, and had a positive experience with physics.

9:45 – 10:00 Robert J. Reiland, robreiland1@comcast.net and rreiland@shadysideacademy.org, Shady Side Academy, Pittsburgh. Problem solving through Multiple Perspectives.
Many researchers have remarked on the difficulties of teaching students to improve their problem solving skills with traditional approaches to instruction. Traditional physics teaching is mostly about giving students heuristics for problem solving without providing or helping them to develop perspectives. Without the latter it is difficult to know when to use a particular heuristic. However, when a student has been taught to understand problems with a variety of perspectives, she is more likely to find efficient ways to organize any given problem for easier solutions. Examples of how this can work will be presented.

10:00 – 10:15 Kathy Habel, khabelteach@gmail.com, Standards Aligned System – PDE. An introduction to the new Standards Aligned System from Pennsylvania's Dept. of Education.
A look at the Final Draft of the Science Standards for Physics (Jan 29, 2010)

10:15 – 10:30 Leo Takahashi, LHT1@PSU.EDU, The Pennsylvania State University, Beaver Campus, Monaca, PA. Power Point Animation: A Crude but Useful Teaching Tool.
In the spirit of string and stick tape physics, an example of using this common software tool to help teach some basic circuit rules will be presented.

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break

10:45 – 11:45 Invited Speaker: Yiguang Ju, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace, Princeton University, Princeton, USA.
Rare-earth doped nanophosphors provide new opportunities for biological and energy applications such as photodynamic therapy, LEDs, and engine development because of their stable and efficient up and down conversion properties, increased light penetration depth, low toxicity, and reduced background scattering compared to conventional markers. At first, the seminar will give a over review of the recent progress of synthesis of rare-earth ion doped upconversion nanophosphors by using combustion and in-solution thermolysis methods. Secondly, the particle morphology and its photophyscial property are discussed. The dynamic dependence of particle luminescence time on particle size and phonon energy is analyzed. Thirdly, the efficacy of photodynamic therapy for singlet oxygen production and cancer cell killing by using upconversion nanophosphors will be presented. Finally, a new technology for simultaneous imaging of flow velocity and temperature by using nanophosphors and future challenges are be discussed.

11:45 – 12:45 Lunch. Eagle Common Dinning Facility. Follow the herd to the trough.

12:45 – 1:00 Mary Kelly, m.e.kelly@eagle.clarion.edu, Clarion University, Sharon Montgomery (Clarion) and D. N. Burrows (Penn State University).
Distances of Three High-Galactic Latitude Diffuse Clouds.
The large, X-ray-emitting, plasma region in which the sun resides is the local bubble. The boundaries were traced by observing equivalent widths of NaD lines in 1005 distant stars (Lallement et al. (2003). However, stars appearing in clouds which appear on other maps (IR, X-Ray, or radio) were omitted for accuracy. These clouds are cool and expected to lie on the bubble's boundary, thus their radial velocities provide information about the bubble's edge. 62 bright, early type stars (three clouds) were studied for spectral evidence that starlight passed through the cloud. We could then bracket the distance to each cloud.

1:00 – 1:15 Peter Deutsch, pd2@psu.edu. Coltan, Electrical Capacitance, and Warfare in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

1:15 – 1:30 Stanley Sobolewski, sobolews@iup.edu, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Paperless lab reports.
Many physics-lab courses use computers with an interface to take measurements and collect data. In an attempt to increase efficiency, reduce paper work and simplify grading, students in one lab class have been entering data, graphs and answers to questions on Moodle using lab room lap tops. There are no lab manuals or packets, no paper. No reports are collected. This informal presentation will demonstrate what has been done so far, and future possibilities.

1:30 – 2:00 Business meeting and book giveaway.

2:00 – 2:30 Tour of Science and Technology Center and Planetarium.

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