Also at AAPT

Rhett A.

Rhett A.

Going to the AAPT conference wasn’t all about my photo with Connie Willis.  One of the best things about the conference is meeting and talking to all sorts of interesting people who are doing interesting things.  I talked to some high school students who were presenting a poster on water purification, for example.  I spoke with a woman who has been teaching kids to program some optics simulations using vpython.  I learned about making stop-motion animation from Brian Gravel, of the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.  You can read Rhett’s post about the software, SAM animation, at Dot Physics.  I learned about video labs from a high school teacher who works with a Rutgers University professor.  Dave Vernier of Vernier Software showed me how to use my LabPro equipment and a voltage probe to generate sine waves.  And I had a great talk with Rhett from Dot Physics after a session on “clickers,” at which Stephanie Chasteen presented a talk.  Stephanie is ScienceGeekGirl, and we had a good talk about technology and education over lunch on Saturday.

Stephanie C.

Stephanie C.

So the next step is following up on some of these conversations.  I have some slips of paper covered with URL’s (that’s website addresses) to investigate (not sure where those are right now…), a small pack of business cards, and some sticky notes from WebAssign that I have a few notes written on.  Somehow I missed getting the contact information from the Department of Energy woman I talked to, but I might be able to find her another way.  I also still have a business card from last year’s winter meeting, in Baltimore, which I still have not followed up.

Well, that is the way things go.  Here I am, blogging about these people but not contacting them, and I will now go and finish grading a batch of tests I have, but I won’t send e-mails tonight.  Maybe this weekend I will do that.  Maybe.

By the way, did you notice?  Stephanie is wearing a shirt from xkcd!

4 Responses to “Also at AAPT”

  1. Frank Noschese Says:

    Rhett, Stephanie, AND Dave? I’m jealous! You got to meet all the rockstars! One day, when my kids are older, I’ll make sure to get to an AAPT meeting. Wouldn’t it be great to work with people like them in our high schools everyday? *sigh*

    (BTW, I use VPython with my AP students, and those video labs at Rutgers are great. I also grade labs using the Rutgers Scientific Abilities rubrics. If you want to trade notes, let me know!)

  2. sciencegeekgirl Says:

    I’m a “rockstar” according to Frank? That makes me giggle. It always tickles me how each little fiefdom has its main characters. I get all googly-eyed when I get to dance with, say, one of the well-known callers at a contra dance. I feel like a queen. And I know that off that floor, that person is just another person. But to our community, he’s a star.

    I can only hope to such notoriety in the science blogosphere!

    It was a delight to meet both Fran and Rhett. Fran and I had a great lunchtime physics teaching geekfest. Hooray for conferences. (And Fran, you’re not the only one behind in your post-conference connection follow-ups. I’m so overwhelmed by the stack of business cards on my desk, it’s a problem!

  3. teawithbuzz Says:

    Hey, Stephanie, you contradance? cool! I used to do that more. Now I rarely dance (life of a teacher) but when I do it’s pretty much just English or Scottish Country dancing. I’m lucky to live in an area with some great callers and teachers.

    Frank, I also know some of the PER rockstars. I actually worked for Priscilla Laws for 2 summers, I have had extensive e-mail correspondence with Joe Redish (waaaay back when I was an undergrad), I know Dewey Dykstra too! To me, they are definitely some of the rockstars.

    It is interesting how different subfields have their own “celebrities.” I know one of the main people involved in recovering the Archimedes Palimpsest , so she’s probably a “rockstar” in her field, but in our community she’s pretty much one of us, you know?

  4. sciencegeekgirl Says:

    Yes, I love contra, though I could easily have gotten into scottish. That’s a lovely dance.

    Blogging has its rockstars too — I was so honored to meet Jennifer Ouellette (cocktail party physics) a while back.

    We all need people to look up to!

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