American Association of Physics Teachers - Winter Meeting, February 18-21, 2017

The winter meeting of the AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers) will be held in Atlanta, GA, on February 18-21, 2017. Several outstanding planetarians will be making presentations. If you are a local physics and astronomy instructor and happen to attend AAPT, make sure to check out the following workshops and sessions: 1. "New Lessons from the Last 200 Planetarium Education Research Dissertations" (PAPER) by Timothy Slater - Tue 02/21, 8:30AM - 9:00AM Synopsis: The synthesis-oriented literature review is a ubiquitous component of any comprehensive science research program. Through the iSTAR international Study of Astronomy Reasoning project, the speaker has found more than 200 dissertations on planetarium education research from the last 100-years, which yield results largely unpublished in journals providing insight into longstanding planetarium education efforts. 2. "The Role of the Planetarium in Outreach Astronomy Education" (PAPER) by Ken Brandt - Tue 02/21, 9:00AM - 9:30AM Synopsis: What role can a planetarium play in facilitating outreach education in astronomy? Several strategies will be discussed, and various volunteer network connections described which help the presenter deliver effective astronomy outreach to audiences locally, regionally, and nationally. 3. "Science on a Sphere Used as an Interactive Instructional Tool for Students" (PAPER) by Monique Wilson - Tue 02/21, 9:30AM - 10:00AM Synopsis: The goal was to create the 21st century learners and to be a leader in STEM education. The largest culmination of these efforts was the creation of a Science Center that is located on the same campus as the district's newest high school, St. Charles High School. The Science Center that houses a 184-seat planetarium, Discovery Lab classroom and a Science on a Sphere is being used to unlock the mysteries of science in more ways than originally believed and has empowered students to see themselves in relation to the word. 4. "Using a Planetarium for Teaching and Outreach" (PAPER) by Philip Groce - Tue 02/21, 10:00AM - 10:30AM Synopsis: Planetariums have the unique ability to illustrate astronomy and physics concepts that are difficult, if not impossible in the classroom. Participants in this workshop will discover though live presentations and hands-on operation better teaching methods through the use of planetariums. This workshop will focus on the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. 5. "Using Planetaria to Represent Scaled Distances with Correctly Scaled Time" by Richard Gelderman - Mon 02/20, 4:50PM - 5:00PM Synopsis: A clear understanding of the vast distances and relative emptiness of the solar system, galaxy, and universe are critical to grasp astrophysical concepts. In the speaker's planetarium multiple models are used to give visitors a grasp of the cosmic scales. An important addition to spatial models is the use of correctly scaled time to evoke a clear feeling of the sparseness in our cosmos. Most workshops and tutorials will be held at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). The full program and registration fees can be found on the AAPT website. It is recommended that you register early for your workshops. Some workshops will fill-up early and others may be cancelled due to low enrollment.

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