The New Jersey Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (NJAAPT) is a professional organization whose focus is on physics education and educational research.  NJAAPT is committed to outreach and support for Physics teachers.  The majority of NJAAPT members are high school and college faculty teaching in New Jersey.    Activities and resources include Workshops, Conferences, Meetings, Sharing Sessions, Lectures, a Listserve, and a Website.

Click on “Calendar of Events” on the top menu to see the events that are offered this year.

Bergen CC Teaching Positions

Bergen Community College is looking for two people to teach Conceptual Physics in the fall. The textbook is Hewitt’s Conceptual Physics.

A Master’s or PhD degree in physics and teaching experience is required.

The two classes meet on:

Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 am to 12:15 pm

Tuesday and Thursday from 1:45 pm to 5:40 pm – this class is a late start offering that begins on Sept 22.

Please contact Dr. Lynda Box (lbox@bergen.edu) if you are interested in teaching one of these classes. Please send her your current resume.

thank you!

Paul J. Griffo
Bergen Community College
Department of Physics

President’s Message

President’s Message



The 2014-15 year has come to an end and we can all be proud of the New Jersey Section for a very active term. Many members thoughts will be of relaxation for a couple of months before beginning a new school year, but the executive board will have the planning of the activities for 2015-16 to decide upon.


This past year provided many opportunities for the membership to be active in the life of the Section. So a summary of the sponsored events may encourage others to take part in the programs offered in the next school year.


The year began with a workshop on Energy at Georgian Court University chaired by Dan Kaplan and hosted by Anne Tabor-Morris of GCU. Numerous presenters, including Anthony Lapinski, provided valuable methods for teaching a difficult concept for students to grasp. A follow-up program on another topic is being discussed for next fall.


Also in October, the NJAAPT made its appearance at the NJSC with a table to promote our section and the national organization. Members of the section also conducted some sessions that were very popular from the attendance in the rooms.


November is the month that the northern part of the state gets to have a meeting at Bergen Community College in Paramus. Paul Griffo and Joe Civo put together a program of speakers along with the opportunity to view the sun through BCC’s solar telescopes. This year about 60 people attended and this included the general public.


December saw the return of Holiday Treats to our calendar. The site may have been different, Princeton University being our host, but the enthusiasm was as high as ever. Not only was a give-away table, and the presentation of the Holiday Treats boxes, but the door prizes donated by numerous organizations and suppliers provided a fitting end to a great evening. We look forward to being back at Princeton in December, 2015.


Congratulations to John Valente and Jessie Blair for the tremendous job they did in conducting the Physics Olympics in January. Over forty teams from more than twenty schools participated in the competition, not only demonstrating their knowledge of physics principles but also in answering the Fermi questions provided by Dave Maiullo and his student at Rutgers. Thanks to all who competed and volunteered their time to help conduct the Physics Olympics. This event is one of the most successful and longest running programs offered by the NJAAPT.


Our Sectional Meeting was held at Princeton University on Saturday, March 14 and was attended by over 50 of the Section. The theme was a follow-up to last year’s meeting to discuss the NGSS and the changes in the AP curriculum. In a similar format to the previous meeting, the morning session provided the group with information from our three speakers and the afternoon was devoted to breakout sessions so small groups could discuss the various topics that proved of greatest interest to the membership. The meeting concluded with a fast-paced demonstration show that captivated the audience.


On April 24th, a demonstration program was conducted at Princeton University and organized by Dan Kaplan. Ten of our members presented their favorite demonstrations and provided take home materials. A program that was supposed to last two hours extended to three and a half hours and they wanted more. It is our intention to repeat this event next year to excite even more people to attend.


Princeton University has been very supportive of the New Jersey Section and is willing to provide us with a site for future meetings and other events we may plan. We are extremely thankful to Geoff Gettlefinger, the Physics Dept. Manager, who has made it possible for us in the easiest possible way to use the facilities.


A very special thank you to Dan Kaplan for his proposing and conducting two workshops this summer. As you are well aware, Dan is teaching at the Governor’s School at Drew University for the second year. As he did last year, he will be leading a workshop in July for 20 of our members. He also will be conducting a QuarkNet workshop with Steve Schnitzer at Rutgers in July. Both of the events are completely filled and indicate that there is a need on the part of the NJAAPT to provide some events during the summer. These would certainly provide the spark for the new school year.


Personally, the work as president is made easier by the cooperation of the members of the executive board, especially this year. So a hearty thank you for all the hard work they put in during this year is warranted. To John Valente, Nancy Michelson, Tibi Dagiou-Luca, Dan Kaplan, Jessie Blair, Rich Urban, Dave Maiullo, Yitzhak Sharon, Joe Spaccavento, Jim Ferrara, Jim Signorelli, Carolyn Sealfon, and Pat Drury, thank you very much for all the hours spent in attending meetings and events to make the NJAAPT an organization that is so highly thought of by our colleagues at the AAPT. Special thanks must also be given to the members of our section who donate their time and efforts in presenting at the various workshops and events we sponsor. Without the help of the members of the section, we would not be able to provide the varied events that many attend. We are one of the most active sections of the national and it is something that all members should be proud.


As the summer is in full swing, a reminder that in October, the NJAAPT along with the New York and New England Sections will be meeting at Bergen Community College. The preliminary program is available at our website and we hope that you will take the opportunity to join us in attending the regional meeting.


Have a great summer and if you are attending either of the two summer programs, enjoy the time spent with your colleagues – it’s worth every minute of it.


Ray Polomski





Job Posting — South Jersey — Physics by the Sea!

Ocean City High School – Reposting
Teacher of Physics
Effective: September 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016

  • A Valid New Jersey Teacher of Physics or Teacher of Physical Science Certification required.
  • Criminal History background approval and proof of New Jersey residency required


As per contract

Interested applicants please apply online at:
Date of Posting:                  July 23, 2015

Deadline for Filing Applications:     August 3, 2015

Demo Shareathon

Physics Teachers will present a variety of physics demonstrations that will work well in Physics Classrooms.  This is a great chance to share ideas with fellow physics teachers.

Date: Friday, April 24, 2015   Start Time: 6:30PM

Free for members and their families, free for students.  $10 for non-members.  Non-member price includes a 1 year membership in NJAAPT.

To sign up, please link to: https://eventbrite.com/event/16270859579/

Refreshments will be served.

Attendees will earn 2.5 hours of education credit.  Attendess who also show some demonstrations will earn 3.5 hours of education credit.


NJAAPT 2015 Spring Meeting


Next Generation Science Standards information from Coleen Weiss-Magasic can be found at the top menu bar of the njaapt.org website.

Bob Goodman’s presentation from the NJAAPT Spring Meeting can be found here

On the website, you can also find posts about the Rutgers Irons Lectures, and Spring Fest. (scroll down, below).

John Roeder also offered a subscription to the Newsletter:  Teacher’s Clearinghouse for Science and Society Education.  Just email your request to John at      JLRoeder(at) aol.com

SciFest 2015

DATE: Saturday, March 28th, 2015 – Rain or Shine

Flyer:  click here

LOCATION: Activities will occur on Busch Campus at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ PARKING: Available in lots 54, 54A, 51A, 58, and 58A for vehicles without a Rutgers permit. LOCATION 1: Allison Road Classroom (ARC) Building Room 103, 618 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ LOCATION 2: Life Sciences Building (LSB), 145 Bevier Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Welcome and Distribution of Raffle Tickets (ARC 103)
“Mad Science” Physics Demo Show (ARC 103)
Indoor Science “Side-Walk” Demos/Interactive Activities (LSB) Finale: Chemistry Demo Show by Bob Porcja (ARC 103)
Prize Raffle (ARC 103)

11:15 AM – 11:45 AM 11:45 AM – 12:30 PM 12:30 PM – 2:45 PM 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Guests will be guided to and from these locations. Event starts at 11:15 AM in ARC 103.

Sandwiches will be served at 12:45 PM while supplies last. Local vendors will be around to purchase food.

A number of prizes and one grand prize will be raffled off at the end of the Chemistry Demonstration Show!

Indoor Side-Walk activities featuring the following Rutgers Organizations:

Astronomical Society

Association of Undergraduate Geneticists

Society of Physics Students

Science, Mathematics, & Engineering Outreach

Cognitive Science Club

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Phi Sigma Rho

International Society for Optics and Photonics

Meteorology Club

Student Alliance of Computer Scientists

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Photography Club

Biomedical Engineering Society

Material Advantage

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email us at ru.scifest@gmail.com

Irons Lecture at Rutgers

Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy

The 2015 Henry R. and Gladys V. Irons Lecture
in Physics and Astronomy

The Irons Lectures are free talks intended for the general public: high school students and teachers, college students and teachers, friends, neighbors, and anyone interested in science and science education.

Professor Sandra Faber

University of California, Santa Cruz
UCO/Lick Observatory

The Gift of Cosmic Time: Opportunity Seized or Opportunity Squandered?
2 P.M., Saturday March 28, 2015
Physics Lecture Hall, Busch Campus, Rutgers University

Flyer:  click here
A hundred years ago, astronomers did not know about the Big Bang, or that our Milky Way is a galaxy in a vast sea of billions of other galaxies. Our cosmic roots were a total mystery. Since then, a host of powerful telescopes in space and on the ground have revealed our cosmic past — how the Galaxy was formed, how the Sun and Earth were born, and how the very atoms that comprise our bodies and our planet were synthesized. Standing on this firm knowledge of the past, we can now look ahead to predict our cosmic future, and it is bright ahead. We appear to have been given the most precious gift of all — cosmic time — hundreds of millions of years of it. The supreme challenge is now before us: will we use this gift, or squander it? To what extent do we owe allegiance to a cause that is much larger than any of us: realizing the cosmic potential of a powerfully sentient species. Our growing cosmic understanding has finally raised the most profound moral question ever faced by our species — where is humanity headed?

Sandra Faber is University Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a staff member of the UCO/Lick Observatory. She is an observational astronomer with research interests in cosmology and galaxy formation. Some of her major discoveries include the first structural scaling law for galaxies (called the Faber-Jackson relation), large-scale flow perturbations in the expansion of the Universe caused by superclusters of galaxies, and black holes at the centers of galaxies. In 1984, she and three colleagues from UCSC and Cambridge University presented the first detailed treatment of galaxy formation based on which has since become the standard paradigm for galaxy and cluster formation in the Universe.
Faber was one of three astronomers who diagnosed the optical flaw in the Hubble Space Telescope, and she played a major role in its repair. She established the scientific case for the twin Keck 10m telescopes, which inspired a subsequent wave of giant optical telescope building all over the world. From 1994-2005 she was Principal Investigator of the DEIMOS spectrograph, a large optical multi-object spectrograph for the Keck 2 telescope that is the most powerful instrument of its kind in the world. She and colleagues used DEIMOS to conduct the DEEP redshift survey of the distant Universe, which collected spectra of 50,000 distant galaxies and exploited the immense power of Keck to see and study galaxy formation 10 billion years back in time. She now co-leads the CANDELS project, the largest project in the history of the Hubble Space Telescope, to extend our view of galaxy formation back nearly to the Big Bang. She has co-authored over 300 scientific papers, and her work has been cited over 46,000 times.

More information:

Directions to the department. Free parking will be in Lot 53A and Lot 53.
You may download a flyer (PDF format) for the Irons Lecture, suitable for copying and distribution.
For further information, contact Nancy DeHaan (nancy [at] physics.rutgers.edu, phone 848-445-8973)
to Rutgers Physics Home Page
Last revised: March 10, 2015

2015 NJAAPT Physics Olympics



Go to Information / Rules

Any questions, contact John Valente   jvalente@ctemc.org

We look forward to your school’s participation at the NJAAPT sponsored “NJ Physics Olympics” to be held on Saturday, January 17h, 2015 at Monmouth Regional High School. The competition is a lot of fun and your students will meet, share experiences, and compete with other students from various parts of New Jersey.

In order to participate you must complete the attached registration form and send your check within the deadline prescribed. Rules & directions can be obtained by e-mailing the event organizers at jvalente@ctemc.org. You can also request that your team be mailed the complete rules for the competition and directions to the event. The fee of $35.00 per team helps defray the cost of postage, supplies, trophies and donuts. IOU’s will be accepted in the case where school checks cannot be sent in time. No purchase orders can be accepted. The fee will be reduced to $25.00 per team if the team registers by December 15, 2014. Each team may have up to six members.

Each high school must have at least one faculty member accompanying the team who will be asked to help judge one of the events. More than one faculty member will be welcomed. We could really use the help.

On the day of the Olympics, plan on arriving for the final registration between 8:00 am and 9:00 am. The first event begins at 9:00am. The day’s activities should conclude around 2:30pm.

You may bring your own box lunches. The cafeteria will not be open. Morning refreshments will be served (coffee, tea, juice, bagels and donuts). Please note that there are no restaurants walking distance from the school. You may arrange to have pizza/subs delivered.

Since there are a maximum number of teams that we will be able to handle, we may have to ask for a multiple team school to only send one team. Should this happen we will notify you by January 7, 2015. Fees for eliminated teams will be refunded.





Joint NY, NE, & NJ Regional Meeting

Interesting Physics – Good Physics Teaching


OCTOBER 10 AND 11, 2014 Siena College

515 Loudon Road

Loudonville NY 12211 (Albany NY AREA)

Registration is open. Registration form at www.nyss-aapt.org.

Registrants will receive an email confirmation and a printed receipt will be included in their registration packet.

Registration for the free tour of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and the Friday dinner at Siena are requested by September 26, 2014. Space at those events can not be guaranteed after that date.

Student Poster Session Announced: In an effort to attract undergraduate students we will have a Student Poster Session, with categories for Physics and Physics Education Research. Prizes for posters in both categories will be awarded.

Its not too late, we still have a little room in our schedule for additional submitted presentations or short workshops; please contact meeting organizers at executive_board@nyss-aapt.org. Inquiries by email to Robert Stewart, NYSS-AAPT Secretary/Treasurer at rstewart1@hvc.rr.com.

Program Outline Friday, October 10, 2014

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Guided tour of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Please reserve your place on the tour by Friday, Sept. 26.

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm Evening Dinner Meeting and Get Together: Cocktail hour (cash bar), dinner, and entertainment (physics-themed quiz game). All to be held at the Norm in Serra Dining Hall. Cost is $35 per person. Please make reservations by Friday, September 26.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

8:30 am – 9:00 am Registration, coffee, and pastries outside of Key Auditorium, Roger Bacon Hall, Siena College campus

9:00 am – 4:00 pm with Lunch at Noon  – A full day of physics-education-themed presentations in the Key Auditorium and classrooms in Roger Bacon Hall.

A partial list: • PTRA Workshop – TIPERS (Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research) • The New AP Physics 1&2: The Reasoning and the Resources for the Program • Teaching Particle Physics to High School Students: Methods, Resources, Demonstrations and Activities • Plotly: On-line Graphing Tool for Teaching Physics • Wrapping Our Minds around Physics: Student Performance, Tools for the Common Core, and the NYS View of NGSS • Activity Based Physics e-edition • Johnston’s Physics Emporium – A 40 Year Apparatus/Demo Collection • Jepperdee for the Physics Classroom

4:30 – 6:30 pm: Anyone be interested in a group dinner (dutchtreat) AFTER the presentations Saturday check the bulletin board at the registration table. Restaurant directions will be provided.

Area Accommodations: Hotel Indigo, 254 Old Wolf Road, Latham, NY 12110, 518-869-9100, which is holding rooms (each with one king-size bed) for attendees of “Physics Conference-Siena ” at the special conference rate of $112 + 14% tax ($127.68 total) for 1 night, 10/10/14 if a room is reserved by Sept. 19, 2014 (later, if available),

La Quinta, 833 Old Loudon Road, Latham, NY 12110. Call Group Reservations Department at 1-866-527-1498. Rooms are being held until Sept. 19, 2014, for members of the “American Association of Physics Teachers” (reservation block confirmation number 0781875) at the special conference rate of $132 + 14% tax ($150.48 total) for 1 night, 10/10/14.

Hampton Inn, Ulenski Drive 10(near I-87 exit 4), Albany, NY 12205; 3 miles from Siena. Call 1-800-HAMPTON and reference the “American Association of Physics Teachers.” Rooms are being held at the rate of $109 + 14% tax (total: $124.26) for 1 night, 10/10/14 if reserved by Sept. 19.

Quality Inn and Suites, 611 Troy Schenectady Road (near I-87 exit 6), Latham, NY 12110; 3 miles from Siena ; call 785-5891and reference the physics teachers conference at Siena. Rooms are being held at the rate of $89.99 + 14% tax (total: $102.59) for 1 night, 10/10/14 if claimed by Sept. 26. If you will share a room, you may want to ask for a suite at the same price.

Cocca’s, 706 New Loudon Road, Latham, NY 12110; 1.5 mi. from Siena; if available, rooms will be given at a one-night rate $74.05 + tax (discounted from 79.75 + tax) for anyone who mentions “Siena Physics” while checking in for 10/10/14. Tel.: 785-0776. [The real cost, including tax, is $84.42.]

Feel free to try these (all 2 – 4 mi. from Siena): Homewood Suites by Hilton, 216 Wolf Road, Albany 12205; 438-4300 Hampton Inn, 981 New Loudon Road, Latham 12110; 785-0555 Holiday Inn Express, 946 New Loudon Road, Latham 12110; 783-6162 Super 8 Motel, 681 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham 12110; 783-8808 Days Inn, 2 Wolf Road, Albany 12205; 459-3600 Red Roof Inns, 188 Wolf Road, Albany 12205; 459-1971

President’s Message – July 2014

President’s Message

July 2014


Summer is speeding by and another year is in the books for the NJAAPT. Our section has had its share of success this past academic year and we are looking forward to an even more exciting 2014-15.

As is very evident over the past couple of years, communications technology has made a significant change in our organization. Our newsletters have become less frequent, but the communication of information has been enhanced. With the introduction of the listserve, there is an immediate means of passing new and important announcements to our members. This is a positive approach to being time relevant and makes it unnecessary to wait for a month or so to tell our membership of some important event or educational asset. The listserve has also provided the members with a forum to exchange ideas and to discuss topics that is of an interest to many.

The NJAAPT has been able to continue its basic function – to improve the state of physics education in New Jersey. Although we were unable to conduct the very popular Holiday Treats program due to a scheduling conflict that did not deter other event from being offered. The fall and spring workshops and the Physics Olympics, and the Spring Sectional Meeting, and our presence at the NJSC and NJEA Convention were resounding successes. The Physics Olympics had a record number of teams competing due to the hard work of John Valence and Jessie Blair. Both John and Jessie came back for another workshop and Daniel Kaplan offered his Exploratorium workshop last fall to rave reviews.

Our Spring Section Meeting at Princeton University in March was very well attended. The Friday night session with a great dinner and talk set the stage for the Saturday session. What a pleasant surprise it was to have so many of our members attend the Saturday meeting and participate in discussions of the NGSS and the revision of the AP – B course. The format changed and it heightened the awareness of the changes in the standards and curriculum in the near future.

We are already beginning the activities for the 2014-15 year with the workshop at Drew University hosted by Daniel Kaplan in conjunction with the Governor’s School. This will hopefully be the first of many activities we will sponsor in the new school year.

What’s in store for next year? We will be conducting workshops, making our appearance at the NJSC, hopefully bringing back Holiday Treats, sponsoring the Physics Olympics, the meeting at Bergen Community College, and any other events that may be brought to the attention of the executive board to serve the membership. Looking a bit further into the future, the fall of 2015 will see the NJAAPT hosting the Northeast Sectional Meeting at Bergen Community College. The meeting will bring together the NJ, NT, and New England Sections for a Friday and Saturday meeting.

If you need clarification of your membership status, please contact our treasurer to determine the year your membership expires. The dues collected represent the only real source of income for the NJAAPT. If your membership has expired, please send in your dues for one or three years. If you know any other physics teachers who are not members of our section, please try to get them to join us. The larger our membership become, the greater is our ability to provide events in various parts of the state. If you have any suggestions that you wish the executive board to consider as workshops or as topics for the Spring meeting, please contact me at r7429@optonline.net.

Have a great rest of the summer in preparation for the upcoming school year.


Ray Polomski