2018 Spring Section Meeting Announcement

The 2018 Spring meeting of the Idaho/Utah section of the AAPT will be held February 23-24 in Rexburg, Idaho.  While this is earlier than normal, it is the latest weekend I could find that did not conflict with a spring break, finals, or other popular conference/teacher in-service.

More information on registration, abstract submission, etc. is available here: https://content.byui.edu/file/5faef9d2-3f50-4f0a-a853-b04b47326b0d/1/main.htm

Once again, we will be holding a student poster session, so please encourage your students to prepare and participate.

On Friday, we will have our usual demo show.  Then on Saturday will be our annual business meeting, invited and contributed talks, and raffle.

If you know of any teachers not on our mailing list, or anyone else who might be interested, please forward them this message.

Matt Zachreson

Idaho/Utah AAPT Section Vice President

Brigham Young University-Idaho



Spring 2017 section report

AAPT Idaho-Utah Section Meeting Report April 2017


Section Representative: Brian A Pyper – Brigham Young University-Idaho Department of Physics

The Section Meeting for the Idaho-Utah Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers was held at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City April 14-15 2017. The meeting was excellently organized by Adam Beehler and Kathrine Skollingsberg, and was attended by about 60 people, some 10 HS Faculty, 30 College/University Faculty/Staff, and 20 students some of whom were jointly attending the combined SPS Zone 15 meeting.

The program included the ever-popular Demonstration Show, a collection of contributed talks, and the section business meeting and annual section officer election.

The results of the election were as follows, with terms from 4-17 to 4-18:

Steve Shropshire from ISU is now the past-president

Adam Beehler from the University of Utah is now the section president.

Matt Zachreson from BYUI is now the vice president

James Coburn from Utah State is now the president elect

Brian Pyper, from BYUI remains the section representative with a term to expire in 2018


The section meeting for next spring is planned to be held at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg.

Spring 2017 Meeting

You are invited to attend the annual spring meeting of the AAPT Idaho-Utah Section (American Association of Physics Teachers).  Anyone is welcome to attend, whether a member of AAPT or not.  The AAPT is “A professional membership association of scientists dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching.”  You are welcome to tell friends and colleagues about this meeting.

This link should contain everything you need to know about the meeting:


36th Annual Spring Meeting
AAPT Idaho-Utah Section

Friday and Saturday April 14-15, 2017

Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

This meeting will feature…

– banquet
– public demonstration show

– invited and contributed talks
– student poster session
– catered lunch
– annual section business meeting
– raffle
– tours

Academic Credit / Professional Development / Continuing Education

For those interested, we have arranged for you to receive academic credit through participating in this meeting.

Student Poster Competition

Do not miss an opportunity to participate in the student poster competition (with prizes!).  Poster content may be on anything related to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching.  This may involve physics research, education research, instruction techniques, demonstrations, physics projects, community engagement, etc.

Contributed Talks & Demo Show Presentation

We are now accepting submissions for posters, talks, and demo presentations.  See the website to sign up.

Presentation and Tour:  Utah Nano-Fabrication Laboratory

Nanotechnology has become a big thing.  This presentation and tour of the state-of-the-art nanofabrication facility involves an examination of methods that can be used to teach students about scaling principles and modern nanotechnologies, along with how we use them, and how they are made.

Online Registration

Please register online to reserve your spot at the meeting.  Early bird registration for the meeting is $12 for students and $20 for everyone else, until April 2, 2017. This fee also includes all meals and snacks on both days.

Material Donations

We are accepting donations of any teaching materials (including textbooks) for the raffle, as well as for high school teachers.  Please bring these materials with you, and drop them off in 103 JFB prior to the Friday demo show.


All events will be on the University of Utah Campus.  See the website for maps and parking.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  We look forward to seeing you there.


Adam Beehler
Vice President
AAPT Idaho-Utah Section



Spring 2016 Section Report

AAPT Section Report 2016

Brian A Pyper, Section Representative


The Idaho-Utah Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers met April 15-16 at Idaho State University in Pocatello, hosted by local organizer and Section vice president Steve Shropshire. The meeting combined with an SPS Zone 15 meeting as well. About 70 people were in attendance for the meeting, which featured a banquet dinner, several guest speakers, and the perennially popular demo show (http://www.physics.isu.edu/events/conference/AAPTDemoSchedule.shtml) and make and take.

The program was excellent, with a varied collection of contributed talks and posters. The full program of events is available at http://www.physics.isu.edu/events/conference/schedule.shtml.

The business meeting Saturday re-elected Adam Beehler from the University of Utah as the section treasurer, and tentatively elected Matt Zachreson of BYUI to serve as president elect, and host the meeting in Rexburg in 2018 on the condition that Boise State, whose turn it should be, can’t do it, and that his one-year appointment at BYUI is renewed.

So the Current slate of officers for the section is as follows:

Matt Zachreson (BYUI) – President Elect (rotates to Vice President in 2017)

Adam Beehler (UofU) – Vice President and Treasurer (2017)

Steve Shropshire (ISU) – President (2017)

Larry Smith (Snow) – Past President (2017)

Brian Pyper (BYUI) – Section Representative (term expires in 2018)


A sincere thanks to Steve Shropshire and the department at ISU for hosting the section so well. Keep abreast of the section doings and plans for the Spring 2017 section meeting at the University of Utah on the section’s web page at idahoutah.aaptsections.org.

2016 Section Meeting participants
2016 Section Meeting participants

2016 Spring Section Meeting details

Dear Colleagues,


The 2016 meeting of the Idaho/Utah Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) will be at ISU in Pocatello, Idaho, April 15- 16.  The AAPT is a professional organization dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching.  The meeting will feature:

A Friday evening demo show and share-a-thon

A free banquet courtesy of the ISU College of Science and Engineering

Saturday sessions with invited and contributed talks on physics teaching topics, and a student research poster session

A leaf-blower hovercraft construction workshop, with all materials paid for by a grant from the Bauder Endowment (for the first 20 middle school and high school teachers only).  The cost for others to participate in this workshop is $120.

Tour of the Idaho Accelerator Center

Continuing education credit through ISU

For more information on the conference, to register, and to submit contributed abstracts, go to



You do not have to be a member of the AAPT to attend.  Registration will be $5, which does not include the cost of lunch on Saturday, which is an additional $10.  This will be a great opportunity to learn and share tools and tips for teaching physics and physical science.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and have a great semester.

Steve Shropshire
Idaho/Utah AAPT Section Vice President


2016 Spring Section Meeting Announcement

Dear Colleagues,


The 2016 meeting of the Idaho/Utah Section of the AAPT will be at ISU in Pocatello, Idaho, April 15 – 16.  Of all of the possible dates I proposed in emails to section members and others since October, this weekend had the fewest conflicts according to replies I received.

Please reserve this date and plan to attend, if convenient.  We will have our usual Friday evening demo show, which will be open to the public.  For Saturday we will have contributed talks, student posters, our annual section business meeting, a raffle, an optional tour of the Idaho Accelerator Center, and a leaf-blower hovercraft construction workshop.  Our meeting will be joint with a meeting of Zone 15 of the Society of Physics Students.


Additional details regarding registration, abstract submission, lodging, and a conference website will follow in the next few weeks.  If you are aware of any high school or college physics teacher who is not in recipient list for this email, or anyone else you think may have an interest in attending our meeting, please forward this to them and cc me.


Thank you for your time and consideration, and have a great semester.


Steve Shropshire

Idaho/Utah AAPT Section Vice President


Steven L. Shropshire, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Physics

Idaho State University

Mail Stop 8106, Pocatello, ID  83209  USA

208 282 2212, FAX 208 282 4649

Section Meeting and Annual Report Spring 2015

AAPT Idaho-Utah Section report spring 2015

AAPTID-UTSpring2015MeetingThe annual meeting of the Idaho-Utah section of the American Association of Physics Teachers was held March 13-14 at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. The ever-popular demonstration show was held Friday night and was attended by over 200 people.  A short video compilation (thanks to Snow College!) is available here: https://snow.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/aapt_event/0_9sg0w43a/13823862


Saturday held a full season of talks and activities, highlighted by a report from the Governor of Utah’s advisor for science education, Tami Pyfer. About 50 people participated in the conference, which was organized by Larry Smith, the current vice-president of the section, who did a fantastic job. A copy of the program is attached below.


Of particular interest was the business meeting, in which Brian Pyper was re-elected as Section Representative and Adam Beehler was elected as president-elect in absentia and in anticipation of his organizing the section meeting in two years at the University of Utah. This means the current spate of officers is: Katie Devine (CofI) – Past President, Larry Smith (Snow College) – President, Steve Shropshire (ISU) – Vice President, Adam Beehler (UofU) – President-Elect and Treasurer, and Brian Pyper (BYUI) – Section Representative. The section meeting will be held in Pocatello next year hosted by Steve Shropshire.


Rondo Jefferies from Weber State graciously sent me a note listing the history of the section meetings going back to 1983 when the section was founded. I’ve posted it below.


– Brian Pyper

section representative

March 2015



Friday, March 13th

4:00 – 6:00 PM                 Registration                                  Huntsman Library Lobby

6:00 – 7:15 PM                 Dinner                                              LDS Institute Pavilion

                                             (included in registration fee)

7:30 – 9:00 PM                 Physics Demo Night                    Huntsman Library Auditorium

                                             (free to the public)

Saturday, March 14th

8:00 – 9:00 AM                 Registration                                     Huntsman Library Lobby


9:00 – 9:10 AM               Welcome                                           Huntsman Library Auditorium


9:15 – 10:15 AM             Talk Session I                                        Huntsman Library Auditorium

10:15 – 10:30 AM          Snack Break                                      Huntsman Library Lobby

10:30 – 12:00 PM           Talk Session II                                      Huntsman Library Auditorium

12:00 – 12:05 PM              Group Photo                                        Plaza in front of Huntsman Library

12:05 – 1:00 PM                 Lunch                                                 Noyes Bldg, Founders Hall

                                            (included in registration fee)


12:30 – 12:50 PM              AAPT Business Meeting                       Noyes Bldg, Founders Hall


12:50 – 1:10 PM              Poster Session                                    Noyes Bldg, Founders Hall


1:15 –2:45 PM                  Talk Session III                                     Huntsman Library Auditorium

1:15 –2:15 PM                  “Build-It” session                              SCNCE 326

Build a penny vaporizer and get a lesson plan (for HS teachers only)

2:15 – 3:15 PM                 Planetarium Open House            Noyes Bldg, Founders Hall

Lynn Lindsay, Emeritus and Adjunct Professor of Astronomy and Mathematics


2015 Spring Meeting announcement

The Spring 2015 meeting of the Idaho-Utah Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers will be held March 13-14 2015 at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.

The Local Organizer is Larry Smith larry.smith@snow.edu

Information will be posted here as it becomes available, but mark your calendars and plan to attend.

See http://snow.edu/aapt/ for more.

Brian Pyper – Section Representative


Spring 2014 Section Meeting

The Section meeting for Spring 2014 of the Idaho-Utah Section of the AAPT will be held March 21st and 22nd at The College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho.


Contributed talks are welcome from all aspects of physics education.  All physics faculty, particularly high school faculty, are encouraged to contribute a talk or poster.  Students interested in physics pedagogy and learning are also encouraged to present. Presentation topics can include, but are certainly not limited to: assessment, “best practice” teaching techniques, and curriculum design.  Presenters are also encouraged to share novel physics classroom ideas, laboratories, and demonstrations.  Papers on current physics topics are welcome, where such information would be of use and interest in the student classroom experience.

Oral presentations will be limited to 15 minutes, including questions.  Poster presentations are also invited.  Also welcome are demonstration items for the Friday evening public physics demo show. Please submit an abstract with title and author information via the online registration form, or directly to Katie Devine at kdevine@collegeofidaho.edu no later than Wednesday March 12th.


In person registration will be held at the main entry of the Boone Hall Science building 4:00pm-6:00pm, Friday March 21st and 8:00am-9am Saturday March 22nd.   Participants may also pre-register online at the following link:



Rooms are available for $65/night at the Best Western Inn & Suites, 908 Specht Ave in Caldwell.  Reservations may be made by calling (208) 454-7225.  Please make your reservation by March 1st and mention the AAPT to get the group rate.  The Best Western is located approximately 1 mile from The College of Idaho campus.  Ample free parking will be available on campus for attendees that wish to drive from the hotel to campus.

Travel and Parking:

The most convenient airport is located in Boise, ID (BOI).  Driving directions to The College of Idaho Campus may be found here: http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/about/maps/directions-campus .

Information about public parking may be found here:  http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/about/maps/parking.  The Jewett Auditorium lot is most convenient for accessing the buildings in which we will be meeting.

A campus map is available here:  http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/sites/default/files/CampusMap/CofICampusMap.pdf

About The College of Idaho:

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.


Idaho-Utah AAPT Meeting, March 21 and 22, 2014 The College of Idaho

Program Outline:
Friday, March 21st
4:00 – 6:00 PM Registration Boone Hall Main Entrance
6:00 – 7:15 PM Dinner (no host) Stewart’s Bar and Grill
2805 Blaine St., Caldwell ID
7:30 – 9:00 PM Physics Demo Night Langroise Recital Hall
Phil Matheson, Utah Valley University, “Poor Man’s Blue Tooth”
Chris Stoker, Mountain View High School, “The Marshmallow Gun (and a few others)”
Harold Stokes, Brigham Young University, “Singing the Harmonics”
Richard Hills, Weber State University, “Waves and Superposition of Standing Waves on Cords”
James Coburn, Utah State University, “Optical Illusions, Lenses, and Lasers” Duane Merrell, Brigham Young University, “Pop Can Energy” Brian Pyper, Brigham Young University—Idaho, Various Demos
Saturday, March 22nd
8:00 – 9:00 AM Registration Boone Hall Main Entrance
(All talks are held in: )
9:00 – 9:10 AM Welcome Boone Hall, Room 101
9:00 – 10:15 AM Talk Session I (Session Chair: James Dull, The College of Idaho)
9:15 – 9:30 AM Dan Black, Snow College
Service Learning Contracts for Improved “Real” Service
9:30 – 9:45 AM Cameron Vongsawad, Brigham Young University Development of Educational Stations for the Acoustical Society of America Outreach Activities
9:45 – 10:00 AM Brian Pyper, Brigham Young University – Idaho Adventures in Supporting Public Education
10:00 – 10:15 AM Dewey Dykstra, Boise State University
Is it Fair?
10:15 – 10:30 AM Snack Break Boone Hall Main Entrance
10:30 – Noon Talk Session II (Session Chair: Katie Devine, The College of Idaho)
10:30 – 10:45 AM Chris Stoker, Mountain View High School Four Ways to Engage Students in Building Mental Models
10:45 – 11:00 AM James Dull, The College of Idaho Re-thinking Intermediate Electrodynamics: A First Step Toward Flipping an Upper-level Electrodynamics Course
11:00 – 11:15 AM Jean Francois Van Huele, Brigham Young University JITT for large classes
11:15 – 11:30 AM Harold Stokes, Brigham Young University The Mysterious Static Friction
11:30 – 11:45 AM Larry Smith, Snow College
The God Particle for Mortals: A Review of the Higgs Boson
11:45 – noon Sean Boston, Capital High School, Boise ID Labs: Data Analysis Made Easy
Noon – 1:30 PM Lunch/Raffle Prizes/AAPT Business Meeting/Lab Set-Up Open House
(Lunch available in Simplot Dining Hall, South Dining Room)
(AAPT business meeting and raffle at 12:15 in Simplot South)
(Lab Set-Up Open House 1pm-1:25pm in Boone 116)
(GROUP PHOTO AT 1:25 SHARP – Boone Hall Main Entrance)
1:30 – 2:30 PM Talk Session III (Session Chair: James Dull, The College of Idaho)
1:30 – 1:45 PM David Oliphant, Brigham Young University – Idaho Physics Problem Set Database
1:45 – 2:00 PM Katie Devine, The College of Idaho Using Pencasts to Flip Upper-Division Physics Courses
2:00 – 2:15 PM Gary Parkinson, The College of Idaho Using Wolfram Mathematica to Create Interactive Lessons
2:15 – 2:30 PM Cynthia Tang, Diana Gomez, Matthew Goodwin, The College of Idaho Analysis of Figure-Skating Jumps
2:30 – 2:40 PM Break
2:40 – 3:30 PM Optional Event: Planetarium Show Boone Hall Planetarium
Amy Truksa, The College of Idaho Planetarium Director
Using the Planetarium to Enhance Introductory Astronomy Courses

October 2013 Announcements

Two items:

The National AAPT winter meeting in Orlando is up for registration. see http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/wm2014/

Also: Beth Cunningham from the National Office sent me this today. Shout if you’re interested.

“I am seeking your assistance in finding an AAPT national member in your section to represent AAPT at an upcoming important conference in the region of your section.  The Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWIP) are three-day regional conferences for undergraduate physics majors.   The goal of the conferences is to help undergraduate women continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics at all career stages with whom they can share experiences, advice, and ideas.  The program includes research talks by faculty, panel discussions about graduate school and careers in physics, presentations and discussions about women in physics, laboratory tours, student research talks, and opportunities for students to interact.

The conferences are held simultaneously at eight different institutions of higher education.  The 2014 conferences will run Friday evening, January 17th, through Sunday afternoon, January 19th.  For more information about the conferences, see http://www.aps.org/programs/women/workshops/cuwip.cfm.  One of the locations for the conferences is University of Utah which is located in the Idaho-Utah section.  I need your assistance in finding a local AAPT national member who could represent AAPT and provide materials about careers in physics particularly involving teaching in high school or at the college or university level.  In addition, this representative can provide information about AAPT and the value of an AAPT membership in supporting careers in physics teaching.  The national AAPT office can provide materials for this representative to distribute.  If needed, we may be able to provide modest travel reimbursement if the volunteer requests support.


The leadership of AAPT understands the value of increasing the participation of women in physics careers.  AAPT’s current leadership includes four women: the current president, vice president, past president, and executive officer.  We are also keen to support programs to increase the number of women in physics, particularly as role models and mentors teaching physics to the next generation of scientists and citizens.  In fact, the AAPT Marketing Manager RaShonda Rosier (rrosier@aapt.org) is attending the conference at Florida State University and I am attending the conference at University of Maryland.


Can you find a local AAPT member who is willing to attend this conference as a representative of AAPT?  And, can you connect that individual to RaShonda and me by forwarding their contact information?  I would appreciate this information by October 31st so that RaShonda and I can coordinate registration and mailing of materials with this individual.  We can also assist this individual in contacting the conference local organizing committee.  As always, I appreciate your willingness to assist AAPT!

Warm regards,


I told her I’d do it if no one else wanted to.


Brian Pyper
BYU-Idaho Physics
Idaho-Utah AAPT section representative