Wisconsin Section, American Association of Physics Teachers PDF Version

Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting

October 31, 2009, at UW – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI


Wow, what a nice little lobby (glassed-in conference room) to hold lunch and the Business Meeting!  Matt Evans was frantically running in and out of the room and building (we were not really sure why).  A nice buffet lunch was served (after we stole a bunch of tables and chairs from several different places in the building) and then we chatted for a while…


Meeting Start Time:  12:45 pm (which is actually 15 minutes early!).  President Paul Nevins presiding.  His first order of business was to thank Steven Sahyun for a job well-done in bringing WAPT to UW - Whitewater.  These thanks, of course, go to all o the people working behind the scenes, as well.


1.  Minutes of the last meeting (October 11th, 2008) – Erik Hendrickson

            Motion to accept the minutes as distributed was made by Jim Madsen, seconded by Ken Mendelson.  Motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.


2.  Treasurer’s Report for 2008-9 – Erik Hendrickson

Please see the full text, including a nice graph, of Erik’s Report, but a few items were highlighted…

            A.  It was reported that our 1-yr CD earned $146.63 last year.  Expenses were described briefly.

            B.  We forgot to put the “first timers” awards on the registration page this year, but we’ll make sure to do it next year.  It was mentioned that this coming year when the CD is due, we will need to take out some of the funds to make sure we can cover these costs.

            C.  Motion to accept the printed treasurer’s report as corrected made by Jim Madsen, seconded by Forrest Kirshbaum.  Motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.


3.  Section Representative’s Report – Jim Mallmann

Please see the full text of Jim’s Report, but he highlighted a few items…

            A.  Jim pointed out that the AAPT is pushing the Section Reps to recruit new members.  There is a new category of membership, which was developed to try to encourage recruitment:  Associate Member.  The cost is only $36.

            B.  Jim noted that the Winter AAPT Meeting is in Washington, DC, and the Summer Meeting is in Portland, WA.  Just to plan ahead, the following Winter Meeting is in Jacksonville, FL.

            C.  He reminded us that if anyone would like to serve on any of the national committees, he could nominate you.

            D.  The report was accepted without objection.


4.  High School Representative’s Report – Gary Baier

            A.  The State is working on new DPI definitions (with a new Federal administration, things are changing rapidly).  What do teachers need?  What do students need?  They are still sorting this out at all levels, but watch for these and participate in the discussions!

            B.  The AP program is being revamped at the Federal level.  They are suggesting that it be a 2-year program, have no pre-requisites, etc.  There is still discussion regarding whether or not there will be a lab component to this new version.  As always, one of the big issues is whether or not these requirements will fit into a high school schedule.  The plan is for implementation in 2010 or 2011.  Gary hopes to report on more details next year.

            C.  The report was accepted without objection.


5.  Two-Year College Representative’s Report – Roger Hanke

Again, please see Roger’s full written report, what follows are his highlights (although, he was happy to see that he prepared the shortest report this year out of all of the written ones)…

            A.  No news is good news.  No major changes or overhauls to the physics offerings and the enrollments were relatively stable.  Yeah!

            B.  He is really looking for more input from the other 2-year campuses and he hopes that they can join in on the discussions of future directions, but there are just so many people who cannot make it to the meetings.  It was mentioned that attracting physics instructors of all types will be a topic soon to be discussed in the New Business section of today’s meeting.

            C.  The report was accepted without objection.


6.  Committee Reports

            a)  Awards Committee – Erik Hendrickson (since it was his mistake in leaving her off of several emails)

Two awards were given out this year and they were presented at last night’s banquet:

                                    Jim Mallmann:  Lifetime Achievement

                                    Gary Baier:  Service to and Excellence in Teaching Physics at the High School Level

                        Thunderous applause for a marvelous job!!

If you think there’s someone deserving out there, make sure to share this information with any member of the Awards Committee at any time throughout the year.

            b)  Publications/Promotions Committee – Jim Madsen

A newsletter?  It did not happen this year.  The idea would be to send out a request for entries several times a year and then let everyone know to go look at our new Facebook page (see below) to catch up on all of the happenings with WAPT!

            c)  Workshops Committee – Steven Sahyun

There were a number of good workshops this year!  Hooray!!  The comics workshop (Matt Evans) and the bungee workshop (Gary Baier) seemed to be the best-attended.  Start thinking of workshop ideas for next year!

A concern was raised:  Sparse attendance in the workshops.  It seems that many people signed up but then they did not attend.  This is not good when there are limits on the number of participants due to materials issues.  Is this due to not charging anything?  We might need to change the registration process back to requiring that a fee to be charged for each workshop, even if it is just a small amount ($5 or $10) to hold your place.  Other ideas:  Hold workshops on Friday morning (which used to be the case) and/or Saturday afternoon that do not conflict with the oral presentations.

Gary Baier & Matt Evans are going to work on whether or not it might be possible to be able to award DPI “credit” for high school teachers to attend the workshops, as it could be “counted” as professional development.  Another idea is to send official WAPT letters to the principals of the high school teachers who attend, letting them know how appreciative we are that the teachers were allowed to attend (it gives the teacher some “evidence” for their portfolio).  This would hopefully meet the needs of the participants and provide a contribution to the greater community.

As you can see, the Workshops Committee will have lots to talk about this coming year!

            d)  Assessment Committee – Paul Nevins

The committee did not find much to meet about this year.

What is the next project for the committee?  Looking at the direction that middle/high school and colleges are going with their physics curricula.  Also, look into certification issues that our constituents have.  The recommendation is that these topics be brought up and discussed via email and/or on Facebook during the year.  They plan to report on how well this idea worked next year.


7.  Old Business

            a)  1st Timer Awards – Erik Hendrickson

Erik reported (again) that this year we forgot to include the “1st timer” awards on the meeting registration page, but the plan is to offer the $50 awards again next year.  “1st timer awards” go to the first 10 people who register for their first WAPT meeting ever.  For people who are driving to the meeting and need lodging, the awards are $50.  For local attendees, the award covers the cost of the meeting (dues, lunch, etc.) and mileage costs.  It was also suggested that the meeting fee be waived for all high school teachers and 2-year campus instructors attending next year’s meeting.  Make sure to invite new people from your schools to attend and sign up for these perks!

Another suggestion came from those assembled:  What about attracting college professors?  It was suggested that Erik (the Chair of the Physics & Astronomy Department at UWEC) should send a welcoming e-mail to the department chairs of each of the colleges/universities in the state next year.  He could also encourage graduate students to attend, as well (at least from those departments that have a graduate program).  One idea would be to try to offer a workshop on what is required to obtain a faculty position.

            b)  Website – Matt Evans (who passed this off to Larry Stookey)

The suggestion is to start a WAPT page on Facebook

David Tamres and Philip Young said:  “What’s Facebook?”  After a brief description was given, it was agreed upon that this would be something interesting to try in the coming year.  Our page is now active!  Go to http://facebook.wapt.org/ to “join”.

Joe Zoller then asked about the WAPT discussion list (wapt-d).  He said he would be willing to give this up and help administer the Facebook page, especially the chat or discussion aspects of the new page.  Matt Evan moved that Matt & Joe Zoller & Larry Stookey all be named “administrators” of the WAPT Facebook group.  Jim Madsen seconded.  A unanimous voice vote approved the motion.

We are all hoping that there will be good stuff to report back to the group next year regarding this new endeavor.


8.  Future Meeting Sites

2010:  UW – River Falls, October 29th/30th  It will be a joint meeting with Minnesota.

            2011:  UW – Stevens Point (David Tamres)  They would like to start their own 10-year cycle of hosting WAPT.

            2012:  UW – Platteville (Philip Young)  They will have a new building that they would like to show off!

            2013:  UW – Eau Claire (Matt Evans)

            2014:  UW – Oshkosh or Green Bay East High School, maybe a joint meeting.


9.  New Business

A.  Joe Zoller – Equipment Give-Away and Book Give-Away

These are important and welcome endeavors!  Joe wants to establish an open forum “flea market” or exchange site on the web.  He can use our new Facebook group to summarize what’s going on, what’s available, what’s needed, etc.  You need to join the WAPT Facebook group (it is FREE) so you can get these email updates.  Do it today!

B.  Jim Madsen – Newsletter

Jim mentioned again that the WAPT Facebook group website will be a great way to collect and distribute the Newsletter.

C.  Shipping charges to assist physicists in other countries

Amsata Ndiaye is a professor in charge of the physics instructional labs in the Applied Sciences and Technology unit of the Universite Gaston Berger, in Saint-Louis, Senegal (http://www.ugb.sn/sat/index.php).  He has been visiting UW-Madison this semester, doing research in materials science.  It was asked if it would be possible for WAPT to help him ship books and equipment back to his home country.  Jim Madsen moved, and Steven Sahyun seconded the motion, for WAPT to contribute up to $500 toward shipping charges for this effort (send the “bill” to Erik Hendrickson @ UWEC).  The motion passed unanimously with a voice vote.  Please contact Jim Reardon (reardon@physics.wisc.edu) at UW – Madison if you can contribute equipment/items toward this effort, as well.  Since Amsata is heading back home in late December, any donations would need to make it to UW-Madison by 12/15/09.  Jim may be able to arrange pickup of any surplus equipment, perhaps in exchange for a tour of the donating institution's instructional physics labs.


10.  Elections  (Otherwise known as the railroading portion of the meeting!)

            Awards Committee – Past-President:  Paul Nevins

He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated automatically as Past President by Matt Evans and seconded by Jim Madsen.

            Awards Committee – High School Representative (2-year term):  OPEN

Please solicit volunteers!!  This person will be appointed by the new President (Steven Sahyun) when a volunteer is identified.  This motion passed by a voice vote after being moved by Matt Evans and seconded by Jim Madsen.

            Workshops Committee – President-Elect (1-year term):  Matt Vonk

                        He was elected by decree, since UW – River Falls is hosting next year’s meeting (see note below).

            Workshops Committee – High School Representative (2-year term):  Paul Nevins

                        He was elected by a voice vote after being self-nominated and seconded by Matt Evans.

            Workshops Committee – College Representative (2-year term):  Mark Lattery

He was elected by a voice vote after being self-nominated and seconded by Matt Evans.

            Publications/Promotions Committee – High School Representative (2-year term):  Joe Zoller

He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Matt Evans and seconded by Roger Hanke.

            Publications/Promotions Committee – College Representative (2-year term):  Matt Evans

He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Paul Nevins and seconded by Gary Baier.

            Section Representative (3-year term):  Jim Mallmann

He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Matt Evans and seconded by David Tamres.

            Secretary/Treasurer (entering the 3rd year of 3-year term):  Erik Hendrickson

He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Jim Madsen and seconded by Matt Evans.

            Vice President, Program Chair, for 2009:  Matt Vonk

He was elected by a voice vote after being nominated by Jim Madsen and seconded by Gary Baier.  We were assured that Matt is willing to do this, even though he was not present.  A loud uproar of clapping ensued!  Thank you, Matt (and Jim) & UW – River Falls!!  See you next year!

            President:  Steven Sahyun

He was elected by an extremely loud voice vote after being nominated by Jim Madsen and seconded by Gary Baier.


Not needed for elections this year…

            High School Representative (entering the 2nd year of 2-year term):  Gary Baier

            Two-Year College Representative (entering the 2nd year of 2-year term):  Roger Hanke

            Awards Committee – College Representative (entering the 2nd year of 2-year term):  Nathan Miller

            Workshops Committee – High School Representative (entering the 2nd year of 2-year term):  Nick Gagnon

            Workshops Committee – College Representative (entering the 2nd year of 2-year term):  Brad Hinaus

            Publications/Promotions Committee – Chair (entering the 3rd year of 3-year term):  Jim Madsen

            Publications/Promotions Committee – High School Representative (entering the 2nd year of 2-year term):  Larry Stookey

            Publications/Promotions Committee – College Representative (entering the 2nd year of 2-year term):  Ken Mendelson


11.  Closing Remarks & Adjournment

            The following motion was made by Erik Hendrickson and seconded by Matt Evans:

A big THANK YOU to

Steven Sahyun & UW – Whitewater

for an absolutely


The motion unanimously passed, as I could attest from the thunderously loud clapping of hands and pounding on the stolen tables!


            The following motion was made by Matt Evans and seconded by Erik Hendrickson:

A big “Thank You!” to Paul Nevins for running such an efficient Business Meeting!

This motion unanimously passed, as well.


The following motion was made by Gary Baier and seconded by Paul Nevins:

A little “Thank You!” to Matt Evans & Erik Hendrickson for assisting in running WAPT Meeting & Business Meeting!

This small motion unanimously passed, as well, but mostly due to Gary’s golf clap.


!!!See everyone at UW- River Falls next year!!!


Matt (the ever cost-conscious WAPT member) collected name tags from everyone as they left the building.


The meeting ended at 1:50 pm (Whew!  That’s one of the shortest meetings we’ve had in a while!!).  Several of the remaining members were heading off to a “tour” of the UW – Whitewater’s observatory and observing platforms…



Respectfully submitted,


            Erik Hendrickson