AAPT WM18 San Diego

PTRAs were deeply involved in the AAPT WM18 in San Diego, January 6-9, 2018.  PTRAs led multiple sessions and workshops in addition to their service on committees.  Thank you to all the PTRAs who came and made the AAPT meeting successful for members of the K-12 community!

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”72″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow” gallery_width=”600″ gallery_height=”400″ cycle_effect=”fade” cycle_interval=”5″ show_thumbnail_link=”1″ thumbnail_link_text=”[Show picture list]”

2018 PD Opportunities

PTRA is currently setting up multiple PD opportunities for teachers K-12 in the summer of 2018.  There will be two sites that will specifically address more current topics in physics such as gravitational waves, black holes, relativity, and the basics of quantum. If you wish to be notified of these please email us karen@aaptptra.com

For other PD topics scheduled, go to menu (Professional Development) for general opportunities or select your state.  If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Solar Eclipse Activities 2017

We are excited about this year’s Solar Eclipse, and we think it’s a great opportunity for teachers!  This is the first Solar Eclipse in the contiguous United States since 1979, so it’s a unique learning opportunity.   To help you incorporate the event in your classroom, we’ve gathered fantastic resources from the PTRA community for student learning activities.  Let us know how they work in your class by tagging us on social media (@aapt_ptra) and using the hashtag #ptraeclipse

Pics from the AAPT Solar Fest July 2017

Data from Solar Eclipse.  Taken at Knob Noster, MO by KJ Matsler

ExportedData taken with wireless PASCO light and temperature sensors

Data taken from LabQuest 2, UVA, UVB, Pyranometer, and temperature probes to be posted as soon as I figure out how to get word press to accept cmbl files.  If you need them individually, email us.




Penny Melter – Melt a penny by focusing the sun’s light rays

CAUTION: be sure you are wearing solar glasses when using this to melt metal and anyone nearby needs to have them too.  Adjusting the lens can cause severe burns.  These lenses are used to start campfires, respect their ability to focus the sun’s rays.



Solar Oven – Use the sun’s rays to cook lunch



Measuring the Temperature of the Sun , Measuring the Surface Temperature of the Sun lab.pptx





Tracking the Suns Daily Motion












Build Solar Houses, measure differences in temperature of insulated vs. noninsulated





Page Keeley Probe on Eclipse – Moon Phase and Solar Eclipse

Build your own Telescope – PVC Telescope







Build a Solar Viewing Funnel – Instructions

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Heliophysics YouTube Channel




Featured Photo Copyright: oorka / 123RF Stock Photo






Baltimore Bootcamp

From Seed to Tree, How Can That Be? John Hopkins University hosted a bootcamp for teachers and leaders of Baltimore ISD June 19-23 to learn about STEM, best practices, inquiry, and techniques to be successful in working with adults. http://aaptptra.com/maryland-2017/

Texas AAPT

PTRAs Kenric Davies, Janie Head, Trina Cannon, Bill Franklin, and Karen Jo Matsler provided 5 one hour workshops for members of the TS AAPT at the spring 2017 meeting in San Antonio.  The workshops were well attended and some equipment was distributed to participants courtesy of the AAPT Bauder Fund.


no images were found


no images were found

Central PA

pa-5Pat Callahan and Dave McCachren held a workshop on 12.2.16 at Penn State University – Schuylkill Campus, the topic for the workshop was Engineering Design


CAST 2016

PTRAs led multiple workshops for approximately 1000 teachers at the Texas state science conference (CAST) in November.  For more information go to the Texas Section AAPT website http://www.texasaapt.com/cast-2016/


PTRA 2016

The summer 2016 leadership institute was held at the PASCO headquarters. The focus was on NGSS implementation and engineering applications in the classroom.