Friday, August 30, 2013

New Physics Teacher Workshop (NPTW)

On August 10th, I helped to run a professional development workshop called the New Physics Teacher Workshop, hosted by the Southern California chapter of the American Association for Physics Teachers. 

This workshop is for physics teachers who will begin to teach physics for the first time, or who are in their first few years of teaching physics. 

We highlight interactive demos, labs, and other helpful info. for new teachers. 

Sessions take place three times per year, and participants who attend all three sessions will earn a certificate. 

Each session focuses on a central topic, such as "Light and Waves" or "Electricity and Magnetism."

Presenters included me, James Lincoln, Chija Bauer, Bill Layton, and Frank Lee.

Upcoming Workshops

Saturday, December 7, 2013
@ CSU Long Beach
Topics: TBA

To RSVP, email James Lincoln at

Check out some of the action shots.

This is a simple demo illustrating that a heavy book and a piece of paper fall at the same rate (if you can get air resistance out of the way). Simply place the piece of paper on top of the book and drop. 

James (me) interacting with participants

Bill discussing how to use some very high-tech materials

Chija leads an interactive activity

If you're a new physics teacher, join us at our next workshop! 

RSVP to James Lincoln

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The First Book Review: Physics for Future Presidents

Once in a while, I will post book reviews. I am an avid reader of physics texts as well as history of science books:

Physics for Future Presidents will make you a more informed citizen with a deeper understanding of the intersections between science and politics. With an accessible style and accurate information, Physics for Future Presidents explores the vital information our future citizens and leaders need to be scientifically literate and make informed political decisions. The text also includes historic anecdotes illustrating when science was applied in the political arena. For example, the development of Chinese nuclear power plants and weapons is discussed, with an emphasis on understanding the trajectory of nuclear energy development.

Physics for Future Presidents addresses all areas of physics, with a particular focus on energy. The book could be especially useful and appropriate for college physics courses for non-majors. I have used the book as part of my AP Environmental Science course. Indeed, the book grew out of a physics class taught at UC Berkeley by the author, who in the past consulted with presidents as a science expert. You can watch his lectures here. 

Whether you are a physics teacher, student, politician or simply a globally aware citizen, you will probably find this book interesting and useful.

Author Richard Muller’s website

More about his latest book: Energy for Future Presidents 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Where do videos come from?

The Genesis of My Physics Videos

Where do videos come from? Many of my videos arise from a question. Often great scientists started out as tinkerers, taking apart old radios or even fixing a toaster. Physics used to be called natural philosophy, and like any philosopher, physicists ponder, they ask questions of the world around them. Questions like: Can dogs see color? How do waves work, exactly?

Do you remember playing with magnets when you were younger? Or maybe this morning! 

Check out my video “How Do Magnets Work?” which was recently the number one hit on Google. 

I made this video while working for UCLA to create videos which answer physics questions.

The First Entry: An Introduction to My Blog

Welcome to my blog, Lincoln Physics. Thanks for stopping by!

What is the purpose of this blog?

To share resources, fun facts, excellent videos, teaching tips, lab and demo examples, and general advice for physics instructional design. The blog will also include book reviews, cool photos, and any physics musings on my mind.

Sometimes I will answer questions from my readers. I will share insights into common questions, issues or problems mentioned by teachers I meet at my SC-AAPT New PhysicsTeacher Workshop or conferences.

Why should you become a regular reader or follower of this blog?

Lincoln Physics is Engaging. Entertaining. Interactive.

This blog is for the physics teacher, professor, or physics enthusiast—even you, yeah you over there, who has just a passing curiosity in physics, but wants to learn more.

Who is your host on this journey into the blogosphere?

James Lincoln, an educator with a Master’s in Physics from Cal State Long Beach, a Master's of Education from UCLA and a B.S. in Physics from UCLA.

Here I am on "Mars," making a video on the Big Island of Hawaii
Can you guess where I am?

The two accomplishments I am most proud of right now are teaching for ten years—a whole decade! And leading the SC-AAPT New Physics Teacher Workshop.

Enough of that, this is a blog, not a resume—you will get to know me more as the blog entries pile up in a pyramid of brilliance.