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------- Initial information on upcoming SLAPT Workshop Events for 2017-2018 School Year are listed below and further details will be posted as soon as possible -----

Past events are on the archive page linked above and HERE--------

Thanks and congratulations to Elegan Kramer of Parkway North who is SLAPT's new President.......Thanks to Jen Meyer for her leadership the last year.


 ------- Scroll down to read the incoming SLAPT President's message -- or click HERE. -------

Postponed from August: Geometric Optics

Date: TBD
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Parway Central High School room 803
Host:  Jen Meyer/Rex Rice

Detail to be announced

Parkway Central is located at 369 N. Woods Mill Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63017.  Park in the main parking lot in the front of the school and enter using the front door.  Signs will guide you to room 803.  You will walk straight into the building and through the upper commons.  Keep walking West until the hallway comes to a dead end.  Turn right and room 803 will be on your left.  

Feel free to email Jen if you have any questions at


October 28, 2017 - Simple Harmonic Motion

Date: October 28, 2017
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Location:  Webster Groves High School
Hosts: David Schuster/Jane Knittig (Davis) 

To begin our SLAPT adventures into waves this year, we'll look at their source:  Simple Harmonic Motion.  I have lovingly introduced SHM to my AP classes for several years with a suite of eight 30-minute labs that are known as either Labstravaganza or Labageddon depending on whether you're the teacher or not.  You will be invited to (like students) make rounds through the eight setups (and seven bonuses!) to discover the wonders of oscillations with your best pals.  Briefly, you'll be manipulating a mass on a spring, a pendulum, screeching chalk, engravers, a strobed fan, AC-powered LED's, video analysis of circular motion, a fancy driven oscillator jig from Pasco, and a tiny, cheap setup that lets you vary tension and mass for oscillators (cost ~$3).  And then, for dessert, there's the tuning forks, the anti-tops, the dancing washer on a threaded rod, the dancing magnet on a ferrous cylinder, the bongos, and the beat frequency of stroboscopes and cameras.  Beginners and experts alike will find something to love here.

 Centrally located at Webster Groves High School.  8am-noon on 10/28/17.

CANCELED: November 4 , 2017 Six Flags for Teachers

Date: Saturday, November 4, 2017
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
Where:  Six Flags St. Louis, Eureka, MO
Host: Rex Rice, Jen Meyer, Gabe DelaPaz and Six Flags Personnel

Six Flags has supported SLAPT’s development of a comprehensive educational component for Physics Day and has made Physics Day separate from Math and Science Day, giving students more time on the rides and reducing lines. To learn more about how to include amusement park physics into your classroom, join us (and bring a guest) for a free workshop at Six Flags on November 4th at 8am. 
We'll begin with a behind-the-scenes tour of the engineering that makes the rides work. Next, we'll provide an overview of the resources available to use with students in preparation for Physics Day and to use at Physics Day. Finally, we'll strap on our wireless data collection devices and ride, ride, ride! RSVP to Rebeque Lafloure at, with "Physics Workshop" in the subject line and you and your guest's name in the body of the note.

 Additional Six Flags Physics Day curriculum materials and information can be obtained at:


November 11, 2017 Mechanical Waves

Date: November 11, 2017

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Kirkwood High School
Host:  Jim Cibulka and Jen Meyer

We will start with developing rules and models for the behavior of mechanical waves with slinkies.  Then we will look at how a ripple tank can be used to show properties of mechanical waves.  Next we will look at activities, demos, and labs exploring standing waves that can be used with your students.

There will be some fun door prizes for those who attend!!

To sign up to attend please fill out THIS FORM.

 Directions:   Jim's room is in the science building located on the Dougherty Ferry parking lot.  801 W Essex Ave, Kirkwood, MO 63122

Easiest way is either 270 to Dougherty Ferry and then East 


Manchester to Geyer Road (South) then West on Dougherty Ferry

We hope to see you Saturday!

 Contact Jen Meyer at with any questions.

December 9, 2017: Physical Optics

Date: Saturday, December 9, 2017 
Time: 8:30 - 12:00 pm 
Location: Chaminade College Preparatory School
Presenters:  David Schuster, Jen Meyer and Mike Johns

David Schuster, Jen Meyer, and Mike Johns will be facilitating a workshop on Physical Optics this coming Saturday, December 9, 8:30 a.m. - noon at Chaminade, 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis.

Several Labs and activities will be set up.    You know......we all get through lots of geometric optics, and then run out of time for physical is the time to make a shift.   Please come with your own ideas and activities to share.   Hope to see you there.
1.  Young's Double Slit y vs. m - use the slope to find the experimental value of the wavelength of the laser.
2.  Angle of diffraction vs. Wavelength - students use a diffraction grating and a light bulb
3.  Find the width of a human hair two ways --- using double slit and an air wedge.
4.  Activity on colored light
5.  Polarizing filters in combo with light sensors
6.  Walk through various slit profiles with Pasco double and single slit wheels on optics benches.
7.  Double Slit activity with waves printed on acetate transparencies.   This lets students see the out of phase and in phase sequence as angle increases from central maxima.
8.  Good ole' soap bubble wand, Newton's Rings and other thin film demos
9.  Sharing several simulations.
10.  LED Tower

Link for directions:     Park anywhere in the lot in front of the main older brick building near the flag pole. Go in the middle front door up the steps, then follow signs to the third floor via stairs or elevator to room 301.  

Contact email: Mike Johns

January 20, 2018 - Kinematics/Forces Share-a-thon

Kinematic/Forces Share-A-Thon
Date: January 20, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Parkway North High

Hosts: Elegan Kramer and Jim Cibulka

Everyone teaches kinematics and forces - so we challenge you to make it better! Please come share, discuss, and take-away a new idea or two.

To sign up to attend (and/or present) please fill out this FORM.

Click here for directions to North High. Please enter through the main entrance (turn at the lights on Fee Fee Road, park next to the tennis courts). There will be signs to get to Elegan's room (Room 2213). Thanks!


February 1, 2018 - Thursday -  Momentum Centered Mechanics

Date: THURSDAY EVENING, February 1, 2018
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Location:  Ladue High School

Presenter/Host:  Richard Witt

We've turned the curriculum upside-down!!?!? Here's how it goes: 1D Motion, 1D momentum, Energy, Newton's Laws (still 1D), Work, then 2D Motion (and everything else). Come find out how to use momentum as the underlying theme to develop physics concepts and we'll do a couple of experiments as well. Questions? Contact Richard Witt at


April 14, 2018 - Make-n-Take Workshop --- Inertial Balance

Date: Saturday, April 14, 2018
Time: 8:30 - 12:00 pm
Location:  John Burroughs School
Presenter/Host:  Val Michael, Wayne Winters, Martha Keeley, and Catie Haveman

The Physics teachers at JBS and Val Michael would like to invite you to come make a very simple inertial balance on Saturday April 14. “An inertial balance is a device that allows the measurement of inertial mass that can be operated in the microgravity environment of space where weight is negligible. The principle of operation is based on a vibrating spring-mass system”(Wikipedia). An article in the Physics Teacher magazine in April 2017 inspired the workshop. After working with the content of the article, an Internet search revealed the world’s cheapest inertial balance designed by the educational unit of NASA. At the workshop we will build the device and test the data taken from the device. We will discuss how to add layers of technology such as smartphones and video analysis according to your rational for the use of the lab. We can look at the data analysis to find relationships. We can have a fulsome talk about the use of (0,0) as an unmeasured data point. We will discuss the levels of understanding that you would like to apply to the lesson from simple questions on how to measure mass in space to what is the relationship between period and mass to a solid calculus proof of that relationship. This device will work well from the 9th grade to the senior level.    

We will also use store bought inertial balances and compare functionality and data collection. Some lucky participant will take home one inertial balance from Arbor Scientific as a prize.

The cost for the device is $3. The device is made from hacksaw blades, film canisters and duct tape. I will ask you to bring 8 quarters that we will use as masses. Please email me and let me know if you are coming and how many devices you want to make. It seems to me you could get away with only one device and cell phone stopwatches if you have clear sight lines in your classroom. Please email me by April 6 so I can get all the materials. At:  

Looking forward to seeing you on April 14. 


755 South Price Road

JBS is building a new science building so Physics is housed in a trailer for the year. It is really a good temporary facility but a little harder to find. So park in the Clayton Road parking lot and follow the chalk marks to the building. Call Val at 636-751-5081 if you feel like you need assistance.

April 20, 2018- Six Flags Physics Day

Date: Friday, April 20, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Six Flags St. Louis

Again this year, Physics Day is exclusive to high school physics -- giving your students even better access to the rides. SLAPT highly recommends the picnic combo package that includes buffet lunch in the catering grove - it's much better than waiting in lines at the food vendor stations. If you choose to buy park admission tickets without the lunch, you can save several dollars per ticket if you order in advance. You also get one free chaperone ticket for every 15 paid tickets. Bus and car parking is $20 per vehicle. Processing fee is $10 and is indicated on the order form. Click HERE for the 2018 order form -- or call Six Flags at 636-938-4800 ext 6288 for further information. Also again, this year, there will be data collection opportunities at Mr. Freeze with Vernier accelerometers. Students can wear a vest with the equipment attached and then download data following the ride. Teacher volunteers are needed throughout the day to staff the data collection equipment. If you are available, email Jen Meyer at or sign up on the online form HERE to volunteer for as little as a couple of hours or as much as the whole day. Further information and curriculum materials can be downloaded HERE on this web site.

April 21, 2018 - 33rd Annual SLAPT High School Physics Contest

Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018  -----   With ENTRY Deadline April 16 2018.   
Times: Tests 9:00 am - 11:00 a.m. (arrive by 8:40); Lunch (provided by Wash U) 11:00 a.m. - 12:45 pm.; awards ceremony 12:45 pm - 1:15 pm

To register your students, please fill out this brief form:

Location: Washington University Crowe Hall (Maps at:

April 21, 2018:  33rd Annual SLAPT High School Physics Contest at Washington University in St. Louis

The Physics Department of Washington University in St. Louis will host a competition to be held on its campus Saturday, April 21, 2018.  The contest is open to all high school students and will have two different exams.  Students can only take one of the exams.

The first exam will be only mechanics and consist of 50-ish multiple-choice questions.  The cash prizes for this exam will be: First Prize of $100, Second Prize of $50, and Third Prize of $25. We will present Certificates of Honorable Mention to the next highest scoring twenty percent of the contestants.  We encourage first-year physics students to take this test.

The second exam will also consist of 50-ish multiple choice questions.  The approximate numbers of questions covering the various topics will be:  mechanics (18), waves (5), sound (3), fluids (1), thermodynamics (4), electricity and magnetism (11), optics (5), and modern physics (3).  The cash prizes for this exam will be:  First Prize of $100, Second Prize of $50, and Third Prize of $25.  We will present Certificates of Honorable Mention to the next highest scoring twenty percent of the contestants.

To enable smaller schools to compete more fairly, we will have a large and a small division for all team awards this year.  The team score from a large school (>500 students) will be the total of the highest four scores from that school.  The team score from a small school will be the total of the highest three scores from that school.  The top three highest-scoring schools in each division will receive certificates marking their excellence.

 As an incentive, you might want to consider allowing those students who place on their physics contest exam to become excused from their final exam in your course.  The test is also an excellent practice opportunity for students who will be taking an AP Physics exam in the following weeks.

For both exams we will allow calculators of all types.  It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that all calculator memories are cleared.  We will supply the values of physical constants, but no equations.  The students are not allowed to bring a formula sheet.  Each contestant may keep a copy of the test, but we will not return the graded answer sheets.  We will send a list of all winners to teachers with students participating in the competition along with statistics on the test results. Individual scores below the top three in each division will be kept confidential, except that we will report the score of each contestant to his or her teacher.

The tests will run from 9:00 am until 11:00 am followed by a 1.75-hour lunch break (featuring WUSTL-provided free pizza!!!) and an award ceremony lasting from 12:45 until 1:15 pm. Students should arrive at 8:40 am.  The test and awards ceremony will take place in Crow Hall in the northeast section of Washington University's Danforth Campus.  Maps can be found here: Metered parking is available in yellow parking spaces on Saturdays at the east end of campus.  There has been some pretty dramatic construction in the area, so parking may require a minute or two longer than it has in the past. There is a cafeteria on campus, but who cares, since there's free pizza?

Due to the tremendous support of SLAPT and WUSTL, there will be no fee for entering the competition.  To register your students, please fill out this brief form:  You'll need your contact information, the enrollment count of your school, and a list of student names with Mechanics or Senior test designation.  Kindly register by Monday, April 16, 2018.  We will be able to accommodate 200 students, and probably at least an occasional student who did not register in time. You do NOT need to attend to send your students, but you are encouraged to do so. 

Please pass this onto to a local teacher-friend.  We have been steadily increasing participation, and we'd love to have more schools involved.


David Schuster, PhD

Clayton Physics


April/May, 2018 - SLAPT Planning Meeting for 2018-2019 School Year

Date: April/May 2018
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: xxxxxxxxxx

Details to be provided here later in the year, and emailed to everyone....  You can provided input at links in below paragraph...

Please attend the planning meeting. The more input we get from our members, the better our workshops will meet your needs. There are many ways to help make next year successful and rewarding for our community. You could volunteer to present (or co-present) a workshop, or volunteer to host a workshop at your school. If you have a topic you’d like to present, but feel it is not enough material for a full workshop, we’d still love to hear about it, because we typically have a workshop composed of several short presentations by multiple teachers. If you have a connection to a regional business or governmental agency which does work related to physics or engineering, you could suggest a field trip to the site.

We have an online survey that will stay active throughout this school year through which you can tell us the topics of greatest interest to you for next year. We would like everyone’s input on this, so please take 5-10 minutes to make your voice heard. The survey can be accessed by clicking HERE. You can also e-mail Elegan Kramer at if you have ideas or any other input. Additionally, we would like to hear your suggestions about how the SLAPT website and other communications tools we have used the last several years can be updated and improved.

Thank you in advance for your participation and for helping make a successful workshop series for the 2018-19 school year.


2017-2018 SLAPT President's Welcome

Elegan Kramer – Saint Louis Area Physics Teachers Association

I was first pushed out of my teaching comfort zone when I was assigned to teach Honors Physics in 2012. It was only my fifth year teaching, and I had predominately taught and only loved Chemistry up to that point. While flattered, I was terrified. I finally felt confident with classroom management and the Chemistry curriculum, but now I was expected to teach and be an expert in Physics? With this apprehension, I took some initiative and attended my very first SLAPT workshop hosted by my very own high school Physics teacher, Val Michael. I’ve been attending as many of them as I could ever since.

SLAPT is a great community and I have truly benefited from it. Every time I go to a workshop, I’m always able to use the resources, activities, and ideas immediately in my own classroom. Even after teaching those topics several times, I always look at those topics with a new perspective after a SLAPT workshop and teach them with a different lens. We have been working hard to put together a great schedule of workshops about waves and light for the school year. Please visit for full details about this year’s exciting workshops.

I’m excited to serve as your SLAPT president. Serving as your SLAPT president will challenge me to a new role in my educational career. I’ve always gotten great ideas from everyone. As a SLAPT president, I hope to be pushed and tested out of my comfort zone, to try new ideas, and then share them with you. And I invite you to do the same. It could be as simple as attending more frequently, bringing a new friend/colleague to a SLAPT workshop, having your students compete at the WashU/SLAPT contest, or actually presenting. Do not be intimidated by the veterans; everyone has something to share and learn from one another. Jim Cibulka and I are hosting a kinematics and forces share-a-thon at Parkway North on January 20, a topic that all of us teach at all levels. I challenge you to try something new with kinematics and forces in the upcoming school year and invite you to share what you do.

Thank you for all that you do and I hope to see you soon!

                                             Elegan Kramer,, President, SLAPT


2018 Workshops - Here is the start of a list of 2018 Workshops and other events hosted and sponsored by other organizations.

American Modeling Teachers Association: Modeling™ Instruction, under development since 1990 under the leadership of David Hestenes (Emeritus Professor of Physics, Arizona State University), corrects many weaknesses of the traditional lecture-demonstration method, including fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity, and persistence of naive beliefs about the physical world. Unlike the traditional approach, in which students wade through an endless stream of seemingly unrelated topics, Modeling ™Instruction organizes the course around a small number of scientific models, thus making the course coherent. It applies structured inquiry techniques to the teaching of basic skills and practices in mathematical modeling, proportional reasoning, quantitative estimation and technology-enabled data collection and analysis. Each summer, Modeling™ workshops are held all over the country. In 2014, almost 1200 teachers took one of the 75+ workshops in 20 states. The content areas of the workshops (depending on location) are mechanics (physics I), E&M, CASTLE, waves, light (physics II), chemistry I and II, biology, physical science, and we are proud to now offer workshops especially geared to middle school science teachers! On the website of the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) we have a list of workshops that will be offered this coming summer, --- the information is subject to change so check the site every so often to see if now your state offers a Modeling™ workshop: 

2018 Summer Modeling Workshops:

Workshop descriptions, dates, details:


April 26 at 4:30-5:30pm  - Hot Topics Lecture Series: Materials Through the Age

Click the title above for further information....The development of materials has always gone hand-in-hand with advances in civilization. Metals and glasses have been the dominant materials over the ages; plastics and semiconductors have taken on significant roles within the relatively recent past. Over thousands of years, by trial and error, humankind has learned how to produce superior materials for different types of processing.

Thursday, April 26, 2018 (RSVP by April 18)
Public Lecture: 4:30 – 5:30PM. Reception: 5:30- 6:00PM
mySci Resource Center, 6601 Vernon Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63130

June 11 - 15, 2018 - Nuclear Science & Engineering for Secondary Science Teachers A Three Credit Hour Faculty Development Course on the University of Missouri- Columbia Campus

Date: June 11 - 15, 2018
Time: Daily 8a.m. - various
Location: Various on campus sites at University of Missouri, Columbia - including visits to area energy sites.

This will be the 36th year Mizzou has offered this course and related energy events. Several SLAPT members have attended in the past and have many a postive comment about it. Seats are limited, so inquire soon. Please visit the website linked here for details, application, and points of contact.

Join the American Association of Physics Teachers


Why should you become a member? It's easy, and there are nice tangible benefits: you will receive both Physics Today and either the Physics Teacher or the American Journal of Physics (your choice) in addition to online access to the magazines. AAPT sponsors contests, awards, pre-college and college teacher training programs, programs for physics students, two national meetings each year, facilitates collaborations between all sorts of physics teachers, and provides grants to sections.

Perhaps more importantly, though less tangibly, is that AAPT is our professional organization, and that membership is a professional responsibility. AAPT supports what we do, recruits and trains new teachers, voices our concerns to legislators, and boosts the prestige of our profession.

Additionally, our new AAPT section status gives SLAPT greater visibility and recognition in the national physics teacher community. Our involvement in AAPT through membership and participation in national meetings will further boost the strength and quality of service SLAPT provides to our members.

Click HERE to go to AAPT's online registration site.

Other Workshops and meetings planned for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year --- Many dates are TENTATIVE -- this website will be updated as they become firm.

Check back here for other possible events during the school year



Past President: Jen Meyer | President: Elegan Kramer | President Elect:
Web Page: Mike Johns | Treasurer & Membership:  Gene Bender
St. Louis Area Physics Teachers
- SLAPT Constitution