Notice of the Physics Research & Education Gordon Conference: "Astronomy's Discoveries and Physics Education"

The biennial Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education will be June 17-22, 2012 at Colby College in Waterville, ME. This year's topic is "Astronomy's Discoveries and Physics Education." Leading research astronomers will review major discoveries; AER and PER researchers will discuss challenges and opportunities of adapting these materials to the needs of physics instruction; physics professors from a variety of institutions will describe current uses of astronomy's discoveries and technologies as contexts for teaching undergraduate physics. Program and registration information are at

A major goal of the conference is to inspire participants to produce astronomy based teaching materials that will induce physicists to use elements of astronomy as contexts for teaching physics. The remarkable discoveries and technologies of astronomy have produced a revolution in our view of the cosmos. Our students should know this new perspective and understand the physics that justifies it. (See Am. J. Phys. 80, 5-6 (2012).)

Thanks to generous contributors like the FEd there are some funds to help prospective participants attend. The organizers especially wish to attract to the conference graduate students, post-docs, and early-career and two-year college physics faculty. For further information contact

NOTES from the editor: Please don't be put off by the Gordon Conference Process of 'Applying for and Invitation' to attend – we expect that available space should be the only limitation (so apply early!).

There is additional information about using astronomy to teach physics at

Disclaimer- The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.