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Andrew Boudreaux, Western Washington University
Over four days in June, more than 40 PER practitioners and consumers gathered at the North Cascades Institute’s Environmental Learning Center on the shores of Lake Diablo for the 3rd offering of Foundations and Frontiers in Physics Education Research: Puget Sound. The conference, modeled after the ongoing FFPER meetings in Bar Harbor, ME, was residential and almost entirely plenary, leading to a vibrant, running dialogue about methodologies, claims and implications of research on student learning in physics. Most participants came from British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Washington state, with a few travelers from as far away as Hawaii and the east coast of the U.S. The group included graduate students, high school teachers, and faculty from 2-yr and 4-yr colleges and universities. Five stimulating plenary talks provided anchors and jumping off points for discussion that developed during afternoon unstructured time, as participants hiked the surrounding rain forest, and became more free-ranging during late evening meet ups that included games, puzzles, and of course s’mores. To encourage speakers — and all participants — to share their most current ideas, the conference was “off the record.” So, while we cannot divulge specifics, if your interest is piqued, then please join us in the North Cascades for the next offering of FFPERPS, planned for June 2018.
Andrew Boudreaux is Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Western Washington University. He was on the conference organizing committee of FFPER: Puget Sound 2016.
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.