Lowell Regional Physics Alliance Meetings
Four general meetings of the Lowell Regional Physics Alliance (LRPA) are held each year in addition to a full day of workshops in March. The general meetings--usually held on Thursday, from 3 to 6 p.m., in the Olney Science Center at UMass Lowell--have two parts. The first part includes one or more invited talks on an announced topic, presented by high school teachers, university faculty, or a special guest speaker. Past guest speakers have included Woodie Flowers (MIT), Anita Greenwood (UMass Lowell), Paul Hewitt (author), Philip Sadler (Harvard), Philip Morrison (MIT), Melissa Franklin (Harvard), Eric Chaisson (Tufts), Margaret Geller (Harvard), as well as the state science coordinators for Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Teacher presentations are wide ranging and have included such topics as Physics Laboratory Projects, Comparative Teaching Methods in the U.S. and Overseas, Computer Interfacing in the Physics Laboratory, Electronic Networking, Favorite Physics Demonstrations, Physics on the Web, and Energy Sources of the Future.
The second half of the meeting is devoted to sharing physics classroom demonstrations among the teachers. Many meetings also include a free raffle of donated equipment, as well as a separate raffle for the teacher demonstrators, and the proceedings are videotaped for inclusion in the LRPA resource center.
A full-day meeting in March offers several workshops on a variety of topics, including American Association of Physics Teachers PTRA workshops. Assistance in organizing and running the meetings is provided by UMass Lowell student volunteers. Attendance at the meetings can be used by teachers toward fulfilling re-certification requirements.