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Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research: Puget Sound 2011

March 17, 2011 - March 20, 2011 in Port Angeles, WA at the Olympic Park Institute

The first regional conference Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research: Puget Sound (FFPERPS) was held March 17-20, 2011 on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.  The conference provided a forum for examining and articulating the state of the PER field, exploring future directions, and discussing ways to pursue promising avenues of research.  The structure of the conference, based on that of the FFPER conference held in Bar Harbor, Maine, included plenary talks, targeted breakout sessions, a contributed poster session, and substantial free time for informal interactions.

Major goals of the conference were to increase regional communication and collaboration, and to increase the visibility of work that is of high quality but not well known.  

The conference featured a keynote address by Paula Heron of the University of Washington as well as a series of plenary lectures given by emerging leaders in PER in the northwest (or with connections to the northwest).  The plenary speakers were:

Hunter Close, Seattle Pacific University
Dedra Demaree, Oregon State University
Louis Deslauriers, University of British Columbia
Stephanie Chasteen, University of Colorado

Collectively, the plenary lectures addressed the theme of Foundations and Frontiers by highlighting and/or synthesizing important accomplishments in the field and by identifying directions for future research that the speakers consider to be particularly promising.  Afternoons were devoted to informal discussions.  Evening sessions included working groups on subjects of community-wide interest, topical groups for specific research issues, and a contributed poster session.

Conference Organizers

Andrew Boudreaux (Western Washington University)
Sam McKagan (American Association of Physics Teachers & McKagan Enterprises)
MacKenzie Stetzer (University of Washington)