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Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research: Puget Sound

Mar 17, 2011 - Mar 20, 2011

We are pleased to announce a new conference, Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research: Puget Sound (FFPERPS), to be held March 17-20, 2011 (Thursday night through Sunday morning) on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. The conference will provide a forum for examining and articulating the current state of the 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, includes plenary talks, targeted breakout sessions, a contributed poster session, and substantial free time for informal interactions.

We expect this conference to draw participants primarily from the Northwest portion of the US (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana) and from neighboring British Columbia, Canada. While this region boasts diverse individuals and groups engaged in PER, many are not well acquainted with one another's work and some are less well known to the broader community. Major goals of the conference are thus to increase regional communication and collaboration, and to increase the visibility of work that is of high quality but not well known.

The conference will feature 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). This year's plenary speakers will be:

* 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 will address 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 will be devoted to informal discussions. Evening sessions will include working groups on
subjects of community-wide interest, topical groups for specific research issues, and a contributed poster session. The goal of the conference is to foster the type of direct and intense discussion possible in a small (30-40 people) residential meeting of specialists.

Registration will open in November. The registration fee will be $245 per person. A limited number of discounted registrations of only $50 will be available for those with reduced means, thanks to a PERTG mini-grant.

Registration fees include:

* Dormitory campus housing (in shared dorm rooms) from Thursday night through Sunday morning
* Meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday breakfast, excluding Friday dinner (when you'll be on your own to explore charming Port Townsend, WA)
* Daily coffee/tea breaks including muffins, cookies, etc.

The conference will be held at the Olympic Park Institute, located at the edge of the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.

If you will be bringing guests and/or need childcare during the meeting, please contact Sam McKagan to make special arrangements.

We look forward to seeing you in the rain forest this March!

Your conference organizers:
Sam McKagan, American Association of Physics Teachers and McKagan Enterprises
MacKenzie Stetzer, University of Washington
Andrew Boudreaux, Western Washington University