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2 Catalyst Members attend Summer Conferences: AAPT and PERC

Ice sculptureAAPT posterCatalyst director Michael Loverude and postdoctoral scholar Sissi Li attended the summer national meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers as well as the annual Physics Education Research Conference, held July 29 - August 2 in Philadelphia.  Loverude and Li were active participants in both conferences, meeting with collaborators past and present, discussing ongoing research projects, and contemplating future funding opportunities.  Both Loverude and Li gave research talks at the main conference, and Dr. Li also presented a contributed poster that fleshed out the subject of her talk.  The Physics Education Research Conference is held immediately following the Summer AAPT meeting and is the principal venue for physics education research in North America. 

PERC posterThis year, the theme was "Cultural perspectives on learners’ performance & identity in physics."  Dr. Li's research was highlighted as part of an invited poster session titled "Shaping Identity through Membership in Communities," organized by Dr. Vashti Sawtelle of the University of Maryland.  Dr. Li presented work on identity development as physics majors at CSUF begin their upper-division course work in the poster titled, “Identity and belonging: Are you a physicist (chemist)?” Loverude also presented in an invited poster session highlighting current research on student learning of thermodynamics, led by Dr. Warren Christensen of North Dakota State University.  Loverude's research on student learning of entropy and the second law of thermodyanmics was titled, "They Still Remember What I Never Taught Them."  For Dr. Li, it was also an opportunity to prepare for Summer 2013 when she will be among the researchers organizing the 2013 PERC, which will be hosted in Portland, OR.