Section Representative's Report for 2000

Some 40 members and friends of the Iowa Section met Saturday, Nov. 4, 2000, in Van Allen Hall on the campus of the University of Iowa (UI).  The meeting was organized by our president, Wade Sick, and Dale Stille of UI.  Stille and his colleagues were very gracious hosts indeed.  More details concerning the meeting program are available at, a website maintained by Dale Stille.


Tom Boggess, associate chair of the department of physics and astronomy at UI, warmly welcomed our group.  Following that, Peter Bruecken (Bettendorf High School) reviewed the past activities and future plans of QuarkNet Iowa 2000.  This project involves high school physics teachers and their students in an ongoing high-energy particle physics experiment.  David Meltzer (Iowa State) then discussed the correlation of learning gains in physics classes with the students' math skills.  Frank Peterson followed with an outline of the features of a digital oscilloscope,  the Tektronix TDS210, that can replace older CRT oscilloscopes in college laboratories.


Then Mike Peterson (Ames High School) illustrated how he used a bicycle in an interesting laboratory concerning linear motion.  After a short break, Paul Canfield (Iowa State) gave an invited talk titled, The Beauty and Physics Manifest in Single Crystals of Novel Materials.  Canfield, the young author of some 299(!) scientific papers, delighted us with his humor and photographs of the world's largest examples of single crystals of a number of fascinating materials.  Following this, Jay Cutler (Charles City High School) ran for us a very interesting videotape of a Japanese high school math class.


Following a fine catered lunch, Bill Cox (Dowling High School) presented the encouraging enrollment trends in high school physics over the last 30 years.  After a business meeting, the grand finale was a set of coordinated tours (Dale Stille, Steve Spangler, Ron Vogel, Craig Kletzing) of (1) the introductory labs featuring video capture equipment, (2) a well-equipped advanced undergraduate lab, (3) the Iowa Robotic Observatory (an optical observatory located in Arizona whose program is run remotely from campus), and (4) the teaching observatory located on the roof of the physics building.  Teachers interested in the Iowa Robotic Observatory should visit the facility's website,


During the business meeting, the following persons were elected:



Jeff Dilks

Ames H.S.


Susan McDonald

Morningside College


Dale Stille and Craig Kletzing

University of Iowa

Vice President-

High Schools

Peter Bruecken

Bettendorf H.S., Bettendorf

Vice President-

Two-Year Colleges

Mick Arnett

Kirkwood Comm. College

Vice President-

Four-Year Colleges

David Meltzer

Iowa State University

Nominating Committee

Wade Stick

Southwest Comm. College

Teacher Award Committee

Larry Escalada

Univ. of Northern Iowa

*The elected person will complete Ron Byers' un-expired term.

Our president for the year 2001 is Mario Affatigato (Coe College), who was elected last fall.  Many thanks to Ron Byers, who has served as secretary since 1999.

We meet next in Des Moines area on the afternoon of Saturday, April 21, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Iowa Academy of Science (IAS) on April 20 and 21 at the Hotel Fort Des Moines.  The location of the section meeting has not yet been determined.  (These dates coincide with VEISHEA but not Easter, so we may actually meet this year!) Wade Sick and his colleagues at Southwestern Community College in Creston will host our fall 2001 meeting on Saturday, Nov. 3.  Members are reminded of the next meeting of the Iowa Science Teachers Section of IAS to be held on Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Convention Center in Des Moines.

            Frank Peterson, Section Representative