Spring 2017 Meeting - Lawrence Technological University

Full meeting Program (PDF)

We are pleased to welcome Jordan Steckloff, Ph.D as our keynote speaker. Dr. Steckloff is currently an Associate Research Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute as well as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Steckloff’s work studies the dynamical, physical, and structural evolution of cometary bodies in the Solar System. He is also interested in the geophysical processes that alter the surface of Pluto and reorient its rotational axis. Dr. Steckloff will share with us some of his planetary insights from two recent articles he published in the prestigious journal Nature.

Dr. Jordan Steckloff received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan with a triple major in Physics, Economics, and German. He later received his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Physics from Purdue University before joining the Planetary Science Institute in 2016.


Lawrence Technological University is located at 21000 West Ten Mile Road, Southfield, MI, 48075. 

Main Campus map: https://www.ltu.edu/map/



Please park (free) in Parking Lot D.  Directions to Main Campus: https://www.ltu.edu/sitemap/directions.asp


Registration cost is $10 per meeting.  Students and first-time attendees may attend free of charge.  Registration begins at 7:30 in the Lobby outside Auditorium, S321 Science Building



Lunch will be $10 per person at the LTU Cafeteria.  A portion of the proceeds helps fund our complimentary breakfast. 

Program Schedule – Saturday, April 8th 

7:30 – 8:00 am Registration / Morning Refreshments

Meeting fee:  $10.00 (FREE for students and first-time attendees)

Location: Lobby outside Auditorium, S321 Science Building

8:00 – 8:15 am Call to Order and Welcome

David Shane, Lansing Community College

Scott Schneider, Lawrence Technological University

Location: Auditorium, S321 Science Building

8:15 – 9:30 am Contributed Presentations

Location: Auditorium, S321 Floor Science Building

8:15 - 8:30

An effective and sustainable approach to teach technical writing in physics laboratory

Changgong Zhou, Lawrence Technological University

8:30 - 8:45

TinkerVention as a STEAM Idea

Taoufik Nadji, Interlochen Arts Academy

8:45 - 9:00

Using Images to Evaluate the Physics of Special Effects

James Gell, Plymouth High School

9:00 – 9:15

Developing Habits of Experts with our Physics Students

Janelle Lie, Plymouth High School

9:15 – 9:30

How to Roast a Chicken Without Using a Calculator

Larry Tarini, University of Michigan - Flint

9:30 – 9:45 Break

9:45 –11:15 Contributed Presentations

Location: Auditorium, S321 Science Building

9:45 - 10:00

Physics in a Classical Education

Paul Hosmer, Hillsdale College

10:00 - 10:15

Give an example of . . .

Michael Faleski, Delta College

10:15 - 10:30

Experimenting with the mass-luminosity relation and stellar lifetimes

Michael C. LoPresto, Henry Ford College

10:30 - 10:45

Analysing Hubble Space Telescope Data in the Introductory Astronomy Course

Carrie Swift, University of Michigan – Dearborn

10:45 – 11:00

Using Exoplanet Radial Velocity Detections to Teach Simple Harmonic Motion

Jordan Steckloff, Planetary Science Institute, Rebecca Lindell, Purdue University

11:00 – 11:15

What I Learned Teaching a Science Course for Elementary Education Majors

David Shane, Lansing Community College

11:30 – 1:00 pm Lunch

Location: LTU Cafeteria

1:00 – 2:00 pm Keynote Address

Location: Auditorium, 3rd Floor Science Building 

Dr. Jordan Steckloff

Associate Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Breaking the Ice: How Sublimation Torques Alter Comet Activity and Structure

To quote David Levy: “comets are like cats: they have tails, and they do precisely what they want.” They have strange bilobate nuclei, undergo outbursts (rapid, unpredictable brightening events), and form long striated dust features in their tails that somehow align with the Sun rather than the nucleus. Additionally, their dynamics appear to require some mysterious mechanism for reactivating their sublimative activity. In this talk, I describe how all of these features are the result of ice sublimation, the process that defines these irregularly shaped bodies.

2:00 – 2:15 pm Poster Session

Location: outside Auditorium, 3rd Floor Science Building

2:15 – 2:45 pm Puzzlers! And Door Prizes!

Location: Auditorium, 3rd Floor Science Building

2:45 – 3:15 pm     MIAAPT Business Meeting

Location: Auditorium, 3rd Floor Science Building

3:15 –4:00 pm Afternoon Workshop Session

Workshop #1

Bringing the 2017 Eclipse into your Physics or Astronomy Classroom

Bradley Ambrose, Grand Valley State University

Location: S203 Science Building

This workshop introduces participants to an ongoing project that seeks to connect undergraduate science instruction to the theme of eclipses.  The goal of the project is to develop innovative modular, research-based instructional materials for use in a variety of physics and astronomy courses.  Workshop participants will gain firsthand experience with selected materials and learn about the underlying research in astronomy and physics education.  This effort, part of a collaboration with the NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium, is led by Ramon Lopez (U. Texas-Arlington), Janelle Bailey (Temple/AAPT), and Rebecca Vieyra (AAPT).  

Workshop #2

Fundamental Labs for Exploring Electricity and Magnetism

Don Pata, Grosse Pointe North High School

Location: S211 Science Building

There are fundamental relationships between electricity and magnetism that are well described in textbooks but how many of us actually have students do these labs and develop these rules by themselves?  In this workshop participants will put their hands on the materials and develop two of these fundamental relationships. They will experience some of the inquiry methodologies described in the Modeling Method for Teaching Physics.