Dyan McBride, Dean Zollman, and  Sytil Murphy Awarded First Place in the Apparatus Competition at the Summer AAPT Meeting in Portland


Dyan McBride (presently at Mercyhurst College), Dean Zollman, and Sytil Murphy and were awarded first place ($1000 cash award) in the apparatus competition at the Summer Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in Portland.   Their entry consisted of a lens to demonstrate accommodation in the focusing of the human eye.  This low-cost lens has a variable focal length and was constructed of PVC and a transparent film.

The Apparatus Competition was established to recognize, reward, and publicize worthwhile contributions to physics teaching through demonstration and experiment. With huge advances in technology, many physics apparatus are now commercially available. But even with these advances, physics research still requires the inventive spirit of designing and building experimental apparatus one's self. Whether developed to pique the interest of students, used in lecture and demonstration, or simply used to help teach physics in new or fascinating ways, teachers are continually engineering apparatus to aid physics instruction. The Apparatus Competition is where teachers can share their apparatus with others.

The Competition is held annually during AAPT's summer meeting and is open to all members. Entries to the competition are screened according to the selection criteria.  The apparatus is either new in design or a modification of an existing design, is not commercially available, specifics of it have not been published and it must cost less than $65 to build.

To read more about the apparatus, see the poster or read the paper about the apparatus.