Week 9 -- My People

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Saturday, July 29, 2017


Justine Boecker

This past week was the busiest and the greatest week of my summer. I spent Friday through Thursday in Cincinnati and the AAPT Summer Meeting. For me, the meeting had four main parts: a workshop for K-8 teachers, the High School Teacher’s Lounge, supporting Rebecca in any way that I could and networking, networking, networking.


On Sunday, I finally was able to complete something that I had been working on from the beginning of the summer. I had been working to design a professional development experience for the elementary and middle school teachers in the Cincinnati area. The workshop was put on in partnership with the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), and the lessons were based off of an existing waves and sound kit and curriculum by ASA. The workshop was a success. I am happy with the level of engagement of the teachers. They were excited to learn new ways to lead their students and better understand physics concepts themselves.

High School Teacher Lounge:

The HS Teacher Lounge is a room where high school teachers can come to explore innovative resources and activities for their classroom. I was able to have some lesson plans from the workshop there along with light activities and bio/physics interdisciplinary lessons. Here I met many high school teachers from the Cincinnati area and had several talks and received a lot of advice going in as a first year teacher.


In supporting my mentor, my tasks ranged anywhere from figuring out how to print 150 copies to handing out papers at meetings to even speaking in front of a committee. I am actually most thankful for my various printing adventures as it led me to get to know some of the other AAPT employees better. While I was asking them for favors and advice, we were bonding over the stress and joys of the meeting. Overall, helping with the necessary tasks kept me busy, but I was happy to make the meeting experience even slightly less stressful for Rebecca that has already been so supportive of me.


At the meeting, I was blessed to have several people that were excited to introduce me to people. It started with people we passed in hallways and made it all way up to being introduced to the board in a board meeting. It was an interesting experience to have people coming up introducing themselves to me in because they had been introduced to me in a group. I also had people throughout the meeting saying hi to me as I walked by them as if we were best friends, when to be honest, I had a hard time remembering their face let alone their name. I met a hundred people in just a few days. It was also exciting to see many of the people I had met throughout the summer on various projects all in one place. Many of them were also eager to introduce me to their other friends at the meeting.


Overall, my first AAPT meeting (and definitely not my last) was an experience I will never forget.  I have started relationships that will support me the rest of my life. I have worked with influential individuals that have already began to guide and advocate for me within the community more than I could have asked. These people are my people, and I am excited to see where they take me next.


I saw the sunrise every morning from my hotel room as I was getting ready.
Workshop highlights
Aspiring to Lead Report
STEP Up for Women discussion

Justine Boecker