Date: Sat Aug 11 10:36:21 2007

Author: Urs Lauterburg

Subject: Greensboro meeting, thank you

Dear PIRA-Taplers,

I have just finished the NIWeek conference in Austin Texas and am
right now stranded in Salt Lake City (hi Ziggy) because of a canceled
flight to Los Angeles. My plan is to add some vacation time after the
various activities of the past two weeks before heading back home to

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who have
supported and helped me to attend the meeting in Greensboro. I hope my
contribution is seen as yet another brick in the wall to support our
cause within the AAPT organization. It seems as if PIRA has over the
past years been able to draw substantial attention and recognition
within the field of physics education. This of course would not have
been possible without the collaborative efforts in promoting our
activities in various ways. The demo workshops, the resource room and
the big public demo shows are the most impacting activities to get the
deserved recognition. However, PIRA session presentations may also
help to improve the acknowledgment of the didactical gain caused by
good demonstration experiments and student labs within a physics
curriculum. After all it is a feature of physics that we can actually
show and demonstrate in various ways how the concepts we demonstrate
are not just representing thoughts but but the essential behavior of
nature itself. This aspect should clearly emphasize the importance of
directly demonstrating physical phenomena as a vital part of teaching
physics. The later is a specially important task in a time of
increasing virtualization.

In Greensboro PIRA did such a great job to promote these things and
will hopefully do so in the years ahead. Thank you for your efforts
and the commitment.

Regards and all the best

Urs Lauterburg

Physics demonstrator
Physikalisches Institut
University of Bern

PS: In the meantime I have arrived in LA and met the rest of my
family. I shall regularly read posts again after August 26.