AOK-AAPT Regional Meeting

October 7-8, 2016

The Arkansas-Oklahoma-Kansas (AOK) Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Regional Meeting will be hosted by Emporia State University (ESU) on October 7th and 8th, 2016.  A brief schedule of events is shown below, as well as brief biography of the speakers and an abstract of their presentation.  

Meeting Location:

The meeting will be held in the Science Hall (SH) at Emporia State University.  Here is a link to a modified campus map.  The map will show the location of the building and the best place to park.

The main part of the meeting will be taking place in SH 72, which is in the basement of the science hall.  The planetarium show is in SH 31. The banquet is in the Skyline room of the Memorial Union and the lunch is in the Greek room of the Memorial Union.


Registration for this event can be done online or via mail.  A link to the registration form is provided below.  All payments need to be made online, via mail or paid on arrival.  Checks should be made out to Emporia State University and sent to Chris Pettit.

Registration Fees:

Registration covers the cost of the meeting, Saturday morning breakfast refreshments (pastries, fruit, coffee, etc.), and Saturday lunch.

Regular Registration:  $30
Student Registration:  $5

The banquet Friday night is not included in the registration fee.  

Friday Banquet: $10


Please register by Wednesday September 28th, 2016

Registration Form

Pay Online with Credit Card

Make checks payable to Emporia State University (memo line: AAPT-AOK)

Mail to:

Chris Pettit
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle
Campus Box 4030
Emporia, KS 66801


We have a block of 30 rooms available for reservation at the Best Western in Emporia.  This block will be released for public reservations 1 week prior to event.  There is a large event taking place in Emporia that is taking up many of the rooms in the area, so I recommend booking any hotel reservations as soon as you know you will need them.

Best Western
85.99 + Tax
Phone:  (620) 757-8273

call or email to make your reservations and make sure to mention AAPT


Friday Banquet:

  • Mixed Greens with Assorted Dressings (Ranch and Italian)
  • Honey Glazed Carrots
  • Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Baked Ziti Pasta (Vegetarian)
  • Buttered Red Skinned Potatoes
  • Herb Baked Chicken with cream sauce
  • Beef Burgundy
  • Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Frosting
  • Iced Tea
  • Lemonade

Saturday Lunch:

  • Pasta Salad
  • Potato Chips
  • Assorted Sandwich Breads
  • Deli Meats
  • Deli Cheeses
  • Tomato, Lettuce, and Onion Tray
  • Pickles, Mayonnaise, and Mustard
  • Chef's Soup of the Day
  • Brownies
  • Lemonade
  • Iced Tea


This schedule is subject to change.

Friday October 7, 2016:

                                5:00   pm  – Planetarium Shows
                                6:00   pm  –
                                7:00   pm  –
Speaker: Dennis Neff                

Saturday October 8, 2016:

                                9:00   am  – Registration
                                9:15   am   Welcome
                                9:20   am   Welcome from Brent Thomas - Dean of liberal Arts and Sciences
                                9:30   am   Presentations
                                10:30 am  Posters
                                11:00 am   Presentations
                                12:00 pm   Lunch
                                1:00   pm   Speaker: Matt Seimears
                                2:00   pm  – Business Meeting


Dennis Neff

Dennis B. Neff

Dennis graduated with honors from Emporia State University where in 1973 he received a B.S.E. degree in Physical Science and Mathematics, and an M.S. in Physical Science in 1977.  After an initial career as a high school science and mathematics teacher, he migrated to the oil industry for a 25 year career with Phillips Petroleum Company.  During his tenure with Phillips, Dennis worked as a Geophysicist, an Exploration Director and retired as one of only five Senior Scientists and an Executive of the company.  He was granted 25 U.S. and international patents involving seismic processing, seismic imaging, seismic interpretation, reservoir analysis and 3D visualization.  Dennis’ work was extensively published in professional journals and he received a number of internal and external awards including a SEG Best Paper Award, a Computer Graphics Innovation Award, and the company’s prestigious Innovation Excellence Award.  He also served as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers and is a Distinguished Alumni of Emporia State University.

His professional memberships are numerous and include:  Sigma Pi Sigma, Kappa Mu Epsilon, Kappa Delta Pi, National Education Association, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the Suzuki Parents Association. 

Dennis and his wife Susan, met and married while on the campus of Emporia State University.  They reside next to Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado.  He devotes much of his retirement time to directing and arranging music for acoustic and string orchestras.  His arrangements for string orchestra have been published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company of California.


Pathways to Success Amid Evolving Technologies: A Personal Journey

I will describe some of the more significant technology evolutions that happened during my career including:

1)  Colored pencils to 3D graphics workstations
2)  Slide Rule to CRAY supercomputer
3)  2D to 3D to 4D seismic imaging and interpretation
4)  Vertical to horizontal drilling

In order to capitalize on these technologies I learned several lessons such as:

A)  Successful teaching = Successful technology
B)  People = Technology
C)  Technology is a business
D)  Patent reviews matter
E)  Generalists vs. Specialists

For each of the above topics I will give personal examples and discuss the bottom line impact to our company and my career advancement. I will suggest personal education and development action items that students can pursue to better improve their chances of succeeding in the invention and transfer of technologies in this age of rapidly evolving sciences.

Matt Seimears

C. Matt Seimears

Dr. C. Matt Seimears grew up in Kansas where he earned all four of his college degrees - a bachelor's from Pittsburg State University, a second bachelor's from Newman University, a master's from Wichita State University and a Ph.D. Kansas State University.

He taught in Wichita, Kansas USD 259 before earning his doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Kansas State University in 2007. He has been on the faculty of Emporia State since 2004, teaching science methods courses and advising graduate students.

He is a member of the Association for Science Teacher Education, The Association of Teacher Educators, National Association for Research in Science Teaching, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and serves as a curriculum developer and consultant for PITSCO Education. 

Dr. Seimears research interests include: Personal epistemological development of in-service teachers of science, English language learners understanding of science, and the effects of constructivist-based teaching strategies on English language learners in science classrooms. He is also the contact person for the Elementary Education Robotics programs.


One might assume that all High School graduates would or could have taken a Physics course. Maybe, Physics was woven into another Science Course; however, one could only assume so. I have asked my majors many times, what must come first, Physics or Algebra II. If they cannot answer, I know the answer. The purpose of this presentation will be to explain how I make the adjustments for those that enter my classes without a Physics background and want to work with robots.