Writing for the OAPT Newsletter

The OAPT Newsletter is published as an e-newsletter. The newsletter shares various physics education news including lesson and demonstration ideas, good news items, sharing of resources and experiences relating to physics education and informational items about upcoming events.

We encourage you to write an article and share it! Submit your articles to our editor!
This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It's that easy, and that hard.
Neil Gaiman
The newsletter is kept alive by volunteers who contribute their thoughts and ideas for others to use in their own classrooms. Many of our writers are Ontario high school teachers, however some of our writers teach in university, live abroad, have retired, or have even left the teaching profession for some other career that involves physics. We have many writers who pen something for us regularly, but we are always on the lookout for new writers as well (writing for us looks great on a resume if you’re relatively new to teaching). We accept and publish articles year-round. Typically, our articles are aimed at the grade 11 and 12 Ontario physics curricula, however sometimes we publish articles regarding physics in grade 9 and 10 science, or about physics in general. If you’re asking yourself, “But what could I write about?”, then consider what many of our articles have been about in the past, in no particular order:
  • Physics education research
  • An interesting lesson, demo, activity, or project you did with your students
  • How you teach physics differently than other teachers
  • How you have been teaching differently during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How you assess students differently than other teachers
  • Some resource, equipment, software, or website you found useful for teaching physics
  • Social justice issues that pertain to physics (balancing the gender imbalance, disrupting systemic racism, etc.)
  • Explanations of big, new physics announcements, and how to make it accessible for students
  • A lesson you did which incorporated interesting historical events and perspectives
  • Professional development opportunities you think other physics teachers may not be aware of
  • Something that another physics teacher did or wrote about that inspired you
  • A book, film, show, etc., that is about physics or involves physics
If you have an idea for an article that you wanted to bounce off of someone, or have written an article you think would be good for the newsletter, you can email it to the new editor-in-chief of the OAPT newsletter, Eric Haller. Eric is a teacher with the Peel District School Board and has written numerous articles for the OAPT in the past. He can be reached by email by going to this page and clicking on the link next to his name. If you are thinking about writing an article for the newsletter, keep in mind these guidelines as you write it out to make it easier for us to publish on our website.

  • Organize your article like so:
    1. Title of the article
    2. Your name and job (school, school board)
    3. Email address for contact
    4. A snappy opening paragraph that would go before the “Read More …” link (it’s what the readers see in their email)
    5. The rest of the article, including images, files, video, etc.
    6. References (see below)
    7. Tags (see below)
  • There is no limit on how short or long an article can be, write however much you like on a subject.
  • Use as little formatting as possible; avoid tables, equations, inconsistent fonts, different colour text, and so forth; as they can make converting the article to a website format difficult.
  • Any diagrams, tables or photos for the article should be sent to us separately as .jpg or .png files, and their sources should be cited in the article itself. Larger images (2000+ pixels wide) are better, when viewed they will be scaled down for readers with smaller screens. Pictures with adults’ or students’ faces can be used if the media releases are on file; in general if you are using your own photos it is safer to obscure your students’ faces.
  • If you need to show lengthy equations, consider using a screenshot to capture them. If your equations are short and simple enough, writing them in plain text is okay.
  • You can include links to other websites in your article, please type out the URL in full for us in your article instead of hyperlinking it to a word or sentence.
  • We can include videos in the articles. If you are supplying your own footage, you can upload it to Vimeo or YouTube and we can embed it into the article, or you can send the file to us and we can use Vimeo to embed it ourselves. Any videos we share must be legal to share.
  • If you want to include lesson materials for readers to use (for example, a .pdf), you can send us files, which we can embed in the article.
  • Consider including tags for your article to make it easier to find for other readers. Tags include words like ‘forces’, ‘pedagogy’ or ‘careers.’ For a full list of tags that have been used in the past, check out the newsletter’s website, scrolling down and looking at the left-hand tab.
  • Ensure what you wrote is your own to avoid plagiarism. Cite anything that is not yours, like sentences, ideas, and images.
  • If you are citing sources in your article, please use the APA format. Include in-text citations, which typically include the author, a comma, and the year of publication, all in brackets, like this (Knight, 2004). If it is a direct quotation, the page number should be included as well, like this (Knight, 2004, p.17). If it’s been a while since you’ve done APA style referencing, checkout one of the many online citation tools that can do it for you, or check out https://apastyle.apa.org/. At the end of the article, include a list of all the references you used.

Technical Requirements

As our articles will be initially published on our website, they will be formatted as single-column HTML documents with inline responsive images and videos. In practical terms, this means that you do not need to worry about formatting your article: please leave the technical details of formatting to us!

Text Files

You can submit your article as a Word document (Word 2013 or previous) or simply as text in the body of an email. You can embed media (pictures and videos) in the file if you like, but please attach them as separate files as well.

Media Files

With the innovation of Retina displays, and enormous monitors, the days of shrinking pictures to appear on the web are over. Please provide pictures and videos in the largest size possible. Our server software will automatically scale them to the best size for a reader's screen, whether they are using a giant monitor or a tiny iPhone.

Links and Embedded Videos

If you are embedding links to other web sites, please include the URL after the link, like this (URL here). If you are embedding a Vimeo or YouTube video, please provide the embed link on a separate line, using the options for no player controls and enabling privacy.

Legal Requirements

To make certain we can legally publish your work, please ensure your work is your own, or is properly cited. Plagiarism includes pictures as well as intellectual ideas; all photographs must be used with permission. Photographs with students must have corresponding media releases. All illustrations must either be your own work or images that you have the right to reproduce (such as public domain or creative commons licenses). When using creative commons images, include enough information that we can correctly attribute and license them. (See the sidebar on this page for an example.)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your article submission deadlines?

As we have no publication deadlines, articles are continuously received. Once edited and formatted by volunteers, they are published; it may take several weeks to edit your article and prepare it for publication — especially around busy times of the year, such as exams. However, we believe the final product is worth the wait!
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