APS News

Campaign for Physics Celebrates Reaching $5 Million Funding Goal

Corporate representatives and campaign program participants joined in the celebration of the Campaign's victory.
Corporate representatives and campaign program participants joined in the celebration of the Campaign's victory. From far right (clockwise): Lewis Platt, Hewlett Packard Company; D. Allan Bromley, 1997 APS President; Joan Platt, wife of Lewis Platt; Nicholaas Bloembergen, Campaign Administrative Group Chair; Jan Hustler, Bay Area Schools for Excellence in Education (benefitting from the Teacher-Scientist Alliance Institute); Ginn Hustler, husband of Jan Hustler; Barbara Kaufman, 3M Foundation director; Nancy Thomas, Hewlitt-Packard Company contributions manager; Len Thomas, husband of Nancy Thomas; Deli Bloembergen, wife of Nicholaas Bloembergen.

Nicholaas Bloembergen presents Lewis Platt, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlitt-Packard Company, with a plaque recognizing the contributions of Mr. Platt and Hewlitt-Packard Company toward the Campaign's success.
Nicholaas Bloembergen presents Lewis Platt, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlitt-Packard Company, with a plaque recognizing the contributions of Mr. Platt and Hewlitt-Packard Company toward the Campaign's success.

Andria Erzberger, a lead teacher in the Physics Teacher Resource Agent Program speaks to the important support that program is providing to physics teachers in the San Francisco area.
Andria Erzberger, a lead teacher in the Physics Teacher Resource Agent Program speaks to the important support that program is providing to physics teachers in the San Francisco area.
The Campaign for Physics the science education fund raising initiative of the APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) launched in the fall of 1995, attained its $5 million funding goal. A victory celebration was held November 22, 1997 in San Francisco, CA. The evening included remarks from key campaign leadership, endorsements from participants in Campaign programs and recognition of campaign volunteers. Funding from the Campaign has allowed APS and AAPT to launch and expand five important science education programs which are having a dramatic impact on improving the teaching of science in schools across the country.

According to Campaign Director Darlene Logan, the effort benefitted greatly from the financial and volunteer support of major industrial leaders, including William R. Hewlett, Co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company, who led the Campaign's Executive Committee as honorary chair. Working with him were leading captains of industry who served as vice chairs of the Campaign Executive Committee. These included Robert Allen, AT&T; Paul Allaire, Xerox Corporation; Norman Augustine, Lockheed Martin Corporation; Livio DeSimone, 3M; Robert Galvin, Motorola, Inc.; Gordon Moore, Intel Corporation; Lewis Platt, Hewlett-Packard Company; George Soros, Soros Fund Management & Soros Foundation Network; and Alex Trotman, Ford Motor Company. Together with the support of 39 Nobel laureates serving on a Campaign Council of Nobel Laureates, the committee raised $3.5 million in corporate and foundation gifts including one seven-figure gift and 11 six-figure gifts.

"Through the Campaign, we have helped school districts implement systemic science education reform which will provide students with a science curriculum and learning environment that will nurture their interest in and appreciation for science," said Hewlett, who considered the Campaign an imperative. "We have created support structures for science teachers, particularly in urban settings, who are seeking ways in which to improve their teaching skills and techniques and developed a resource center for their use in obtaining information on the best in science teaching curricula and materials." He added that the Campaign funds are also being used to provide mentor and financial support to undergraduate minority students interested in pursuing careers in science, and to help establish mechanisms for the exchange of information among academia, industry and government on science education and industrial needs.

Nobel laureate Nicolaas Bloembergen, Harvard University and a past president of APS, chaired both the Campaign Council of Nobel Laureates and Campaign Administrative Group, the internal steering committee for the initiative. "The carefully developed science education programs of the Campaign for Physics will make a dramatic difference in elementary through graduate level science teaching, benefitting students, teachers, industry and our nation," he said of his involvement. "I am proud to have played a leadership role in support of such excellent initiatives."

In addition to the Corporate and Foundation Gifts Campaign, an effort to obtain the support of individuals was led by an Individual Gifts Committee. Chaired by John Armstrong (formerly of IBM Corporation), the committee included 40 outstanding members of the physics community, each of whom made a leadership gift to the Campaign and encouraged others to participate. The committee generated over $1.5 million in individual gifts including 23 gifts of $10,000 or more. "I am pleased that I was able to contribute to this key undertaking by APS and AAPT as it is important that we, as physicists, involve ourselves in helping assure that future generations are afforded a strong science education," said Ernest Henley (University of Washington), another former APS president, who served as a vice chair on this committee.

The Campaign for Physics initiatives have and will continue to make important strides in improving science education.

The Campaign consists of five interrelated initiatives designed to spark and keep alive the flame of scientific interest and learning in youngsters from kindergarten through graduate school. Campaign programs are designed to help teachers, engage students, involve scientists and build support structures among business, academia and government that will strengthen the country. The following summarizes program progress to date thanks to the generous support of Campaign donors.

The Teacher-Scientist-Alliance Institute

The Teacher-Scientist Alliance Institute (TSAI) is an education outreach effort designed to support a hands-on science education approach in the US. This systemic science education reform program was launched by the APS with funding from the Campaign. TSAI involves volunteer scientists who have committed to working with their local school district or districts to reform science education.

The Physics Teacher Resource Agent Program

The focus of the Physics Teacher Resource Agent (PTRA) program is to select, train and support experienced physics teachers who serve as mentors to less experienced physics teachers from their communities. It has become a highly recognized piece of infrastructure in the physics teaching community, offering a single point of contact for high school physics teachers across the country. The Campaign has provided funds to the PTRA program to support initiation of workshops in selected urban areas.

The Physical Science Resource Center

The American Association of Physics Teachers' Physical Science Resource Center provides on-line access as well as hard copies of teaching and learning materials in physics at the high school and undergraduate levels. The information center includes bibliographies on the best physical science teaching technologies, materials and procedures.

The Minority Scholarship Program

Established in 1980 by the APS, this highly successful program is able, as a result of Campaign funding, to increase the number of scholarships for undergraduate physics majors awarded annually to its highly qualified pool of applicants. This program consists of three support components: 1) a monetary grant to the students; 2) a faculty mentor for the student; 3) and a small monetary grant to the student's host physics department to promote a relationship between the department and the scholarship recipient. To date, a total of 374 new and renewal scholarships have been awarded and an impressive 20% have also gone on to earn their Ph.D. in physics.

The Academic-Industrial-Government Roundtables

The Roundtables are a one-day meeting of leading academic and industrial scientists with educators and government and community leaders. Through a plenary session of invited speakers and a series of workshops, participants examine how to address the economic and educational challenges facing their state and region. Roundtables are sponsored by the APS, the NSF, local universities and industries and are co-hosted by the region's Members of Congress. Three such roundtables have taken place to date in Virginia, California, and Washington states with the next one planned for Connecticut.

In-depth descriptions of the Campaign for Physics program goals can be found in the insert in the June 1997 issue of APS News, the January 1998 APS News Education Outreach insert, and through the APS home page.


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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin