APS News

Education Corner

Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) Conference

The annual PTEC Conference is the only national event in the country dedicated to physics and physical science teacher education. This year’s event will explore the theme of “Institutional Transformation: How do we change departments and universities to embrace the mission of preparing tomorrow’s teachers?” National leaders in physics and physical science teacher education will lead 90-minute workshops in four parallel sessions. In addition, the program will include plenary speakers, a contributed poster session, two half-day post-conference workshops (see below), and ample opportunity for networking and sharing ideas. The conference will take place in Pittsburgh on March 13 and 14, immediately prior to the APS March Meeting.
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Education Workshops at the APS March Meeting

The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) will sponsor two half-day workshops prior to the APS March Meeting in Pittsburgh. These workshops are intended to help faculty improve their undergraduate physics courses while recruiting undergraduates into teacher preparation programs. Ed Prather of the University of Arizona, a leader in research-based teaching techniques, will lead a workshop on how to make lectures more interactive and effective. Valerie Otero and Steve Pollock, professors at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will lead a workshop on their nationally recognized Learning Assistant program, which recruits undergraduates into teacher education programs with experiences as peer mentors. Both workshops will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday, March 15. For more information and to register, go to PTEC Conferences.

The APS Forum on Education is organizing a half-day workshop prior to the APS March Meeting entitled “Incorporating Simulations and Computer Modeling into Upper Level Physics Courses.” Presenters Wolfgang Christian, Harvey Gould, Anne Cox, and Chandralekha Singh will expose participants to recently developed computer-based curricular material that improves student understanding of upper-level physics topics and that makes many previously inaccessible topics accessible to undergraduate and graduate students. The workshop will take place from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.

The Noyce Scholarship

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program provides scholarships of $10,000 or more per year for future science and math teachers. Since 2002, the Noyce program has supported over 1,500 future teachers from over 90 colleges and universities. The scholarships can go toward a teacher’s undergraduate or graduate education, and recipients must commit to teaching for two years in a high need school district for every year of scholarship support. The term “high need” is defined quite broadly, and includes districts in every part of the country.

A new component of the Noyce program called the NSF Teaching Fellowship/Master Teaching Fellowship program will support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals who enroll in master’s degree programs leading to teacher certification, as well as exemplary teachers who wish to become Master Teachers in high need school districts. This program will provide academic courses, professional development, and salary supplements to these fellows, in exchange for a commitment to serve in a high need school district.

Proposals for both the pre-service scholarships and the teaching fellowships are due March 10. More information can be found on the NSF website by searching on “noyce.”

APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers recently won an award to provide Noyce scholarships to future physics teachers at PhysTEC institutions.
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Gray arrow  Noyce Scholarships in APS News

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Ernie Tretkoff