APS News

Education Corner

2010 PTEC Conference

The 2010 Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) Conference will be held in Washington, DC, on February 12-13, in conjunction with the APS April Meeting, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Winter Meeting, and the National Society of Black Physicists and National Society of Hispanic Physicists meeting. The theme will be Diversity in Physics Education: Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century.
Gray arrow   PTEC 2010 Conference

Online Physics Careers Resource Launched

The Physics Careers Resource is a new website designed to provide physics career information and resources to students, parents, and teachers. The site brings together information specifically tailored to the needs of each of these groups at various levels, including middle school (e.g., programs such as Physics Quest), high school (e.g., information about physics scholarships), and college (e.g., links to the Grad School shopper, the Society of Physics Students, and the Physics Today job feed). In addition, the website hosts a large collection of physicist profiles, which are designed to give students a sense of what physicists do, and how physics informs their careers. The profiles illustrate physics careers that bridge many areas of interest, and that are accessible at various stages of the degree path. The site also provides statistical information related to physics careers and an overview of careers in various fields.

The Physics Careers Resource is a member of the comPADRE digital library, which is a partnership between APS, AAPT, and the American Institute of Physics (AIP), and a member of the National Science Digital Library.
Gray arrow  ComPADRE Website

NSF Graduate Research Fellowships to triple; 2009 deadline approaching

President Obama plans to triple the number of National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships awarded by 2013. In a speech in April, Obama said, “This program was created as part of the space race five decades ago. In the decades since, it’s remained largely the same size–even as the numbers of students who seek these fellowships has skyrocketed. We ought to be supporting these young people who are pursuing scientific careers, not putting obstacles in their path.” According to the NSF, “this prestigious Fellowship is the flagship for the federal government in supporting the broad array of science and engineering disciplines across all fields as well as international research activity.”

The deadlines for this year’s round of applications are in early November, with the exact deadline dates depending on the field of research.
Gray arrow  NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Roster of Physics Departments

The AIP’s Statistical Research Center recently released its annual “Roster of Physics Departments with Enrollment and Degree Data” for 2007-2008 academic year. The center reports that 5,767 bachelor’s degrees were awarded in 2008–a number essentially unchanged from the previous year. The 1,499 PhDs granted that year represents a 38% increase since 2004, but the number is expected to stabilize, as graduate enrollments have leveled off in recent years.
Gray arrow  AIP Statistics

PhysTEC Receives $150k in Supplemental Noyce Funding

The PhysTEC Noyce Scholarship program recently received $150k from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to supplement the initial $750k awarded in 2008. The program, which gives scholarships to future physics teachers at PhysTEC sites, will use part of the supplement to enable PhysTEC Noyce sites to hire part-time Teachers-in-Residence, who will help recruit and mentor future teachers. The part-time TIR model is based on a pilot program at Seattle Pacific University, one of the six PhysTEC Noyce sites. The project will also provide professional development and physics education research opportunities for PhysTEC Noyce teachers, create a video designed to recruit physics teachers, and support learning communities among PhysTEC Noyce Scholars. The program is run jointly by APS and AAPT.
Gray arrow  PhysTEC Noyce Scholarship Program

Interviews with Physicists

The AIP’s Center for History of Physics and Niels Bohr Library & Archives have mounted over 400 transcripts of interviews with physicists on their web site. This site also highlights voice clips of Einstein, Hans Bethe, Edward Condon, and other famous physicists.
Gray arrow   AIP Physicist Oral Histories

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Editor: Alan Chodos