The Education Corner
New Faculty Workshop
APS, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), and the American Astronomical Society will sponsor the seventeenth Workshop for New Faculty in Physics and Astronomy from June 28-July 1, 2010, at the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland. More than 1,200 newly hired physics and astronomy faculty have participated in this series of workshops since the initial offering in 1996. The discussion format and small breakout groups of the Workshop permit the participants to exchange ideas with one another and with leading innovators in physics and astronomy education. New faculty should be nominated online by their Department Chair as soon as possible and no later than April 15, 2010.
New Faculty Workshop
New Faculty Nominations
LaserFest Kits Available
As part of LaserFest, APS has developed a laser-based unit for high school physics classes. APS will provide kits to teachers wishing to teach this unit. The kits include a lesson plan that guides students through an exploration of the properties of laser light, an online laser simulation created by the PhET project, and a few applications of lasers. The kits were developed with National Science Foundation and Department of Energy funding. If you provide professional development for high school physics teachers and would like to order laser kits, please write to Ed Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
APS will also run a High School Physics Teachers Day at the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) meeting for the first time this May in Houston. The program will include hands-on workshops on diffraction and laser light, and a video on the LIGO gravitational wave detector.
ALPhA to Offer “Laboratory Immersions”
During the summer of 2010, the Advanced Lab Physics Association (ALPhA) will be inaugurating their “Laboratory Immersions.” Last year’s APS/AAPT-sponsored Topical Conference on Advanced Laboratories highlighted the need for training opportunities which would broaden the expertise of advanced laboratory instructors. ALPhA’s Laboratory Immersions offer an opportunity to spend three full days, with expert colleagues on hand, learning the details of a single experiment well enough to teach it with confidence. The 2010 Immersions are: June 1718, Dickinson College, PA; July 17, Reed College, OR; Aug. 2–4, Buffalo State College, NY; Aug. 11–13, Caltech, CA.
Adv Labs Website: Conference details, topics, and registration
National Lab Day
The Obama administration has initiated efforts by science and mathematics societies to encourage members to reach out to K-12 teachers and their students. One result of this is called “National Lab Day,” which has a website to help connect science professionals with teachers who are looking to work with local scientists to expose students to real-world applications, to excite them to think about careers, and to bring needed resources to their classrooms.
National Lab Day Projects
An Activity-Based Physics Chautauqua Short Course
Priscilla Laws, David Sokoloff, Ronald Thornton, and Maxine Willis are offering a 3 day Chautauqua Workshop at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA from June 19-21, 2010. This hands-on course is designed for those interested in creating an active learning environment in their introductory physics courses using research-based curricula and tools. Participants will be introduced to strategies they can adapt for each component of their intro course: lecture, lab, problem solving, analytic mathematical modeling and video analysis. Graduate credit is available.
Chautauqua Course 2010: Information and Registration
Federal Funding for STEM Education
The Obama Administration’s 2011 budget requests include increases for STEM education, a major priority of the President. At the Department of Education, the Administration proposed to reorganize and rename the Math Science Partnership (MSP) program to become Effective Teaching and Learning: STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Funding would increase 66% to $300M, and support professional development for STEM teachers, implementation of high-quality curricula, and creation of systems for linking student data with instructional supports.
At the National Science Foundation, education programs within Education and Human Resources (EHR) directorate were requested to increase 2.2% to $892M. The 2.2% increase for EHR is considerably lower than proposed increases to the rest of the NSF, where the research directorates received increases of 8.2% to just over $6 billion. Big winners in EHR include Graduate Research Fellowships, which the administration is trying to triple in number by 2013, and funding for the Human Resources Development Division (up 7.6% to $103M).