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Education Corner

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Graduate Education Conference Notes and Presentations Available
As reported in the March APS News article, “Conference Examines Many Facets of Graduate Education”, at the end of January, APS & AAPT held their second two-day conference on Graduate Education, which featured sessions on preparing students for non-academic careers; educating successful graduates; promoting diversity; developing university, lab, and industrial partnerships for graduate education; and thoughts on the future of graduate education. The conference notes and presentations are now available on the APS website.

Nominate Women and Minorities for Fellowship, Prizes, and Awards
Several Prizes and Awards deadlines are quickly approaching and the Committee on Minorities in Physics (COM) and the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP) strongly encourage nominators and award committees to consider a diverse pool of nominees. For those needing help identifying qualified women and minorities for prizes and/or awards, please contact Deanna Ratnikova (ratnikova@aps.org) or Arlene Modeste Knowles (Knowles@aps.org), the committee administrators for CSWP and COM respectively.   

APS Commends President Obama’s Plan for Regional Centers to Train STEM Teachers
President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget included regional centers within the STEM Innovation Network to develop highly trained STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers who will prepare students to meet the demands of an increasingly technical workforce. Called the STEM Master Teacher Corps, the president’s plan is consistent with recommendations in a four-year study recently completed by the Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics (T-TEP).

The T-TEP Report stresses the importance of providing specialized professional preparation to teachers in the physical sciences. Just 47 percent of physics and 46 percent of chemistry classes are taught by teachers with a degree in the subject. By comparison, 73 percent of biology teachers have a degree in biology. The Report was researched by APS, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics. Read the T-TEP report on the National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics web page.

New Jonathan Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert Award for Excellence in Advanced Laboratory Instruction: Deadline is July 1
A new APS Award has been endowed by Jonathan Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert to recognize and honor outstanding achievement in teaching, sustaining (for at least four years), and enhancing an advanced undergraduate laboratory course or courses. The course(s) should provide a selection of experiments in a range of the various interest areas of physics, for example atomic physics, electronics and optics. The award consists of $5,000 plus travel expenses (up to $2,000) to attend an APS meeting at which the award is presented, and a certificate citing the achievement of the honoree. The honoree will be invited to present a lecture at that meeting. The award will be offered annually. Full details of the award can be found on the award web page. Register for the APS Bridge Program Summer Meeting, June 27-29, 2013 in College Park, MD

The meeting will bring together experts to discuss efforts to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who receive PhDs in physics. Faculty, administrators, researchers and students are welcome to attend. Registration fees are $100 for Bridge Member Institutions and $175 for non-member institutions. See the APS Bridge Program Summer Meeting 2013 web page to register. Sign up to become an APS Bridge member today.

The PER User’s Guide: A Web Resource for Physics Educators
The Physics Education Research (PER) User’s Guide is a growing web resource designed to translate, summarize, and organize the results of PER in an accessible and useful way for busy educators.  Peruse the PER User’s guide.


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Editor: Alan Chodos
Staff Science Writer: Michael Lucibella