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Message from the Chair:

How involved are you in the Forum? The APS Forum on Education provides a number of opportunities for APS members to become involved in activities related to physics and education.

  • Apply for a FEd Education and Outreach mini-grant to engage your Unit in physics education and to address issues concerning the preparation of K-12 teachers. The first mini-grant was awarded to support the Four Corners Section for a high school student essay contest on Einstein in the 21st Century during the 2005 World Year of Physics.

  • Honor an APS member who has made a significant contribution to the inter-relation of physics, physicists, and education by submitting a nomination for APS Fellow. The Forum will recognize this year's eight new APS Fellows at the Education Open House at the 2004 April meeting in Denver.

  • Write an article for the FEd Newsletter.

  • Organize or contribute to a FEd-sponsored Focus session at an APS meeting. The Forum is sponsoring its first Focus sessions at the 2004 April meeting on Physics Education Research (PER). The session organizer can include one invited paper if the Focus session receives a sufficient number of contributed papers.

  • Work within your Unit to sponsor a session at an AAPT Meeting. The Forum will help subsidize one APS Unit a year. The first two such sessions are being organized by Erie Malamud and Carl Wieman for DPB and DAMOP, respectively.

There are, of course, many other opportunities to contribute to physics education through the APS. The Joint AAPT-APS Task Force on Graduate Education in Physics is just starting its job and seeks your input. The SPIN/UP program is developing guidelines for self study and external evaluation of physics programs. And the comPADRE digital library is seeking content for its various collections, including Undergraduate Education and Quantum Mechanics. An email to wochrsitan@davidson.edu is all that it takes to become involved.

FEd Mini-Grants

The APS Forum on Education Executive Board has made available a limited amount of financial support to encourage APS Units and Sections to actively engage in physics education and to address issues concerning the preparation of K-12 teachers. Joint activities with AAPT sections encouraged.

It is not the Forum's intention to propose an agenda for such discussions. The agenda should reflect the priorities and issues of importance to the individual APS Units and Sections and to the members they serve.

The APS Forum on Education is prepared to receive brief (approximately one page) proposals from APS members for Unit-sponsored activities to be held at Unit and Section meetings and at National APS meetings. The proposal should identify the topic and rationale for the activity, the meeting at which it will be offered, and the name of the person responsible for organizing the activity. The proposal should also include a statement of support from a Unit officer sponsoring the activity.

In response to such proposals, the APS Forum on Education will provide grants of up to $500 to support the efforts of Sections for activities consistent with these general objectives. The proposals should be sent to the Chair of the APS Forum on Education. The Forum's Chair, Program Committee Chair, and Treasurer will determine which proposals will be funded. While there is no deadline for proposals, currently available funds will support about 8 such proposals per year.

In order to share their experiences, award recipients are asked to provide a brief summary of their activity for the Forum's newsletter.

Proposals and questions should be addressed to the APS Forum on Education Chair. The 2003-04 Chair is Wolfgang Christian, wochrsitan@davidson.edu. The 2004-05 Chair is Gay Stewart, gstewart@comp.uark.edu.