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The Forum has a wide range of exciting sessions planned for the March and April 2012 APS meetings, to be held in Boston and Atlanta, respectively. Highlights of the March meeting sessions were reviewed in the Fall Newsletter. Here, we review some of highlights of the April meeting sessions. As usual, these sessions promise something of interest for everyone.
Supply and Demand of High School Physics Teachers
This invited session will kick off with an overview of the problem with teacher supply from an economist's perspective. Tim Sass, an Economics professor at Georgia State University, will speak about his research on teacher labor supply, the measurement of teacher quality, and school choice. Susan White of the American Institute of Physics Statistical Research Center will give a statistical perspective on physics in US high schools, and Monica Plisch from APS will speak about the PhysTEC project, which aims to improve and promote the education of future physics teachers.
The Role of Physics Departments in Preparing Instructors of Physics
David Haase from North Carolina State University will present a summary of the recent Report on the National Task Force on Teacher Preparation, and an analysis of how well we build the foundation of physics as a discipline. Simon Knapen and Michael Manhart, from Rutgers University, will speak about their work to prepare physics Ph.D. students as instructors. And finally, Rachel Scherr from Seattle Pacific University will present her experience in preparing learning assistants.
Research in Cosmology Education
In collaboration with the Division of Astrophysics, the Forum will present a session on research in cosmology education. This session will be kicked off by Kim Coble from Chicago State University, with a talk on her work to create an immersive web-based curriculum in cosmology. Janelle Bailey from University of Nevada, Las Vegas will speak about her research on students' ideas about cosmological concepts, and the session will be wrapped up by Ed Prather, from University of Arizona, speaking about his research into a lecture-tutorial approach to addressing students' difficulties with learning cosmology.
Teaching and Learning Physics through ComPADRE
The Educational Technology Committee of AAPT is organizing this session on ComPADRE, which is a network of free online resources for faculty, teachers and students of physics and astronomy. The speakers are Wolfgang Christian, Ramon Torres-Isea and Taha Mzoughi, who will speak about ComPADRE resources for upper-level physics courses, advanced labs, and introductory courses, respectively.
Goals and Assessment of the Physics Graduate Program
The assessment of graduate physics programs is a rather new idea, and this session will outline ideas for how it can be accomplished. This session is being organized by the Graduate Education Committee of AAPT, and includes contributions from Kenneth Heller, Stefan Zollner and Harald Griesshammer.
Students as Colleagues: An Examination of Teacher-Student Collaboration in Improving Educational Environments
This session considers two programs that engage undergraduate and high school students as physics colleagues. The first invited talk by Badr Albanna and Joe Corbo will describe the Compass program at UC Berkeley, which offers comprehensive instruction and support to selected undergraduates.This talk will be followed by a panel discussion of the program, with panelists Gina Quan and Ana Aceves, undergraduate participants in the program. The second invited talk will be given by Kenneth Tobin, is about a program he has developed in a New York City high school, and will be followed by a panel discussion with participating high school students.
NOTE from the editor – there is also a session being organized by Peggy Norris celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Cosmic Ray Physics. This is a contributed paper session, and they are also hoping to have detectors and other items of interest on hand for the "celebration"