News from APS
Ted Hodapp, APS Director of Education and Diversity
The APS Education and Diversity Department has been working in a number of issues over the past six months. In 2012 the APS began to assume a significant role in promoting the Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics. These locally organized and run conferences attract over a thousand undergraduate women to come together for a weekend in January to network, share and learn about physics research, visit laboratories, and attend sessions on applying for jobs and graduate programs in physics. In 2014 there will be eight sites spread across the country from New York to Florida to California. The APS has also helped the organizers raise external funds for these conferences from the US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. These funds help offset travel and meeting costs, and include funds to help evaluate conference impact. Deanna Ratnikova, APS Women and Education Program Administrator, is spearheading support for the conferences including registration, advertising, and logistics (www.aps.org/link/cuwip).
The Department is also pleased to announce that the APS Bridge Program, an effort launched in 2012 was able to help 13 underrepresented minority students gain entrance into graduate programs — all of who would not have been able to advance to graduate education without the program. We are monitoring their progress and working with APS-funded bridge sites (Ohio State and South Florida) to help these students succeed in their studies. We are currently selecting additional sites, and considering how we can facilitate a national campaign to help underrepresented students attain their educational goals through improved mentoring. For more information, consult the APS Bridge Program website — stay tuned.
Finally, the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) will be soliciting proposals for additional sites to help universities increase the number of high school physics teachers they educate. PhysTEC has had significant success at building ongoing programs and will be releasing a study commissioned to evaluate sustainability this spring on the PhysTEC website.
Disclaimer – The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.