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Tim Stelzer, University of Illinois - Urbana
This summer newsletter offers an opportunity to see where we have been and where we are going with physics education. Our community can be proud of the role physics educators have played in transforming science education by emphasizing conceptual understanding using active learning and interactive engagement strategies. Indeed, the active participation by our members in the Forum on Education illustrates the value the physics community places on education. Our new newsletter editor Richard Steinberg has noted that one hundred years ago, in 1916, the great pioneer and tireless advocate for improving physics education Arnold Arons was born. Arons helped lead the way to Physics Education Research, identifying the importance of active learning and conceptual understanding over 50 years ago. In recognition of his contributions, Richard suggested we include Aron’s work as a theme for this newsletter, which seems like a brilliant idea. We are certainly fortunate to have Richard as our new newsletter editor.
This spring also marks the annual transitions in the Forum’s Executive Committee. I would like to thank Mike Fauerbach for his outstanding service on the Chair line of the Executive Committee. His enthusiasm for the Forum is quite inspiring and I am counting on his continued active participation in the Forum. I would also like to thank Randy Knight for his excellent leadership as Chair this past year. Fortunately we will have Randy’s expertise available to us as he serves as Past-Chair, and Chair of the Fellowship Committee. John Stewart is now the Chair-Elect, working hard to assemble an inspiring set of talks for the March and April (this year held in January) meetings. Congratulations to Larry Cain who begins his first year in the Chair line as Vice Chair. Welcome to Luz Martinez-Miranda as our new Member at Large and Toni Sauncy as our APS-AAPT Member. I would like to thank Beth Lindsey for the fantastic job she has done editing the newsletter for the past four years. Finally, thank you to Heather Lewandowski and Geoff Potvin for your invaluable service on the committee these past three years.
The Forum can only be meaningful and successful if we are all actively engaged. In particular, I encourage you to help us recognize outstanding contributions to physics education by submitting nominations to our Forum sponsored awards https://www.aps.org/units/fed/awards/. Finally, I encourage you to contact any of the members of the Executive Committee or the Newsletter Editor if you have suggestions or contributions to our missions.
Tim Stelzer is Chair of the Forum on Education. He is a Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana.
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.