Excellence in Physics Education Award

To recognize a team, collaboration, or an exceptional individual who has exhibited a sustained commitment to excellence in physics education. The award, presented annually, consists of a $5,000 stipend, a certificate citing the achievements of the individual or team, and an allowance for travel expenses of up to $2,000 to the APS April Meeting where the award is presented. The stipend is split equally among members of teams selected to receive the Award. The APS Forum on Education may consult with the nominator to determine which members will represent the team with invited talks at the April Meeting and receive travel reimbursements.

Establishment & Support

This award was established in 2006 and endowed with support from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, Vernier Software, WebAssign, Physics Academic Software, PASCO Scientific, General Atomics Sciences Education Foundation and numerous individual contributions.

Rules & Eligibility

A commitment to excellence in physics education may be evidenced by, but is not restricted to, such accomplishments as:

  • The development of instructional materials, curriculum, or pedagogy  that has had a major ongoing influence on physics education beyond a single institution.
  • Sustained excellence in the preparation and/or professional development of secondary school science teachers.
  • Long-lasting professional service related to physics education that has had a demonstrated positive impact beyond a single institution.
  • Development of a national network that has had a demonstrated positive impact on physics education.
  • The development of a model program for educational outreach that has had demonstrated success and has been emulated beyond a single institution.

Nominations will be considered for three review cycles provided the nominator re-certifies the nomination before the next deadline.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Thursday, June 1, 2023

The nomination must include:

  • A letter of not more than 5,000 characters evaluating the qualifications of the nominee(s).

In addition, the nomination should include:

  • A CV or biographical sketch of an individual nominee or, for a team, a description of the team composition and the expertise each member brings to the team.

  • A list of the most important publications or educational products.

  • At least two, but not more than four, seconding letters.

  • Up to five reprints, preprints, or other educational products.

To start a new or update a continuing nomination, please see the Prize & Award Nomination Guidelines.

2023 Selection Committee Members: Clausell Mathis (Chair), Carmen Pantoja, Edmund Bertschinger

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

2023 Recipients

Kelly R. Roos
Bradley University

Larry Engelhardt
Francis Marion University

Marcos (Danny) Caballero
Michigan State University

Marie Lopez del Puerto
University of St. Thomas

Norman Chonacky
Yale University

Robert C. Hilborn
American Association of Physics Teachers

Past Recipients

2022: TEAM-UP Task Force
2021: Anderson Sunda-Meya
2020: Open Source Physics Team
2019: Laurie S. Langdon
          Richard McCray
          Steven Iona
          Steven Pollock
          Valerie K. Otero
2018: Ariel Paul
          Carl Wieman
          Emily B. Moore
          Kathy Perkins
          Michael Dubson
          Sam Reid
          Wendy K. Adams
2017: Howard Matis and the Contemporary Physics Education Project
2016: Robert John Beichner
2015: Edward F. Redish
2014: High School Modeling Instruction
2013: Gary Gladding
          Mats Selen
          Timothy Stelzer
2011: Physics Teaching Resource Agents
2010: Activity Based Physics Group
2009: Two Year College Workshop Team
2008: University of Washington Physics Education Group
2007: Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC) and Implementers