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Fredrick M. Stein
The APS has hired Fredrick M. Stein, former director of the Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (CSMATE) at Colorado State University, as its new Education Officer. Stein, who officially joined the APS staff September 13, replaces Ramon Lopez, who served in that capacity for five years. Lopez left the APS in July.
Stein recalls always having an interest in both science and education, although he didn't initially plan to make it a career when he enrolled for undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder. But he soon decided he wanted to teach high school physics, eventually joining the Peace Corps upon graduation. He trained regional teachers and team-taught physics with them in Spanish in Colombia, South America, before returning to the US to pursue graduate studies. He earned his PhD in chemical physics from Indiana University at Bloomington, and then spent many years as a professor of physical chemistry and dean of natural sciences at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. He also had visiting professorships at UC-Boulder, the University of New Mexico, and Amherst College.
His interest in science education reform was awakened when his children came home from school and reported that their science classes were "boring and unengaging." Determined to make a difference, Stein found himself accepting a position as director of the Philadelphia Renaissance in Science and Mathematics program in 1987, intended to raise science and math standards for K-12 grades. "It was the equivalent of going to graduate school to learn about running foundations and dealing with big city politics," he recalls. In that capacity, he served as project director for a comprehensive regional center for minorities, oversaw several teacher enhancement grants for science and mathematics, and helped Philadelphia become one of six sites across the country to participate in Project 2061, a nationwide effort to promote benchmark standards for science education. He moved back to Colorado in 1991 to head CSMATE, where he developed inservice teacher enhancement, preservice training, and numerous student-based programs.
Stein joined the APS for the opportunity to work on science education reform at a national level. He intends to initiate APS programs to improve science teacher preparation while revitalizing undergraduate physics education jointly with the AIP and the American Association of Physics Teachers. "We're hoping this will be yet another project in which the three societies can work together," says Stein.
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