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Message from the Chair: Welcome!

Gay Stewart

It is my pleasure to introduce a new feature to our newsletter and mention some exciting things that are happening.

Our new feature is a section with articles on teacher preparation. The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC), an APS/AAPT/AIP program, will be soliciting these articles and organizing this section. PhysTEC provides dramatic improvement of science preparation of physics, physical science, and elementary teachers, developing programs that work at a wide range of institutions. Our thanks to Chance Hoellwarth, from the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) PhysTEC site, who agreed to serve as the editor for this section!

The “Excellence in Physics Education Award” will be the first APS award to recognize this important area. Placing excellence in physics education in the same spotlight as excellence in research will help keep funding for research! FEd Executive Committee Past Chair, and Chair of the subcommittee for this award, Wolfgang Christian, brings us up-to-date through his discussion in the News and Announcements section on the next page. A contribution form is on the last page of this newsletter. We hope you will support the award.

Each issue has a primary theme, and this issue covers the important and controversial topic of teaching thermodynamics.

As my term as Chair of the Executive Committee comes to an end, I can only say that the members of this committee do good work, and it has been a pleasure to work with them. If you care about physics and where it is going (we need excellent education if the field is going to continue to grow), I suggest getting involved with this committed group. Make sure you vote, as this year’s slate is already up. Further, please feel free to suggest yourself or someone else you know who cares deeply. The new Vice Chair from this year’s election will chair the Nominating Committee for next year, so get in contact! My next task will be as Chair of the Fellowship Committee. Please feel free to bring candidates to my attention. gstewart@uark.edu. Thank you!