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Alabama PhysTEC Program J.W. Harrell, Stan Jones, Patrick LeClair, Tim Mewes, Dennis Sunal, Cynthia Sunal, Penni Wallace (TiR)

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Presentation on theme: "Alabama PhysTEC Program J.W. Harrell, Stan Jones, Patrick LeClair, Tim Mewes, Dennis Sunal, Cynthia Sunal, Penni Wallace (TiR)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Alabama PhysTEC Program J.W. Harrell, Stan Jones, Patrick LeClair, Tim Mewes, Dennis Sunal, Cynthia Sunal, Penni Wallace (TiR)

2 What is PhysTEC ? Physics Teacher Education Coalition – affiliated with AAPT, APS, and AIP. (http://phystec.org)http://phystec.org Goal is to address the US high school teacher shortage problem More than 260 colleges and universities are PhysTEC members. A select number are funded each year to establish a model HS physics teacher preparation program.

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4 UA PhysTEC 3-year award ($100K/yr) beginning Fall, A collaboration with College of Education but centered in Physics & Astronomy. PhysTEC Faculty: J.W. Harrell, Stan Jones, Patrick LeClair, Tim Mewes, Dennis Sunal (Ed), Cynthia Sunal (Ed). (http://phystec.ua.edu(http://phystec.ua.edu)

5 Major Components of UA PhysTEC Teacher-in-Residence (TiR). Experienced HS teacher who spends the academic year in the department assisting with the program. Learning Assistants. UGTAs who take a physics pedagogy course and are mentored by physics faculty. Partnership with Alabama Science in Motion to provide early teaching experiences. Teachers Advisory Group Curriculum development Mentoring of new teachers

6 Need for HS Physics Teachers Number of US students taking HS physics is increasing, but there is a shortage of well- qualified teachers. Only a small fraction of HS physics teachers have significant training in physics. Most are teaching out of field. More than ¼ of Alabama students attend school where physics is not offered.

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10 Penni Wallace, Teacher-in-Residence B.S. 1998, Mississippi State University, Chemistry- Physics Education M.A. 2001, University of Alabama, General Science , Central High School – Conceptual Physics, Chemistry, Pre-IB Chemistry , Hillcrest High School – Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics, AP Physics B – Department chair, Lead Science Teacher for Tuscaloosa County Schools, GK-12 grant, Building Alabama grant

11 ASIM High School Labs Course 22 Level 1 labs using Pasco equipment Only site in state where pre-service teachers are trained Students meet 2 times per week

12 Mentoring New Teacher Tara Gernhardt, recent UA graduate, teaching at HHS on emergency certification – 2 first-year courses, AP Physics B Co-teaching approximately every 2 weeks Training on ASIM labs Class management, developing lesson plans, pacing

13 Publicity Introducing program to classes Talking to students Visiting schools Developing materials Monthly newsletter

14 Challenges Only a relatively small fraction of students will want to teach. Certification process needs to be made clear (good advising) and eventually improved.

15 Opportunities Number of PH majors is rapidly increasing. Science in Motion Scholarship support (APEX)

16 APEX ( Alliance for Physics Excellence) (http://apex.aamu.edu/) NSF-MSP award to AAMU with UA as a partner. $8M/5yrs beginning fall, 2012 Primary goal is to provide in-service training to ~ ¼ of HS physics teachers in Alabama (77 teachers + 11 ASIM specialists). 2-wk summer institutes + three 1.5 day in- service workshops for 3 years. Significant financial support for participants.

17 UA’s Role in APEX Extensive assessment of program effectiveness (led by D. Sunal, COE) Scholarships for pre-service teacher training -Ten 2-yr scholarships (junior/senior or masters alt-cert). $16K/yr. -Must teach in high needs district in Alabama (1 year for each year of scholarship) -Will complement PhysTEC in recruiting future physics teachers.

18 Thank you! Any questions? Contact information: – – –


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