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The Campaign for Physics: A Science Education Initiative

The Campaign for Physics raised $5 million in support of science education at the K-12 level and beyond. Through the Campaign APS and AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers) have helped school districts implement systemic science education reform which has provided students with a science curriculum and learning environment that will nurture their interest in and appreciation for science. APS & AAPT also created a support structure for science teachers, particularly in urban settings, who are seeking ways to improve their teaching skills and techniques by developing a resource center for their use in obtaining information on the best in science teaching curricula and materials. In addition, the Campaign has provided mentor and financial support for bright undergraduate minority students interested in pursuing careers in science.

The following programs have been made possible by the generous support of Campaign donors:

The Teacher-Scientist Alliance Institute

The Teacher-Scientist Alliance Institute was launched with funding from the Campaign for Physics, a major fund-raising effort of the APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) to support science education. Its purpose is to get scientists, engineers, and other technical professionals involved in school districts that either had a program of standards-based, systemic reform of elementary science education underway or that were ready to start such a program. The initiative consists of four components:

1. Lead-Scientists Institutes (LSDs) are intended for lead scientists who are dedicated to working with their local school district(s) to reform science education in areas that are committed to reform. The program provides a thorough overview of issues in science education reform and identifies roles for scientists and engineers. When the district is ready to begin local implementation of the program, there is a broader mobilization of scientists, who attend a one-day workshop to acquaint them with the school district's program for reform. Seven institutes have been held to date.

2. One Day Workshops for Scientists are designed to provide a larger group of scientists condensed information about science education reform in their community. The workshops are conducted jointly with a school district and are aimed at getting lead scientist involved with local education reform efforts. The scientists may also have direct interaction with the students, depending on the evolution of the local program. 16 workshops have been held to date.

3. Half -day Community Information Workshops are designed for leaders in the local education and business communities, parents and area scientists. These workshops aim to convey the value and excitement of a hands-on, inquiry centered science program. The workshops have been effective in building both community and administrative support for science education reform. Half-day workshops have been held in 13 states (22 sites) to date.

4. Regional Leadership Institutes are designed to support systemic reform by bringing together leadership teams from 10-15 school districts (or consortia of school districts) in a single region. The teams are comprised of a superintendent or assistant superintendent for instruction, a system-wide science coordinator, an elementary-school principle, a middle-school principle, two or three outstanding teachers, and a scientist or engineer who has already shown a serious commitment to improving the district's science education program. The institute provides an overview of issues in science education reform and assists the teams in developing a strategic plan for reform in their communities. In addition, links are created to local sources of technical assistance and to the local scientific community. TSAI has conducted Regional Leadership Institutes in New England (1996), the Southeast (1997), San Diego (1998), and Texas (1999). It has also conducted 3-day compressed versions of the institutes in Atlanta (1999).

The Physics Teacher Resource Agent Program

The focus of the AAPT's PhysicsTeacher Resource Agent program (PTRA) is to select, train and support experienced physics teachers who serve as mentors to less-experienced physics teachers from their communities. It has become a highly recognized piece of infrastructure in the physics teaching community, offering a single program point of contact for high school physics teachers across the country.

The Campaign has provided funds to the PTRA program to support initiation of workshops in select urban areas. These workshops allow teachers to examine issues related to teaching and learning physics such as leadership, classroom organization, physics content, teaching techniques, trends in science education and equity issues. Examples of specific topics addressed are The Role of the Graphing Calculator, Demonstrations in Introductory Physics, Lightwave Communication, and Electrostatics, and Active Physics in the classroom. Participating school districts have played a key role in encouraging their physics teachers to participate in these workshops. A sizeable portion of teachers attending the workshops are minority and/or teach minority students.

The Physical Science Resource Center

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the screening and disseminating agent for the Physical Science Resource Center program (PSRC), provides both on-line access and hard copies of teaching and learning materials for physical science and physics teachers for all levels, K-16.

The information center includes bibliographies and website links to the best physical science teacher technologies, materials and procedures. The curriculum materials are selected and reviewed by scientists who have volunteered to serve as resources for the different education levels. The curriculum materials also include software and multimedia resources that can be used in the classroom with topics ranging from acoustics to statistics and thermodynamics to computers and technology.

In addition to a searchable database the site offers a career center with links to career bulletin boards, job search engines, internships and research opportunities. PSRC is quickly becoming a trusted resource for school and curriculum administrators, teachers and scientists involved in science education reform.

Minority Scholarship Program for Undergraduate Physics Majors

Established in 1980 by APS, this highly successful program is able, as a result of funding from the Campaign, to increase the number of scholarships awarded annually to its highly qualified pool of applicants. The program supports African-American, Hispanic American, or Native American U.S. citizen or permanent residents who are majoring or planning to major in physics, and who are a high school senior, college freshman, or sophomore.

The program consists of three support components:

  1. a monetary grant for students which can be renewed once;
  2. a faculty mentor for each student who helps to provide advice on career choices, course selection etc;
  3. a small monetary grant to the student's host physics department to be used to promote and support minority student activities.


Executive Committee

Honorary Chair

William Hewlett (deceased)
Co-founder, Hewlett-Packard Company

Vice Chairs (titles as of Campaign)

Robert Allen
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, AT&T

Paul Allaire
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer , Xerox Corporation

Norman Augustine
President, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Livio DeSimone
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, 3M Company

Robert Galvin
Chairman of the Executive Committee, Motorola, Inc.

Gordon Moore
Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation

Lewis Platt
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett-Packard Company

George Soros
Soros Fund Management & Soros Foundation Network

Alex Trotman
President & Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company

Council of Nobel Laureates

Nicolaas Bloembergen
Leon Cooper
Allan Cormack
James Cronin
Pierre de Gennes
Richard Ernst
Leo Esaki
William Fowler (dec.)
Jerome Friedman
Kenichi Fukui
Ivar Giaever
Donald Glaser
Sheldon Glashow
Herbert Hauptman
Dudley Herschbach
Gerhard Herzberg
Roald Hoffmann
Henry Kendall (dec.)
Willis Lamb, Jr.
Leon Lederman
Yuan Lee
William Lipscomb
Rudolph Marcus
Linus Pauling (dec.)
Arno Penzias
Edward Purcell (dec.)
Norman Ramsey
Burton Richter
Abdus Salam (dec.)
Arthur Schawlow (dec.)
Robert Schrieffer
Melvin Schwartz
Glenn Seaborg (dec.)
Richard Taylor
Charles Townes
Steven Weinberg
Robert Wilson (dec.)
C. N. Yang

Administrative Group

Nicolaas Bloembergen, Chair
Reuben Alley
Judy Franz
Ernest Henley
Bernard Khoury
Don Langenberg
Harry Lustig
Thomas McIlrath
Sokrates Pantelides
C. Kumar
N. Patel
Burton Richter
Robert Schrieffer
Howard Voss

Individual Gifts


John Armstrong

Vice Chairs

Lewis Branscomb
D. Allan Bromley
Bunny Clark
Robert Frosch
Theodore Geballe
Hermann Grunder
Ernest Henley
Paul Hewitt
George Pake
Nicholas Samios
David Saxon
Robert Schrieffer
Ray Serway
Andrew Sessler
James Stith
Alvin Trivelpiece


Reuben Alley
Nicolaas Bloembergen
Arthur Bienenstock
Martin Blume
Judy Franz
Simon Foner
Maurice Goldhaber
Charles Hebel
Bernard Khoury
Dan Kleppner
Don Langenberg
Harry Lustig
Thomas McIlrath
Sokrates Pantelides
C. Kumar
N. Patel
John Peoples
Burton Richter
Frederick Seitz
Charles Shank
H. Eugene Stanley
Paul Vanden Bout
Howard Voss