APS educational programs and publications

Creating Sustainable Physics Teacher Preparation Programs
A new study (see article on page 4) has identified two factors that characterize sustainable university and college programs designed to train highly qualified physics teachers in greater numbers. Specifically, one or more faculty members who choose to champion physics teacher education in combination with institutional motivation and commitment can ensure that such initiatives remain viable. Shortages of qualified teachers are especially acute in physics, where fewer than half of all high school physics classrooms have a teacher with a degree in physics. The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) Sustainability Study was publicly released Tuesday, July 29 at the 2014 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) summer meeting. PhysTEC is a project of APS and AAPT, with major support from the National Science Foundation. The report can be downloaded at the PhysTEC Sustainability web page.

Save the Date for the 2015 PhysTEC Conference: “Building Thriving Programs”
The 2015 PhysTEC Conference will be held on February 5-7 in Seattle, WA. The theme for the Conference is “Building Thriving Programs.” The Conference will feature a half-day pre-conference Learning Assistant Workshop on February 5th. In addition, a post-conference workshop on “Building a Thriving Undergraduate Physics Program” (February 6-8) will assist departments in developing strategies for increasing enrollment of physics majors. More information on both meetings can be found at the PhysTEC 2015 Conference page.

Free Graphs and Raw Data on Education Issues
APS generates statistical reports on issues in undergraduate physics education. These reports are freely available for your use. You may use the graphs in reports and presentations or you may use the raw data to create new graphs and charts, but please credit APS and the U.S. Department of Education. Access the reports at the Physics Graphs & Statistics web page.

Join the APS Topical Group on Physics Education Research (GPER)
In GPER, physics education researchers engage with working physicists to strengthen research on teaching and learning in physics departments and in the physics community. By joining GPER you will strengthen the APS commitment to physics education research (PER) as a research field within the physics community and physics departments; support dissemination of the results of PER to the broader physics community; and be informed of current PER events through newsletters and other communications.

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Michael Lucibella
Art Director and Special Publications Manager: Kerry G. Johnson
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik

October 2014 (Volume 23, Number 9)

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Articles in this Issue
Next Steps for Energy Critical Elements
New Local Links Chapters Bring Physicists Together
Blewett Scholarship Winners Announced
DOE Joins the CHORUS
Feynman Lectures Now Freely Available Online
PhysTEC Sites Successfully Sustain Teacher Education Programs
The Back Page
Members in the Media
This Month In Physics History
Education Corner
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science
International News
Washington Dispatch
Profiles In Versatility