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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Contact Information

Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590

Telephone: (518) 276-6310
Fax: (518) 276-6680
E-mail: physics@rpi.edu

Rensselaer's Physics Education Group pioneered the "studio" approach to physics instruction. The defining characteristics of studio physics classes are integrated lecture/laboratory form, a reduction in lecture time, a technology-enhanced learning environment, collaborative group work, and a high level of faculty-student interaction.

The studio physics environment employs activities, computer tools, and multimedia materials that allow students to participate in their own learning and to construct their own scientific knowledge.

Allowing students to learn directly from their interactions with the physical world through "hands-on" activities is a high priority.

In general, the program involves creative work related to the improvement of physics instruction. Much of our current work centers on using technology enhanced instructional methods to promote interaction in the classroom and improve the level of student learning in physics.

Students in the Physics Education Group engage in undergraduate research opportunities and earn graduate degrees by conducting research on the learning and teaching of physics. Graduate students in the group actively participate in the development and teaching of departmental courses.