Supported Site Boston University: Recruitment

Successes

  • One freshman and one junior indicated they intend to become secondary school physics teachers. Both of these physics majors are serving or have served as Learning Assistants.
  • On April 12th, 2014, seven undergraduates accompanied Mark Greenman, the TIR, to the 28th Annual Eastern Massachusetts Physics Olympics, where they served as judges and helpers.
  • The TIR met individually with undergraduates and graduate students who were interested in learning more about high school teaching, planning out details of programs that would lead to a teaching career.
  • We began inviting both graduate students and undergraduate physics majors to attend our physics teacher outreach BU-PTN program.
  • We were awarded a Noyce Scholarship program for science teachers. The first cohort included 3 out of 9 scholars seeking certification in secondary school physics teaching and the second cohort included 3 out of 9 scholars seeking certification in secondary school physics teaching.
  • The TIR met with the physics department director of graduate studies and received approval to present information about outreach programs and career opportunities in education during the graduate student council meetings and to include invitations to graduate students to attend BU-PTN meetings.
  • The TIR in meetings with the Photon (BU's Society of Physics Students chapter) group and leadership have discussed developing opportunities for formal outreach efforts into area schools. Consequent to these discussions and the Photon group's own interest in doing more outreach, the Photon group has created an new leadership position "Outreach Coordinator." The TIR and Outreach Coordinator will work on fostering more outreach by the Photon members.

Challenges

  • Students enter BU with a declared major and goals that are intense and demanding, and haven't considered teaching as an option.
  • Our best candidates for teaching careers may be physics students who are in Interdisciplinary studies, and we need to target those students more.
  • Students are highly competitive and interested in research opportunities as their additional activity beyond classes within their major.
  • Although we have made progress in this area, finding meaningful ways to reach out to BU physics graduate students about physics teaching and physics education research continues to be a challenge.
  • Developing a mechanism for having the TIR meet with incoming freshman to provide information concerning the LA program, Physics Education Research and outreach opportunities providing early teacher-like experiences is a challenge. Although the PhysTEC team has proposed a mechanism for the TIR to introduce himself to incoming freshmen physics majors and to set up fall individual meetings with incoming freshmen, this proposal awaits approval by the director of undergraduate physics program and the department chair.

Supplemental File