Supported Site Virginia Tech: Program Data

PhysTEC Graduates (Years funded 2011-2014)
BaselineProject Funded
Year -2 Year -1 Year 0 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
1 1 3 1 5 1

* Must meet the definition of PhysTEC Secondary Graduate.

** This is a subset of the graduates from all programs, and may be the same.

Definition of PhysTEC Secondary Graduate: Any student who has graduated from a PhysTEC Institution and

(a) has a major or minor in physics, OR (b) has completed coursework equivalent to a major or minor in physics

AND

(a) has certification to teach high-school physics, OR (b) has completed a teacher education program.

Commentary on Secondary Graduates data:

All students in the baseline years graduated with undergraduate degrees in physics from Virginia Tech. All, except the one in Year -2, also graduated from the Masters of Education (MAED) program at Virginia Tech. All students in the baseline years participated in the physics outreach program/course, an activity from which we currently actively recruit PhysTEC students.

The one Year 1 student was a physics major from elsewhere, that was a physics graduate student in our Physics Department, and switched to Education after discussions with members of our PhysTEC team.

Future Physics Teachers
BaselineProject
Year -2 2008/09 Year -1 2009/10 Year 0 2010/11 Year 1 2011/12 Year 2 2012/13 Year 3 2013/14
1 1 3 6 9 10

* This number should match the number of names entered on the Future Teachers tab in the teacher tracking spreadsheet.

** This is a subset of the Future Teachers from all programs, and may be the same.

 

 

Definition of PhysTEC Future Teacher : A student at a PhysTEC Institution who has committed to completing a program of physics teacher education.

Definition of a Future Teacher at Virginia Tech: A student with a physics major, minor, or equivalent, who is intending to enroll in the Virginia Tech Masters of Education program. 

Commentary on Future Physics Teachers data:

The Baseline numbers reflect the students that went through the MAED program at Virginia Tech, or participated in participated in the physics outreach program/course, an activity from which we currently actively recruit PhysTEC students.

The Year 1 quantity reflects the number of MAED graduates (1), plus the number of current physics majors at Virginia Tech or graduated physics majors from Virginia Tech, that will be enrolling in the MAED program in Fall 2012 (5).

Learning Assistants in Physics Courses
BaselineProject
Year -2 2008/09 Year -1 2009/10 Year 0 2010/11 Year 1 2011/12 Year 2 2012/13 Year 3 2013/14
0 0 0 0 11 9

PhysTEC Learning Assistant: Any PhysTEC student who facilitates learning in an undergraduate physics course, receives formal pedagogical instruction, and is encouraged to enter a teacher preparation program.

Commentary on Learning Assistant data:

In Year -1 through Year 1 we have had informally trained LAs (i.e., the did not take a course in teaching and learning) in PHYS 1055-1056 Introduction to Astronomy, and PHYS 1155-1156 Astronomy Lab. The total number of LAs (individuals) in those years was, respectively, 3, 12, and 14.

We started our Teaching and Learning course in Year 1, and so all LAs in the subsequent years will be formally trained.

 PhysTEC Mentors
Project
Year 1 2011/12 Year 2 2012/13 Year 3 2013/14
PhysTEC Mentors (current and prior TIRs) 1 1 2
Mentored PhysTEC Graduates 0 1 6
Mentored non-PhysTEC Teachers 1 1 2

Definition of PhysTEC Mentor : Any PhysTEC TIR who mentors a practicing K-12 teacher or pre-service teacher. (Mentors are counted each year, so after their first year of mentoring, they are recounted if they mentor in the next year.)

Commentary on Mentors data:

Our TIR (Alma Robinson) mentored a teacher working in the Arlington, VA, in Year 1 and Year 2.

In Year 3, the TIR (Mary Norris) and former TIR (Alma Robinson) mentored all of the PhysTEC/MAED graduates from 2013, and 2012. Mary Norris mentored two new physics teachers that were not PhysTEC graduates.

PHYSICS PEDAGOGY COURSES

Course Number Course Name Semester Credit Hours Primarily for college physics teaching (Y/N) Primarily for secondary physics teaching (Y/N)
PHYS 4224 Physics Teaching and Learning 2 Y Y

Commentary on Pedagogy Course Data (include a brief description of each course):

PHYS 4224: Physics Teaching and Learning
Seminar course on how people learn and understand key concepts in physics to encourage more effective teaching strategies. Students take part in discussions of readings in physics, physics education research, and cognitive science. The course covers recognition of common student preconceptions of physics concepts and identification of strategies which help to elicit conceptual change. Students take part in field work teaching precollege or college students. This courses is for students interested in teaching and learning physics, graduate teaching assistants, and undergraduate learning assistants.

This course is designed to work with students interesting in teaching and learning physics at all levels, thus the answer "Y" to both questions in the table above.

EARLY TEACHING EXPERIENCES IN PHYSICS

Course Number (if applicable) Name of course (or program/ experience) Typical hours per semester Teaching college students (Y/N) Teaching K-12 students (Y/N)
PHYS 2404 Physics Outreach 30 N Y
PHYS 3254 Enriched Physics Outreach 30 N Y
EDCI/ME 4454 Engineering Leadership and Management 100 N Y
PHYS 4974 Independent Study: Physics Learning Assistant Program 60 N Y

Commentary on Early Teaching Experiences in Physics (include a brief description of each):

PHYS 2404: Physics Outreach
Service learning through teaching. An early field experience for physics students who are interested in physics education. Students visit local schools and host campus visits to teach K-12 students fundamental physics concepts by performing physics demonstrations and activities. Students learn successful communication techniques, lead classroom discussions, and utilize pedagogical content knowledge to effectively organize physics presentations to the general public.

Of the 30 hours per semester, in PHYS 2404, 10 hours were in actual classrooms with K-12 students; 20 hours were in the 2404 class, plus other work outside class.

PHYS 3254: Enriched Physics Outreach
Students learn the design and implementation of physics lesson plans for K-12 students at local schools and campus visits. They create inquiry-based, student-centered physics lessons which motivate and educate students of all ages. The develop activities and experiments to engage students in being scientists.

Of the 30 hours per semester, in PHYS 3254, 12 hours were in actual classrooms with K-12 students; 18 hours were in the 3254 class, plus other work outside class.

EDCI/ME 4454: Engineering Leadership and Management
This is the "Robotics course." It was modified to allow the enrollment of PhysTEC students, not just mechanical engineering students. PhysTEC students work as leaders and mentors of teams of high school students developing a robot for competition.

Of the 100 hours per semester, in EDCI/ME 4454, 85 hours were in contact with high school students; 15 hours were in the 4454 class, plus other work outside class.

PHYS 4974: Independent Study: Physics Learning Assistant Program
The physics learning assistant program course. Students meet with course instructors on a weekly basis. LAs run optional recitations, or labs, and/or assist during class in student-centered learning activities.

Of the 60 hours per semester, in 4974, 45 hours were in actual classrooms with college students; 15 hours were meeting with a course instructor, or preparing for working with students.