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Northwestern University (NU) is leading an NSF-funded Computing Education for the 21st Century Project to develop computational thinking and computational modeling curricular materials for high-school science and math classrooms (including physics) and provide teacher training and professional development in implementing these materials. The project PIs include members of CIERA, faculty in computer science, science education, and the Office of STEM Education Partnerships. NU CIERA is also running an NSF GK-12 program partnering NU STEM graduate students with local middle and high school teachers (including physics teachers) to incorporate cutting edge research and mentoring into their classroom curricula.
Membership in PTEC would help facilitate our attendance and dissemination of results at PTEC conferences and workshops, would provide us access to information about new funding opportunities and related programs to our current efforts, and fresh ideas about new ways to support physics teacher preparation. We also hope that membership in PTEC will help fuel interest and ideas for how to increase the number of NU undergraduates pursuing the degree in secondary education with a focus in physics. Currently the numbers are very low.