AAPT Celebrates PSSC's 50th Birthday
In 1956 MIT physics professor Jerrold Zacharias formed PSSC, the Physical Sciences Study Committee, and launched what became America's largest effort ever to reshape how physics was taught in high schools.
The impact of PSSC was world wide. By the early 1960s more than twenty percent of all high school teachers of physics were involved in this project. PSSC produced a major new text book, more than fifty extraordinary movies, a sequence of lab materials that has not been equaled, and a series of short books describing in an engaging and insightful way many different aspects of physics -- crystal growing, waves and beaches, how a TV works, neutrons, electrons, the universe, and the physicists who led the way to deeper understanding of a fascinating variety of phenomena.
As you read any piece of this collection, you will see that PSSC had enormous impact on physics teaching, not just in high school but at all levels, and not just in America, but all over the world.
Many questions you might ask about PSSC are answered by the analyses, reflections, and recollections of the authors of this AAPT on-line publication assembled to celebrate PSSC’s fiftieth birthday.
A Summer with PSSC by Tom Greenslade
An Ode to PSSC by Arnold A. Strassenberg
Discovering the PSSC: A Personal Memoir by A. P. French
From New Brunswick to Tirupati with PSSC by Peter Lindenfeld
Happy Birthday PSSC by Karen Kwitter
How PSSC Shaped My Teaching by Dick Heckathorn
Personal Views of the Beginnings of PSSC and My Film Experiences by John G. King
PSSC: a Student Perspective by Jane Bray Nelson
PSSC and me by Jim Nelson
PSSC Birthday Remembrance by Carl Berger
PSSC: Hearing the Music by Leon Cooper
PSSC: Instant Credibility for a Beginning High School Physics Teacher by John W. Layman
PSSC Reflections by Jim Hicks
PSSC PHYSICS: A Personal Perspective by Uri Haber-Schaim
PSSC PHYSICS: By One Who Saw It from Beginning to End by John H. Dodge
Reminiscences: PSSC Experiences Revisited by Edwin L. Goldwasser
Teaching PSSC Physics: A Remembrance of Things Past by Chris Chiaverina
Thoughts on My Experiences with PSSC Physics by Robert Stair
Twenty Seven Years with PSSC by McLaurin Smith-Williams
When PSSC came to Long Island by Cliff Swartz
With PSSC, Teachers and Students Had To Think by John S. Rigden