red Supported Site California State University, Long Beach: Goals & Outcomes

Goal

  • The goal of the CSULB PhysTEC project is to double the number of secondary physics teachers being credentialed by CSULB who have a degree in physics. Our target is to confer 5 physics credentials per year compared with the average of 2.5 per year during the last decade.
  • In the first year, the main objective was to build a foundation of the CSULB PhysTEC project. The project gained the support of physics faculty, energized physics majors, engaged the administration, and reached out to the high school physics teachers. We successfully started the bi-annual physics teacher open house, semesterly PhysTEC mixer, two physics courses for teaching & learning, and the development of recruiting/advertising materials.
  • The objectives of the second year were for the PhysTEC activities to be integrated to the department culture and to reach out to the broader community. The first cohort of LAs helped to spread the enthusiasm to the majors and faculty, which engaged all "physicists" on campus and triggered the growth of majors. We also established the Physics Teacher Network for in-service teachers, credential students, physics majors, and faculty by organizing monthly demo-sharing event, publishing the monthly newsletter, and building a PhysTEC listserv. This outreach effort brought in the attention of campus and local communities including the connection with the Long Beach Unified School District.
  • During the last year, our goal was to seek ways to sustain and institutionalize the PhysTEC activities. We obtained a significant learning gain and the positive attitude change data from 7 LAs placed in PHYS 151 (calculus-based Mechanics) lab in Fall 2012. The data was shared with the Dean, and it generated a strong support for the LA program. 10 LAs will be supported by the College for AY 2013-14, and the faculty have approved supporting the additional 10 LAs from the department budget. The department will also continue funding the events initiated with the PhysTEC (Open House, Demo-Sharing, Mixer, etc.) and hire a student assistant to help coordinate the project. We have secured Math Science Teacher Initiative funds to support the salary of a high school physics teacher to co-teach PHYS490 (Physics-specific pedagogical content knowledge course) in fall 2013.
  • Working with the Development Officer (Maryanne Horton), we received a funding from Julius Sumner Miller Foundation to support three LAs, Open House, and Demo-sharing for one year, and a proposal was submitted to Norris Foundation as well as private donors to the university to obtain the external funding for the PhysTEC events, LAs, and TIR.

Selected Outcomes

  • The number of undergraduate majors has more than doubled during the last three years. In Spring 2010 (before the PhysTEC project), the department had 38 students in BS, 4 in BA, and 9 in minor degree programs in the active roster. The number has increased to 72 students in BS, 25 in BA, and 15 in minors degree programs in Spring 2013.
  • The number of our own majors pursuing the teaching credential increased from 2 to 4 in the same period with many more considering the high school teaching career. Also the number of PhysTEC defined future teachers in the pipeline has increased from 3 - 5 to 11, a testament of successful outreach efforts.
  • The department participated in the 2013 March meeting's APS TV with the financial support from the Dean and the Provost. This high-quality department PR video will be used in the websites for the advertisement and recruitment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15a30ixUvnY&list=PLGVe6BxyFHNX-OGZ4oLx4KYPxRGmAzDWM&index=23).
  • Ten LAs will be supported by the College for AY 2013-14, and the additional ten LAs will be supported from the department budget.
  • The department will also continue funding the events initiated with the PhysTEC (Open House, Demo-Sharing, Mixer, etc) and hire a student assistant to help coordinating the project.
  • We have secured Math Science Teacher Initiative funds to support the salary of a high school physics teacher to co-teach PHYS490 in fall 2013.
  • During the AY 2011-12 (Year 2), four physics credentials were granted to the students meeting the PhysTEC Secondary Graduate criteria with two students who took PHYS 490 in AY 2010-11. Also there are 12 future PhysTEC teachers in the pipeline to receive the single-subject credentials. During AY 2012-2013 (Year 3) there were 3 physics credential granted but none of the students met the PhysTEC Secondary Graduate criteria. They did, however, participate in PhysTEC sponsored activities.
  • Monthly Demo Sharing event (the second Thursday of each month) was instituted in the AY 2011-12 bringing together in-service and pre-service teachers as well as physics students and faculty. The Demo Sharing day was featured in the Daily 49er, the campus student newspaper. It is continued this year with more teachers and physics majors participating.
  • Biannual open house was continued for local high school physics teachers, PhysTEC Scholars, and CSULB faculty to build a physics teaching community and recruit high school students. Welcoming comments were given by campus administrators (Provost, Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies and Academic Advising, Dean and Associate Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Vice Provost for Planning, and Academic Senate Chair).
  • The first year's TIR (Rod Ziolkowski) gave a Physics Department Colloquium on "What I've Learned - 25 Years Teaching High School Physics".
  • The second year's TIR (Katie Beck) gave a Physics Department Colloquium on "High School Physics Standards: A Nationwide Comparison".
  • The third year's TIR (Kevin Dwyer) gave a Physics Department Colloquium on "My Journey Back to the Beach".
  • TIR-3 (Dwyer) was selected as Anaheim Union High School District Teacher of the Year. He was then selected as a semifinalist for the Orange County Teacher of the Year.
  • The year 2's TIR (Katie Beck) began a monthly newsletter, What's ν? This is sent to various listservs, posted on the project website and distributed at monthly demo days and other presentations. This is given to teachers attending the monthly Physics Demo Days and Open House. It is also posted on the PhysTEC website (www.physicsatthebeach.com). TIR Kevin Dwyer continued the newsletter.
  • The CSULB PhysTEC project hosted a new teacher workshop on the Physics of Waves, Sound, and Light (with Modern Physics) and Electricity and Magnetism by the Southern California AAPT on Feb. 25, 2012 and Dec. 1, 2012.
  • The enrollment in early teaching experience course (PHYS 390: Exploring Physics Teaching) has increased from 7 in Spring 2011 to 9 in Spring 2012, and 26 in Spring 2013 demonstrating the popularity of the class.
  • The physics specific pedagogy course (PHYS 490: Special Topics) was developed and offered in Fall semesters. The topics were "Waves, Sound, and Optics" (Fall 2010), "Force and Motion" (Fall 2011), and "Energy and Momentum" (Fall 2012). The contents include the sequencing of instruction, student misconceptions, and a critical assessment of related lessons. Students showed statistically significant gains on the FCI in Fall 200. PHYS 490 enrollment has been steady between 6 and 9 students with the mix of in-service teachers, postbac/credential students, and majors. Students are enrolling in the course multiple times as the topics change.
  • The paid LA program started with 3 LAs who took PHYS 390 in Spring 2011. It increased to 7 LAs in AY 2012-13. They worked in the PHYS 151 lab and tutored in the Students Access to Science (SAS) center, a student supporting center operated by the College. The PHYS 151 instructor who worked with the LAs was very satisfied with their performance. The SAS Director praised the LAs' availability and performance.
  • Before the PhysTEC grant, no Physics majors were available as a tutor in the SAS. In Spring 2012, 12 physics majors tutored for 42 hours. In AY 2012-13, LAs and PHYS 390 students tutored 624 hours.
  • PIs participated as panelists and presented posters during the PhysTEC Conferences and AAPT meetings.
  • The CSULB PhysTEC leadership team and the PhysTEC Scholars presented three workshops at the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Conference, Pasadena, CA (Oct. 21 - 23, 2011). PhysTEC leadership team presented three workshops at the 2012 CSTA Conference in San Jose (Oct. 19-21, 2012). Workshop proposals have been accepted for the 2013 conference in Palm Springs, one of which will feature PhysTEC Scholars enrolled in PHYS 490.
  • The PhysTEC project has brought Physics & Astronomy and Science Education Departments closer, and faculty are working together to better engage students using technologies in introductory physics courses.
  • Another Physics & Astronomy/Science Education collaboration includes the implementation of a girls only high school physics camp (Phun Physics Phor Phemales) run in conjunction with the Young Scientists Camp Program. Physics TIR Katie Beck was the Lead Teacher for summer 2012. A PhysTEC Scholar will be working as the Teaching Associate in the program during summer 2013 (working with an inservice physics teacher who has been active in PhysTEC activities - Open House, PHYS490, Demo Days, etc.).