Supported Site California State University, Long Beach: Recruitment

Successes

The PhysTEC activities increased the visibility of physics teaching as a career to physics majors and students taking physics courses in general. The activities also helped to build camaraderie among physics majors.

  • The number of undergraduate majors has more than doubled during the last three years. Curricular changes made the physics BA and minor more attractive. 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.
  • 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.
    • The Fall 2011 open house had 75 participants (9 faculty and staff, 16 CSULB students, and 12 high school teachers). The Spring 2012 open house had 48 participants (10 faculty and staff, 12 CSULB students, and 10 high school teachers).
    • The Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 open house events were attended by 44 and 47, respectively, high school teachers and students, faculty, staff, and majors (undergraduate and graduate students).
  • 17 incoming freshman in Fall 2013 declared physics as their major. 8 of them are from high schools with a physics teacher who has been active in our Physics Teacher Network. Students from the last two TIRs are on the list of incoming freshmen majors.
  • The Social Mixer has been very successful. The events were advertised in physics classes by faculty and to community college advisors/faculty, and potential physics majors and transfer students attended. 37, 66, 35, and 60 faculty and students attended in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, and Spring 2013 mixers, respectively.
  • The CSULB PhysTEC event (Demo Sharing) was featured in the Daily 49er, the campus student newspaper. http://www.daily49er.com/news/physics-demo-day-charges-up-the-crowd-1.2729822#.T4yk3u05uhR
  • PHYS 390 (Early teaching experience course) has been the catalysts for change in the undergraduate program. All students taking PHYS 390 and doing LAs said that they became better students with the experience. There is strong camaraderie and team-building through this experience, which was clearly recognizable in various department events.
  • A photographer was hired to record all project events and develop the recruitment posters. The photos and posters are shared with the national PhysTEC.
  • 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.
  • Visit www.physicsatthebeach.com. The project website was updated and maintained, and the project owns the domain name "physicsatthebeach.com".
  • A proposal was submitted to Julius Sumner Miller Foundation and Norrice Foundation as well as private donors to the university to obtain the external funding for the PhysTEC events, LAs, and TIR. We are working with the Development Officer (Maryanne Horton).
  • Regardless of the external funding situation, the department will continue to support the recruiting/pipeline building events.

Challenges

  • We have overcome the visibility issues on campus through the PhysTEC events. The department is the only one in the sciences with the active teacher education and outreach program. The Dean and the Provost recognize the value.
  • The recruiting/pipeline building events have been very successful for majors to have a sense of belonging as well as recruiting majors.

Sustainability

  • Bi-annual Physics Teacher Open House and the Social Mixer have been accepted by the faculty and students. Faculty acknowledged the value of these events for recruitment and for building the student community. These events will continue beyond the grant.
  • We have two PIs in the physics department who are championing the project, and several junior faculty are strong supporters.

Lessons Learned

  • One-on-one recruitment by the advisors seems to be effective.
  • Collecting a postcard and contacting the student directly works better than giving out the contact information.
  • Advertising the PhysTEC Social Mixer to students as well as department faculty was effective. Some faculty brought the class for the event.
  • Numbers for Spring 2012 Open House were lower than anticipated because of scheduling conflicts with a major robotics competition and a CSULB Engineering event. We consulted with more teachers about the Open House dates for 2012-2013.

Activities

  • The undergraduate advisor invited physics majors interested in teaching to enroll in PHYS 390.
  • One-on-one recruitment among physics majors/minors during undergraduate and graduate advising. Students were actively invited to enroll in PHYS390.
  • The TIR visited all intro algebra- and calculus-based physics classes to talk about the option of teaching and provide the contact information.
  • A postcard was distributed and collected for students interested in physics teaching to provide name & e-mail.
  • The TIR attended SPS's monthly meetings.
  • The TIR attended National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Student Chapter and Noyce meetings.
  • PhysTEC was advertised in the college's student orientation programs (SOAR, Science Safari, and summer advisement).
  • PIs gave presentations at Cerritos College and Long Beach City College. The Student Access to Science (SAS) Center staff mentions PhysTEC when doing regular outreach visits to our feeder community colleges.
  • Recruiting posters were placed around campus in the College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and outside areas where physics lectures take place. Power point slides of the poster were shown in physics classes as students entered class.
  • Invited all area high school physics teachers to attend CSULB Physics Open House Events held each semester. Teachers were able to invite 2 students with them to the event. Open House program included presentations by physics faculty (Prof. Gredig on Nanotechnology for Solar Cells, Prof. Gu on Magnetic Thin Films and Their Applications, Prof. Peterson on Strongly Interacting Systems of Electrons, Prof. Bill on Superconductivity), hands-on activities, and panel discussion about the careers in Physics and the student life as a physics major.
  • Hosted Social Mixer for physics majors, graduate students, and prospective students. The invitation for the Mixer was sent to the feeder community colleges' councilors and physics Chairs.
  • The announcements of all PhysTEC events were sent out via e-mail to the PhysTEC listserv, to CSULB in-service and pre-service science teacher listserv, physics majors, graduate students, and local high school physics teachers.
  • Single-subject credential advising is available by PIs and the coordinator. The most current information for the science credential program is available in http://www.ced.csulb.edu/single-subject/program/science. Required coursework for Physics Concentration is available at http://www.ced.csulb.edu/single-subject/program/science/required-coursework-physics-concentration .
  • Four 5-min videos featuring physics faculty were developed and the DVD distributed at the open houses.
  • A new department PR video was developed through APS TV with the financial support from the Dean and the Provost.
  • Students were invited to help judge the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) science fair.

Supplemental Files