red Supported Site Middle Tennessee State University: Collaboration

Successes

  • Local physics teachers are outspoken advocates for MTSU physics.
  • Five students from local high schools have matriculated to MTSU to study physics.
  • MTeach director and non-physics master teachers encourage students to consider physics teaching, and refer students to the department.
  • Renewed efforts at forming a Teacher Advisory Group have been successful. Meeting on teachers' schedules, offering continuing education credits, giving away simple demonstrations, and providing food all help.

Challenges

  • High school teacher that is the only Physics Modeler in the county left the area for another opportunity.
  • Our first three physics teaching graduates have moved from the area: one to Texas, one to Chattanooga, and one to a Nashville middle school.

Sustainability

  • We will assign responsibility for the Teacher Advisory Group to our new PER faculty member.

Lessons Learned

  • Bringing TAG teachers together requires planning, and knowledge of the school system schedules.
  • Providing incentives and making productive use of the meeting time helps TAG participation.

Activities

  • Students in the physics teaching concentration attended a 2-week workshop on Modeling Physics during summer 2011.
  • Students enrolled in The Teaching of Physics visited Siegel High School to observe Physics Modeling.
  • Six area high school teachers met with PhysTEC PI as a Teacher Advisory Group in October.
  • PER faculty member is providing one-on-one mentoring for two new local high school physics teachers.
  • Area high school teachers, a retired principle, and two former teachers formed an advisory panel that fielded questions from students in The Teaching of Physics.
  • Chairman of Educational Leadership and the Associated Dean for Teacher Licensure meet regularly with PhysTEC PI in monthly STEM education meeting.