The PhysTEC website will be unavailable Friday evening through Saturday afternoon as electrical work occurs in the American Center of Physics server room. Down time will begin at 6PM Eastern Time on Friday. Service is expected to resume by 6PM on Saturday, July 30.

The 5+ Club Supported SiteThe 5+ Club Supported Site Towson University (Secondary): Collaboration


  • The project team established an open line of communication with four surrounding school districts (Baltimore County, Carroll County, Howard County, Harford County) and Towson's Department of Secondary Education.
  • Ron Hermann, project PI, is on the UTeach steering committee and serves as department liaison to UTeach.
  • Planning and implementing UTeach has required the cross-department and cross-college collaboration of faculty and administrators, which has resulted in the establishment of common goals and stronger communication across the university.


  • Secondary program structures within the College of Education have been in place for decades and have taken time (and will continue to take time) to alter due to administrative inertia.
  • With the recent adoption of the UTeach program, several courses offered by the Department of Secondary Education have been replaced with UTeach math/science specific courses. This continues to cause friction between the Colleges of Education and Science & Mathematics.
  • The co-teaching of UTeach courses by a math or science education faculty and a college of education faculty is logistically challenging.
  • The time that faculty dedicate to implementing the new UTeach program comes at the expense of other necessary faculty activities.
  • Occasionally, administrators make programmatic decisions about STEM programs without consulting the faculty who are involved in these programs.


  • The Deans of the College of Education and the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics will continue to structure and support cross-college collaboration.

Lessons Learned

  • It is important to maintain open communication with the Department of Secondary Education so that future program changes do not come as a surprise, as well as to provide input on the proposed changes.
  • College of Education leadership and faculty are open and willing to work with science educators to serve students' best interests.
  • In the beginning, more faculty involvement would have been useful in the planning of the UTeach program.
  • Certain UTeach collaboration requirements do not mesh well with Towson's unusual faculty structure, in which science education faculty are housed in content departments rather than education departments.


  • Ron Hermann met frequently with faculty from the Department of Secondary Education about the secondary program requirements and possible changes to the program.
  • Ron Hermann attended monthly Teacher Education Executive Board meetings.
  • Project personnel attended many UTeach planning and steering committee meetings.
  • Project personnel met with the UTeach project directors to discuss how to sustain the PhysTEC project successes.
  • The UTeach Master Teacher has worked with PhysTEC future teachers and has maintained open communication with the project PIs.
  • The project PIs collaborated with other education faculty on NCATE reporting requirements.
  • The project PIs and a faculty member from the College of Education submitted and were awarded an 18-month grant to provide physics professional development for middle school teachers in Baltimore City Public Schools.
  • Ron Hermann (PI) and the Chair of Secondary Education submitted an NSF proposal to analyze physics students' classroom practices.