Supported SiteSupported Site East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University

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Beverly Smith

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Very few high school Physics teachers in Tennessee have undergraduate degrees in Physics.  Although the numbers of Physics major graduates from East Tennessee State University has increased in the last several years, very few of these students become high school science teachers after graduation.  We propose to address this issue with a program designed to encourage Physics majors to consider high school teaching as a career, and to encourage pre-teachers majoring in other fields to consider Physics as major.  This program will include three parts. First, students will attend an intensive 2-day teacher's training workshop on radio astronomy at nearby Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), a STEM education center and astronomical observatory. At the workshop, students will be given intensive training in lesson plan development, as well as a review of the necessary concepts in Physics and Astronomy.  Next, these students will use this training as `learning assistants' in an introductory class at ETSU, under the supervision of an experienced faculty member.  Third, the students will present this material to local high school classes. The goal of this project is to `break the ice' for many Physics majors, and provide them with the confidence to consider high school teaching as a career option.


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