The 5+ Club Supported SiteThe 5+ Club Supported Site University of Central Florida: Program Data

The project collects data on the number of PhysTEC Graduates, PhysTEC Future Teachers, PhysTEC Learning Assistants, and PhysTEC Mentors; these PhysTEC terms are defined here. The project also collects data on physics pedagogy courses, early teaching experiences, and enrollment in K-8 physical science courses for future elementary school teachers.

PhysTEC Graduates (Years funded 2010-2014)
BaselineProject Funded
Year -2 Year -1 Year 0 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
0 0 0 5    

Commentary on Secondary Graduates data:

In Florida, students can teach with a temporary certification (without completing professional certification) if they have a major in a high need area. Physics is currently identified as a high need area.

Notes on Year 1 Data:
5 students are currently enrolled in the CEHP MAT Program (and have sufficient physics background to count in our definition), which requires that students be actively teaching

The large jump in MAT participants was spurred by funding from the Race to the Top program, which had two cohorts. The final cohort began in Summer 2013.

NOTE FROM BASELINE DATA: The College of education and Human Performance (CEHP) has graduated students certified to teach science, but none of them have had physics coursework equivalent to the minor or major.
B.S IN SCIENCE EDUCATION, PHYSICS: 2010-11: 4; 2011-2012: 1; 2012-2013: 3

Future Physics Teachers
Year -2 2010/11 Year -1 2011/12 Year 0 2012/13 Year 1 2013/14 Year 2 2014/15 Year 3 2015/16
0 1 1 11    

Definition of a Future Teacher at UCF:

  • declares a B.A. in Physics—Education Track,
  • is working on coursework equivalent to a physics major or minor and is receiving regular mentoring (minimum monthly) from the TIR about possible routes to teacher certification, or
  • declares a B.S. in Science Education—Physics and is working on coursework for a physics major or minor.

Commentary on Future Physics Teachers data:

During Year 1, several physics majors met regularly with the TIR to discuss possible pathways to teaching careers. Since the BA is not yet open, those students who met regularly with the TIR are counted as Future Teachers.

Learning Assistants in Physics Courses
Year -2 2010/11 Year -1 2011/12 Year 0 2012/13 Year 1 2013/14 Year 2 2014/15 Year 3 2015/16
0 0 16 25    

Commentary on Learning Assistant data:

Yearly data includes only unique students.
In Year 0, 2 LAs participated in both the Fall and Spring semesters.
In Year 1, 5 LAs participated in both the Fall and Spring semesters.

 PhysTEC Mentors
Year 1 2013/14 Year 2 2014/15 Year 3 2015/16
PhysTEC Mentors (current and prior TIRs) 1    
Mentored PhysTEC Graduates 1    
Mentored non-PhysTEC Teachers 1    

Commentary on Mentors data:

Year 1

  • non-PhysTEC mentored teachers:
    • A new to physics in-service (previous biology) teacher. The Year 1 Teacher in Residence, Kevin Thomas, helped her with ideas on how to use her lab equipment, study for her FTCE Physics Subject Test, and brought Learning Assistants into her classroom to teach a lesson.
  • Mentored PhysTEC teachers:
    • A student graduated without certification in in December and began teaching in April. Kevin helped mentor her before she graduated, while she was a Learning Assistant, and helped her achieve temporary certification to get a teaching position.


Course Number Course Name Semester Credit Hours Primarily for college physics teaching (Y/N) Primarily for secondary physics teaching (Y/N)
PHY3945 Physics Pedagogy Seminar 1 Y Y

Commentary on Pedagogy Course Data (include a brief description of each course):
Phys4300 and Phys6300 are taught together in the same room. Phys4300 is an undergraduate course which was taken only by students serving as LAs. Students wanting to receive 2 credit hours performed additional work. Phys6300 is a graduate course taken by all first year physics graduate students while they are also serving as TAs in studio-style physics courses. Phys4300/6300 included theoretical foundations of physics teaching. Phys6310 emphasized practice using University of Washington tutorials.


Course Number (if applicable) Name of course (or program/ experience) Typical hours per semester Teaching college students (Y/N) Teaching K-12 students (Y/N)
PHY 3945 Learning Assistant Program 150, 120 hrs w/ students Y N
  St. Cloud LA Service-Learning 5 N Y

Commentary on Early Teaching Experiences in Physics (include a brief description of each):

Through the Learning Assistant (LA) Program, LAs work with college students in a variety of courses. In the 2013-2014 school year, these courses ranged from Physical Science to Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics, with most LAs working in introductory physics studios or mini-studios. In the Spring 2014 semester, we added two weekly hours in the newly reinstated Physics Help Room to the LAs’ assignments to give them experience working with students across courses. Most LAs worked in the classroom with students 6 hours per week, in the Help Room 2 hours per week, and were paid for 2 hours of prep per week.

Through the St. Cloud LA Service-Learning, second-time LAs worked with a “new to physics” teacher to develop activities for her high school physics course. A group of three LAs prepared worksheets and hands-on experiences for the topic of magnetism, and a group of 2 LAs prepared a discussion and hands-on activities related to waves.