Texas State University: 2016 Outcomes
The 2015-16 Academic Year was Year 1 of the Comprehensive PhysTEC Site Project at Texas State University. The key accomplishments of the project in Year 1 were to: establish two new Bachelor’s degrees in physics with teacher certifications (one with Physics/Math, and one with Physics/Chemistry); initiate a Central Texas Area Physics Teacher Network, with six meetings at the Texas State campus; establish a “PhysTEC LA” role in the already thriving Physics Learning Assistant Program; create a new course, “Physics Cognition and Pedagogy II”, for future physics teachers; create a project website; commit two classrooms in a new engineering and science building to the SCALE-UP format; and secure a Noyce Phase I scholarship project from the National Science Foundation.
The new B.S. degrees in physics are available in the undergraduate catalog as of May 2016. Two current physics majors have begun working on 3000-level coursework in Curriculum & Instruction required by the degrees. The Physics Teacher Network meetings were orchestrated by the three Teachers-In-Residence at Texas State. These meetings were conducted in a variety show format, with presentations about innovations in physics teaching from practicing teachers, Texas State faculty, a high school student, and a community entrepreneur. PhysTEC LAs participated in Teacher Network meetings, visited TIR classrooms, and participated in the Texas Section APS/AAPT/SPS meeting. A new science & engineering building is currently in the design phase, and the university committed to two 72-seat SCALE-UP classrooms for physics. These rooms will be the first such showcase classrooms on campus. The new Noyce project began on June 1, 2016.