Supported SiteSupported Site University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Image

Supported Site Contacts

Alice Churukian
Colin Wallace
Laurie McNeil

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) has established a program in which science majors prepare to become high school science teachers as they pursue their undergraduate degrees, and graduate in four years with a science degree and teaching certification. This program, called UNC-BEST (UNC Baccalaureate Education in Science and Teaching), is a partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education, which began with the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Biology. It has since expanded to include Geological Sciences, Mathematics, and Chemistry. UNC-BEST’s first graduating class, in 2009, included one physics teacher and seven biology teachers. As part of the program, the UNC TIR worked with a Physics Education Research (PER) specialist to design a physics methods course for students interested in teaching, which counts as a physics elective in the requirements for physics majors. Reform of introductory physics teaching at UNC has included implementation of the SCALE-UP studio-based mode of teaching.

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Site Leaders

Alice Churukian Alice Churukian
Laurie McNeil Laurie McNeil


David Green (2007-2008) David Green (2007-2008)
Liz Woolard (2008-2009) Liz Woolard (2008-2009)
Sharon Cooke (2009-2010) Sharon Cooke (2009-2010)
Michael Prim (2010-2011) Michael Prim (2010-2011)
Sam Wheeler (Visiting Master Teacher, 2011-2012) Sam Wheeler (Visiting Master Teacher, 2011-2012)