The 5+ Club Supported SiteThe 5+ Club Supported Site Virginia Tech: Collaboration


  • Our program is, at its fundamental core, a successful integration of work by the Physics Department and the School of Education.
  • There was a very successful collaboration between the Physics Department of the College of Science, and the Theatre Arts Department of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, in work on the Physics Teaching and Learning course.
  • A similar collaboration occurred between Physics and The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) at Virginia Tech.
  • There was also a successful collaboration between Physics and the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI), in both the Physics Teaching and Learning course, and the Seminar for Physics Majors course.
  • The TIR Alma Robinson, through serving on the Science Education Clinical Faculty Search Committee, School of Education at Virginia Tech in 2013, established working relationships with faculty in the School of Education.


  • Communication across academic boundaries can be challenging, but continued effort can pay off.


  • With the formalization and reform of the new PhysTEC inspired courses, we expect to sustain the collaborations that occurred in the courses.
  • The collaboration between Physics and Education, being a fundamental part of the program, will continue.

Lessons Learned

  • Individuals and programs are quite willing to collaborate on this project.


  • The VTCRI collaboration involved a field trip to their site in Roanoke, Virginia (about a 1 hour drive). We brought about 50 physics majors on the trip; VTCRI provided about 25 faculty, staff, and students for the event, centered on brain and neurological research, 2012.
  • Collaborative teaching within courses.
  • Collaborative work on presenting current research into teaching, learning, psychology, and brain function.
  • Collaborative work between physics and education on all aspects of the PhysTEC program.