The 5+ Club Supported SiteThe 5+ Club Supported Site Georgia State University: Recruitment

Successes

  • Three physics majors completed student teaching in the 2013-2014 academic year. Five physics majors in the teacher preparation concentration have received assignments for student teaching in 2014-2015. Three physics majors at earlier stages are preparing for student teaching in 2015-2016.
  • Presentations about physics and science teaching as a career were made in one university freshman orientation class for science majors, the Gateway to Physics class for freshman physics majors; nine introductory calculus-based physics classes and two upper division physics majors classes.
  • An article about the GSU PhysTEC project appeared on the university news page with a highlight on the main GSU webpage (http://news.gsu.edu/2013/11/07/federal-grant-helps-address-shortage-of-physics-teachers/).
  • Brochures and posters about careers in physics teaching were produced, posted and distributed.

Challenges

  • Informal meetings between students and TIR were rare due to the schedule of the part-time TIR.
  • Involvement in the freshman orientation class related to science teaching was postponed due to alternate year scheduling.
  • Development of website for GSU PhysTEC was slower than anticipated.
  • The loss of team member from the College of Education resulted in a lack of contact with some recruiting opportunities, especially for Master of Arts in Teaching students.

Sustainability

  • Strong interaction between physics department and college and university advisers has put in place a reliable system to inform and direct students interested in teaching to the PhysTEC team. It has also resulted in reliable steering of new physics majors into the Gateway to Physics course, where physics teaching careers can be highlighted and connections can be made with the TIR and department adviser.
  • A series of classroom presentations have been set up where physics teaching pathways are presented.
  • Distribution of posters and brochures will continue.

Lessons Learned

  • Some physics major junior transfer students arrive with either hopes or plans for becoming physics teachers. It is important to find them as early as possible to influence their course selection in their first term at GSU.
  • Physics majors are interested in teaching when presented with a clear path and good advice.
  • It's often difficult to get students to respond to blanket invitations. Informal events and encouragement from their professors is most effective.

Activities

  • Presentation by the TIR in GSU 1010, New Student Orientation, for natural science majors in Fall 2013.
  • Presentations by the PhysTEC team in all Phys2211 and Phys2212 classes in Spring 2014 with distribution of the brochure on physics teaching pathways.
  • Presentations in two upper division courses required for physics majors: Phys3300, Advanced Physics Lab, and Phys4900, Research Project courses in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, respectively.
  • Inclusion of teaching career in advisement conversations by physics undergraduate director.
  • Conference presentations on GSU PhysTEC at SACS-AAPT regional meetings in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 with distribution of brochures.