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

Supported Site Contacts

Brian Thoms
D. G. Sumith Doluweera
Joshua Von Korff
Zeynep Topdemir

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The PhysTEC Comprehensive Site at Georgia State University (GSU) will become a significant producer of well-qualified, certified physics teachers from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds through introducing a teacher-in-residence program, engaging in a major course redesign in introductory, calculus-based physics which will include tutorials and learning assistants, and undertaking significant new recruiting and mentoring efforts.

Georgia State University is a large, growing, urban, research university with a diverse student body. Recent efforts at Georgia State University have created multiple pathways through physics teacher preparation. The newest effort, a concentration in Education within the BS in Physics leading to teacher certification within the four-year undergraduate degree, began in Fall 2012 and has already attracted a number of students into physics teaching career paths. This new pathway complements the existing tracks in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and the BS/MAT. The BS/MAT allows students at GSU or Georgia Tech to accelerate their MAT by taking courses toward the MAT while still undergraduates.

The GSU PhysTEC project features: A teacher-in-residence (TIR) who will mentor and recruit future physics teachers. Reformed introductory calculus-based physics courses to include inquiry based instruction and Learning Assistants. The Learning Assistant program will also include a course on physics teaching pedagogy, which will also be also offered for MAT students. Additionally, newly certified teachers will be followed and supported using a summer retreat and our Teacher Advisory Group (TAG).

This project builds on a thriving undergraduate physics program, an established collaboration between the science and education departments, and a strong team knowledgeable about physics education research.


Georgia State University named a PhysTEC Local Teacher of the Year in from 2017 and 2018.

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Site Leaders

Brian Thoms Brian Thoms


Elizabeth Walker (2013-2014) Elizabeth Walker (2013-2014)
Frank Lock (2014-2015) Frank Lock (2014-2015)