Member InstitutionMember Institution University of Oregon

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University of Oregon

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Dr. Dean Livelybrooks

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Our institution includes a College of Education and science departments (Biology, Chemistry, Geological Sciences, Physics, etc.) under the College of Arts and Sciences.  Our College  of Ed. has recently restructured its primary and  secondary licensure program, UOTEACH, to include specialized training for ELL instruction for all graduates. We have no engineering programs at UO from which to recruit physics majors.  We have recently started a center focusing on improving pathways to STEM careers called STEM CORE (Careers through Outreach, Research and Education).  See for details)

We were recently awarded an NSF Noyce grant and have, since its start, recruited two physics majors into secondary teaching career tracks (one is currently in UOTeach, the other finishing her senior year in Physics).  The Experiencing Science Practices through Research to Inspire Teaching (ESPRIT) program supports summer undergraduate research experiences for science majors followed by up to $32,000 of scholarships* for completion of a final year as an undergraduate and for enrollment in the UOTeach masters + licensure program.  The program tests the hypothesis that secondary science teachers with significant research experience will be better able to model authentic research in their future classrooms. It is an NSF Noyce-wide requirement that scholars work 2 years for every year of scholarship support in a high need school district.

UO Physics has added a third track leading to a baccalaureate degree in Physics, called the Physics Education Track (PET).  This includes 2 years of core physics, chemistry and mathematics, the opportunity for >= second-year undergraduates to co-lead whiteboard-centered problem-solving tutorials (Sokoloff et al.) and both algebra- and calculus-physics linked labs.  Significant opportunities to undertake authentic undergraduate research within the confines of our innovative Undergraduate Projects on the Frontiers of Research in Physics (UPFoR Physics) facility and curriculum are required elements of PET.  This track leverages  the efforts of NSF GK-12, STEP and S-STEM programs in remote, rural Oregon and Portland by providing opportunities for outreach and recruitment in K-12 schools and community colleges.  With intensive coursework, including summer courses, the PET track could be completed in 3 years, with completion of the College of Ed. licensure program during year 4 (which follows, somewhat loosely, the UTeach model of U.TX, Austin).

Starting fall 2010 UO Physics has engaged 23 undergraduates as 'undergraduate TAs' (now named 'Peer Learning Assistants,' following the model pioneered at U Colorado, Boulder, who help (regular graduate students) lead problem-solving tutorials for our algebra and calculus general physics courses, along with lab courses for both non-majors and majors.  These students are trained in late September just before the start of term.  We didn't initially model this program after UC Boulder's.

UO Physics has a very active SPS chapter.

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