Member InstitutionMember Institution Kent State University

Kent State University

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Lucy Kulbago

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The Kent State Physics Department has been offering the "Operation Physics" course for teachers in grades 4-8 since 1990.  It is a tuition free, five credit-hour graduate course, that combines concepts of physical science with hands-on activities and is part of a nationwide effort to improve the teaching and learning of Physics in upper elementary and middle school grades.

The Department has recently adopted a revised and updated curriculum of courses and more flexible program tracks for its majors, aiming to better prepare them for a diverse job environment.  The introduction of the "undergraduate student lounge'', a study and SPS activity space, has been a tremendous success, so much so that we increased its available space for our undergrads.

Our Department strongly encourages innovations in teaching and promotes scholarship of teaching.  A big effort has been made into making introductory Physics courses interactive and Laboratories based on a PER approach.  In addition, a dedicated team of departmental curriculum advisors is in close contact with the majors throughout their studies.  These efforts have resulted in a significant increase in the number of graduating majors.

The Department would like to explore the possibility of offering a four-year program (including certification) for Physics teachers, and the potential for summer programs (workshops and courses offered at the Masters level) for in service teachers,  that focus on physics.   The insight, experience, and professional support gained through PTEC membership will greatly benefit the Department's efforts to achieve its goals.