Project Status: November 2004

In an attempt to keep everyone informed about the many things happening in the PhysTEC project, the Project Management Team (PMT) is instituting a quarterly report. This report will be brief, but is intended to keep all of the key people in the project informed of what is happening. We (the PMT) invite your response and questions. Also, if you have heard of something that we should be reporting out to this group, please drop me ( an email and I will include it on the next missive.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support of the project. We look forward to increasing the awareness of excellent programs and innovative ideas in physics teacher preparation through the PhysTEC project.

New PhysTEC staff: PhysTEC is pleased to welcome Ted Hodapp, the new Principle Investigator, and John Gretz, the new Project Manager. Ted, who is also the new Director of APS Education & Outreach, most recently spent two years as a program director in the NSF Directorate for Education & Human Resources, and before that was a professor of physics at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN for 15 years. John has a solid background in secondary school science and administration in Fairfax County, VA, as well as substantial experience as a project manager at the University of Maryland, where he became thoroughly versed in the grant budgeting process.

Fall Site Visits: Ted and John are visiting all the Primary Program Institutions (PPI) this fall to get acquainted with PhysTEC faculty and come up to speed on project successes and challenges.

NSF Review: The NSF Review will be held at NSF early next year. Representing PhysTEC will be the PMT, several PPI faculty and students, and the external evaluator. An outside panel, now in the process of being selected, will have reviewed the project and will present its findings.

FIPSE Proposal: Our FIPSE grant has ended (although we are still assembling the final pieces during a short extension through the early part of 2005). The PMT has submitted a new preliminary proposal to FIPSE for funding of the Coalition. This proposal's project goals are:

  • Collecting statistical data on physics teacher preparation programs
  • Conducting a SPIN-UP-like site review of teacher prep programs
  • Organizing an annual conference on teacher prep, which would draw from well beyond the PhysTEC project
  • Establishing substantial programs for the PhysTEC Coalition

Role of Karen Johnston: Karen Johnston's role will shift from external evaluator of the whole project to project consultant. She will continue to evaluate parts of the project. Karen will assist us in identifying a person to carry out the summative evaluation of the project.

Project Management: We are undergoing a number of changes that will result in a new managerial focus for running the project. A number of new structures are being put into place including a new strategic planning document, coordination of active documents and structures, and an increased emphasis on linking MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) to the scope of work at each PPI.The PMT will address staffing issues in December, when the fall site visits are done and the strategic plan is complete.

National Coalition: A priority for the project will be the establishment of the national coalition, a long-standing goal of PhysTEC. To better establish this effort we will be initiating a number of programs such as a visiting scholar program to bring individual(s) from Resource Institutions to help programs get started or improve their efforts at teacher preparation.