CLEMSON — Physics majors in Clemson University’s College of Science can quickly be a part of innovative software. This is at the main fringe of study room enrichment and teacher retention in excessive college physics and K-12 technological know-how education. Professors Sean Brittain and Chad Sosolik had been named to the second cohort of PhysTEC Fellows, a two-year program of The Physics Teacher Education Coalition, whose venture is to enhance and promote the training of destiny physics teachers. The College of Science team is one in every five chosen for this cohort to obtain aid to build and enhance high school physics trainer education programs. The ultimate groups are from Bridgewater State University, Colgate University, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Washington Bothell.
“PhysTEC is a business enterprise of the American Physical Society that is geared toward supporting physics departments recruit and teach physics educators,” said Brittain, chair of the department of physics and astronomy. “We have a huge shortage of certified physics instructors for excessive schools. Often, the teachers coaching physics are doing the pleasant they can. However, that’s no longer their region of know-how. What we would love is for every excessive faculty to have someone there who’s obsessed with teaching physics and spreading that enthusiasm to students.”
Part of Brittain’s assignment is to alternate the perception of physics and allow educators to recognize how essential its examination may be for students. “Our fundamental perception as physicists is that learning physics and how to suppose like a physicist has blessings for all of us,” Brittain stated. “Unfortunately, there’s a form of a reputation about physics that you need to be a genius or a savant with a view to most important in physics or that it’s best for human beings such as you see on ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ Our view is that physics is for absolutely everyone, and it prepares humans for a huge variety of jobs. Not everyone who majors in physics has to go on to grad school.”
Clemson’s PhysTEC fellow intends to help them be better organized for that career and help folks that are already teaching enhance their content understanding and find help. A Learning Assistant application will be a huge part of that effort. The desire is to begin q4. “The Learning Assistant application is to get undergraduate physics majors into the classroom,” Brittain stated. In fact, many will head to the study room as instructors. The application will assist the undergraduates in gaining revel in and self-assurance as they facilitate interactive packages inside the classroom and paintings without delay with students. It will advantage those serving in large introductory physics instructions to provide a further individual to help with coaching.
“The whole point of the program is to grow the output of college students who graduate and who are certified to educate physics in South Carolina,” said Sosolik, professor of physics and astronomy. “Who better to do that than the physics branch? To do that, we have as our intention to take a look at the structures we’ve in the vicinity, which are at the same time administered with the College of Education. We already discussed with them getting the naked necessities in the area without making it onerous for college kids to get that certification.” The intention is to make it less complicated and greater streamlined for physics majors to emerge as physics instructors, filling a need in South Carolina and across the usa.
“Over numerous years, we have put a bendy diploma choice into our physics software, which approximately half of our majors are using proper now,” Sosolik stated. “It has simply freed up for us the potential to be creative in how we provide our non-compulsory picks. The plan is to take that flexibility and apply it to a song inside our degree which basically rolls in certification for coaching. We need to certify more teachers.” Brittain stated the program could even offer a grasp instructor-in-house opportunity for an experienced high college physics trainer who will work with students and deliver advice on teaching. Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) will bring instructors into the physics branch to do studies. And as fellows, Brittain and Sosolik will be part of the 2020 and 2021 PhysTEC conferences and participate in video conferences to alternate thoughts and updates with others of their cohort.
Sosolik stated it became surprising to face a category for the primary time whilst he turned into a graduate pupil. But this fellowship brings him into a place that has emerged as a passion, although it wasn’t to start with a part of his professional plan. However, he came to Clemson as a researcher and worked with Brittain to offer content schooling for K-12 teachers in Laurens County. “That’s probably one of the most rewarding things either person has ever performed,” Sosolik stated. “We were coaching teachers who didn’t always have publicity to physics.” Sosolik sees the PhysTEC fellowship as an extension of that technique – one that may have a ways-attaining gain.
“It truly blessings the country and its advantages our branch in turn if we can simply educate the populace and up-and-coming college students with proper technological know-how education,” he said. “It’s needed for the twenty-first-century team of workers. For me to impact 25 or 30 majors every yr, that is the type of one in every one of our instructions, that’s correct. But if I can ship one or of those college students out every 12 months again into school rooms wherein they’re connecting with masses and loads of students for the duration of their entire profession, at the least getting them uncovered to physics, I suppose that’s better for South Carolina.”