PhysTEC Teacher Advisory Group Meeting 4/24/2007

Agenda / Minutes and Opportunities

notes by R. Tanner (and N. Finkelstein)

Many opportunities were announced at the TAG meeting on April 24, 2007. These are listed below first in a "short form" then again with more detail.

Let me know if you have any questions! Roberta

Announcement summary:

There are several items listed below that you might want to act on. They are summarized here and you can read below for more detail.
1. TAG meetings will continue
2. TAG credit is really in the works (CU credit for TAG meetings)
3. The JILA Physics Frontier Center will require their grad students to do community outreach. We want your ideas and suggestions!
4. The PER group wants ideas and opportunities for grads and LAs to work with K-12. They need your input and your students!
5. A grant proposal is in the works involving ultra cold atoms. They want k-12 partner schools. Ideas in the works include programs to promote strong K12 students such as summer research programs for high school students.
6. A proposal is just being written for revamping the education program for science and math students. Part of this involves hiring a Master Teacher. Are you interested?
7. Physical Science for Elementary Teachers will run this summer. You might want to incorporate their methods in your classes. Would you like to observe a session?

Announcements in more detail:

1. There is money available for TAG meetings next year so they will continue.
2. TAG credit (1 or 2 CU credits) is in the works. The course proposal will be sent to TAG members for their input. Generally, the course will involve attending and reporting at TAG meetings, meetings with CU Physics Education Research (PER) staff, PER readings, and a small PER project in your classroom. The second credit will involve a more extensive project.
3. JILA (the acronym use to mean Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics but now it is a research group for more than astrophysics) is planning an outreach program with an outreach coordinator next year. The graduate students in the Physics Frontier Center at JILA will be asked to contribute ~twenty hours/year each to community partnerships. Please let Noah Finkelstein know if/how you would like to participate. (Bring students to campus, graduate students to your school, other ideas – dream big!) Noah.Finkelstein@colorado.edu.
4. Along the same lines as #3, the PER group would like graduate students and undergraduate learning assistants to participate in K-12, but they don’t really know how. They would like your ideas. Some of the things that have been done include a high school MESA club field trip to CU (put on by learning assistants), and a summer camp for IHAD (I Have a Dream) middle school students. Both events have been very successful. Our biggest problem in getting CU students involved with your classes is transportation (difficult to get the CU students to you unless you are in Boulder). Please let Noah Finkelstein or Roberta Tanner know of your ideas and desires. Helen Petach has found it valuable to have CU graduate students prepare a lesson with some CU equipment that is not available in the high schools, then come to her school to present to two or three classes. What ideas do you have?
5. Dana Anderson is writing a huge proposal for an Engineering of Ultra Cold Atoms center. Part of the proposal includes outreach. He is looking for teachers and schools to partner with for things like summer research programs for your students. Please contact Noah if you are interested and he'll put you in touch with Dana.
6. Valerie Otero is writing a proposal for funding from Exxon to improve math and science teaching. She would like to establish a teacher education program that is focused on math and science and include the Learning Assistant and Partners in Education components that are already in place. The new program would be based on the University of Texas U-Teach program in which students spend time in the classroom beginning their freshman year of college. Part of this program involves hiring a Master Teacher to run the program and perhaps teach some college classes. It would be a one to two year position if she gets the funding. If you are interested in learning more about the Master Teacher program, contact Valerie Otero, Valerie.Otero@colorado.edu.
7. The CU Education department is running a PET class (Physical science for elementary teachers) that includes a way of teaching you might want to consider for your classes. Students do experiments and have discussions to develop (rather than being told) the laws of physics. Valerie has invited practicing teachers to attend one day of the sessions to observe the process. The session runs from 8:30 to 3:30, June 11 to June 22.