Physics Project Serves Out-of-Field Physics Teachers

Addressing the pressing need to provide more content knowledge in physics and physical science to secondary science teachers, the Practices in Physics project held a two-week summer institute for teachers from around the state. The teachers, many of whom do not have either an academic background or any experience with physics, had the opportunity to explore, collaborate, and familiarize themselves with content, pedagogy, and technology tips in the areas of forces, motion, sound, and light. The ten-day immersion experience presented the teachers with a series of laboratory activities designed to assist them in gaining the skills to confidently conduct a class in physics/physical science. The teachers also received Hawai‘i Department of Education professional development credits in physics and a set of equipment for their classrooms to facilitate their teaching. The Practices in Physics project team of Arnold Feldman, Lauren Kaupp, E. Barbara Klemm, Francis Pottenger, and James Redmond have been updating the Practices in Physics & Technology curriculum to serve today’s secondary science teachers who may not have a solid foundation in physics/physical science. This project was funded by the US Department of Education through the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program.