2009-2014: A TIME for Physics First

A TIME for Physics First centers around professional development and leadership training for 9th grade science teachers, and is a partnership among the University of Missouri and 37 Missouri school districts. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation Math-Science Partnership Institute grant, funded September 2009-Aug 2015.

Through this project, participants and university faculty gain an expanded range of leadership expertise, content knowledge and pedagogical proficiency to share with others, as they become resources and catalysts for reform in science education at the secondary and post-secondary institutional levels. Ultimately, the overall goal is a significant increase in student achievement in science and science coursework. The vision of the project is to prepare Missouri's 9th grade science teachers to become intellectual leaders as they learn to teach a yearlong freshman physics course. Leadership skills will be built through research-based professional development (PD) that includes comprehensive physics content, pedagogy, research and evaluation.

2005-2009: The first iteration of the teacher professional development program targeted to 9th grade teachers was funded by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In this program a professional development curriculum for a yearlong course in physics for 9th grade teachers was developed, and PD was provided to 72 Missouri teachers from 25 school districts. The project was funded by federal flow-through dollars from the Department of Education's Math-Science Partnership program. This project formed the basis for the NSF-funded A TIME for Physics First program.

1993- 2005: Exploring Physics in Cyberspace - the EPIC Project

Outreach activities for K-12 students are described in the website Exploring Physics in Cyberspace. The programs include extracurricular programs at four levels:

  • Exploring Physics for 5-7 grade girls;

  • Family Evenings with Science and Technology (FEST), a middle school parent / student program;

  • Saturday Scientist, in collaboration with local industries for 8-9 grade students

  • Newton Summer Science Academy for 9-11 grade girls, which integrates Science, engineering and mathematics through a toy factory building project

  • Physics summer institutes for middle level teachers and

  • A gender equity course for science teachers.

2000-2002: Exploring Physics, the CD

During the Exploring Physics in Cyberspace project we developed a CD of hands-on activities in Electricity and Magnetism. Sample activities are posted on our Exploring Physics site. The CD targets teachers and students at the middle level (5-9). This CD allows teachers to learn electricity and magnetism concepts in a concept-oriented framework. The same activities can be used in the K-12 classroom. A vast repertoire of links provides easily accessible background information -- with attractive pictures, animations, and examples.

These materials have been modified to teach a preservice elementary education course in physics, Physics 2330, Exploring the Principles of Physics.