Physics and Physics Teaching
Physics is the gateway to careers in the physical sciences and engineering. The courses and programs offered at FSU’s Physics Department are designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers.
Why Should You Consider Physics and FSU-Teach?
||Students who select to study Physics and FSU-Teach will graduate with a double major: the first in physical science or physics and the second in secondary science or mathematics teaching. The double major allows students to pursue a career in the physical sciences or teaching upon graduation. While physics is essential to a number of important careers in an increasingly technologically dependent society, the United States has a critical shortage of well-prepared Physics Teachers in high schools. The strong demand for individuals knowledgeable and capable in physics contrasted by the shortage of high school physics teachers has resulted in a tremendous demand for physics teachers: In its 2010 report, the American Association for Employment in Education said that physics is the subject in which demand for new teachers is highest. PhysTEC describes that the current shortage of high school physics teachers is a long-term phenomena and that well-prepared candidates can expect multiple job offers upon graduation.|
|If you are interested furthering your own physics knowledge and are up to the challenge of using that knowledge to prepare the next generation of physicist, consider physics teaching. Teaching physics well requires that the teacher not only deeply understands physics, but also understands how to engage and excite students, helping students to use physics to understand the world around them. Teaching physics effectively demands that teachers have a passion for both their subject and helping others understand that passion. If this sounds like you, check out this short video on physics teaching careers, produced by the national PhysTEC organization.||
What are the Pathways to Physics Teaching Available at FSU?
At Florida State University, FSU-Teach and the Department of Physics offer two ways to become a physics teacher. One way is to complete the full bachelor’s degree program in Physics (or in “Physics and Astrophysics”) and to add on a second major in Secondary Science or Mathematics Teaching (SSMT through FSU-Teach). Another way is to enroll in the Physics Department’s more flexible “Physical Science/FSU-Teach” major and to double up with the SSMT major through FSU-Teach. Either way, a new high school physics teacher prepared at FSU is equipped to provide their students with the tools to be successful in college science and engineering majors.
What is Studying Physics and Physics Teaching Like at FSU?
Students interested in studying physics and physics teaching will find FSU to have a wealth of resources and experiences to support them. FSU’s Department of Physics offers many of the introductory courses through “ studio physics” –a technology rich, collaborative, student centered approach. The studio format is structured around some of the best research on how students learn physics, and it has been shown to be far more effective than traditional approaches in helping students learn physics. FSU-Teach students pursuing physics teaching learn how to structure these courses and support students in the studio courses through participating in the Learning Assistant Program offered through the Department.
What are other benefits to selecting Physics and FSU-Teach?
- Other than having a wealth of employment opportunities after graduation, FSU-Teach students enjoy a number of immediate benefits while they are at the university:
- Preferential consideration for positions in the Undergraduate Research Program.
- Access to dedicated advisors from the very beginning of their studies.
- Small class sizes for many courses and a great deal of support from faculty.
- The opportunity to work closely with world-class Physicists and Master Teachers of Physics allowing you to learn Physics more deeply and learn how to teach it effectively.
- Tuition and costs of the first two courses in FSU-Teach are covered by the program.
- Early, frequent, and well-supported teaching experiences.
- There are several sources of financial support for students pursuing physics teaching. Check out the button on the left hand side or contact a FSU-Teach staff member for more information.
Who Should I Contact if I am Interested in Physics and FSU-Teach?
If you are interested in exploring physics teaching at Florida State University, contact a physicist or a master teacher of physics who can help you enter this exciting double major:
Dr. Cottle became interested in physics education when national studies reported that US students were falling behind in science achievement compared to other countries. He was instrumental in bringing the Science Studio model of post-secondary science instruction to FSU. He currently teaches the Studio Physics sections of General Physics A, PHY 2048C. He is an active member of the FSU-Teach steering committee and works with the Physics Departments advisers to recruit students for the program.
Logan Chalfant, Physics Master Teacher, firstname.lastname@example.org
Logan Chalfant is a Physics Master Teacher with FSU-Teach. Logan Chalfant earned a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and a M.S. in Science Education from Florida State University. Prior to joining the FSU-Teach team, Logan taught high school for 11 years in three different Florida counties - Osceola, Jefferson, and Leon. In these eleven years, she taught a variety of classes including Algebra, Geometry, Chemistry, and Physics. Logan often spent her summers “off” engaged in programs designed to provide research experience to teachers. For example, in the summers of 2001 and 2003, she investigated superconductor development at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. She also explored satellites and global positioning systems at ERAU’s 2006 “Teach Space” summer program. Through her membership in Quarknet, Logan attended “Particle Physics Bootcamp” at Fermilab in the summer of 2008. During this workshop, she was a member of the Hadronic Calorimeter Data Analysis Team. Also through Quarknet, she traveled to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in the summers of 2007, 2009, and 2010. While at CERN, she played a [very] small role in the construction of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector. She also made small contributions to the [on-going] development of the CMS component-location database and the CMS educational outreach website. In 2009, Logan also took part in the CERN/HST MINERVA Masterclass workgroup. (MINERVA is a software tool that assists students in the interpretation of ATLAS detector event displays.)
For more information about the major, see the Physics/FSU-Teach Academic map
For more about secondary mathematics or science teaching, see FSU-Teach