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Brianna Santangelo Attends American Association of Physics Teachers Conference

Brianna Santangelo Attends American Association of Physics Teachers Conference

Brianna Santangelo, junior physics major, attended a conference of the American Association of Physics Teachers in New Orleans, LA from January 9th through January 12th.  Her faculty mentor is Dr. AJ Richards.

“Brianna Santangelo is working with me on a project to study the different types of questions that high school physics teachers ask their students.  She was very interested in examining how teachers use questions to effectively guide students towards better understanding, so I helped her formulate a focused, answerable research question to investigate this.  Brianna conducted a thorough search of previous studies from science education research literature, helped develop the experimental design, conducted videorecorded observations of high school physics lectures, transcribed the data, and took the lead in conducting the analysis and coding.  This winter, she accompanied me to New Orleans for the 2016 American Association of Physics Teachers conference and presented a poster she had created to physics education researchers and practitioners.  During this next semester, she will conduct more observations in different classroom environments, and attempt to find a connection between the types of questions high school physics instructors ask and how well their students build understanding of Newtonian physics.”

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Annual Fall Volleyball Game

Annual Fall Volleyball Game

On Sept 8th, our new students came out to challenge upperclass students and faculty on the volleyball court. Every team won at least one match, but the exceptional skills of an alumnus member of the faculty showed that physics can be taught outside the classroom as well.

Congratulations Class of 2015!

Congratulations Class of 2015!

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TCNJ Physics graduated a 13 students on May 22nd. We are proud of you and wish you all the best wherever you are going! More pictures are here.

2015 Physics Picnic

2015 Physics Picnic

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Despite slightly damp weather, dozens of students, alumni, faculty, and staff enjoyed our annual spring picnic on May 8th. More photos are here.

Maggie Benoit Explores Our Epic Evolving Earth

Maggie Benoit Explores Our Epic Evolving Earth

Your puzzlement over why the Appalachians take an odd turn at Pennsylvania and New York can come to a blessed end. Associate Professor of Physics Maggie Benoit and some of her colleagues—with a little assistance from the National Science Foundation—solved the mystery in 2014.

Read the full article by Meeri N. Kim in the official TCNJ News Reel.

TCNJ Recognized as a National Leader in the Education of Physics Teachers

TCNJ Recognized as a National Leader in the Education of Physics Teachers

Nationwide physics teacher preparation program recognizes TCNJ and other colleges and universities helping to address the severe national shortage of high school physics teachers.

The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) recently announced the initial inductees into “The 5+ Club”, a group of institutions that has graduated 5 or more physics teachers in a given year. The great majority of institutions nationally graduate less than two physics teachers a year, and the most common number of graduates is zero. In their 2014 report, the American Association for Employment in Education found that the teacher shortage in physics is number one among 59 education fields. Graduating 5 or more physics teachers a year is a significant achievement, helping to address the severe national shortage of high school physics teachers.

The institutions recognized include:

2013-2014
Brigham Young University (17)
The College of New Jersey (9)
University of Minnesota (7)
University of Arkansas (7)
Stony Brook University (7)
Brigham Young University-Idaho (7)
Illinois State University (7)
Georgia State University (6)
Rutgers University (6)
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (5)
Kennesaw State University (5)

2012-2013
University of Minnesota (9)
SUNY Geneseo (8)
Seattle Pacific University (8)
Michigan State University (7)
University of Colorado Boulder (6)
SUNY Oneonta (6)
Rutgers University (6)
Virginia Tech University (5)

2011-2012
SUNY Buffalo State (10)
University of Minnesota (6)
Rutgers University (6)
University of Cincinnati (5)
University of Texas at Austin (5)

The United States has a severe, long-term shortage of qualified physics teachers. In fact, in 2013 the National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics reported, “the need for qualified teachers is greater now than at any previous time in history.” Of the approximately 1400 new teachers who are hired to teach physics each year, only 35% have a degree in physics or physics education.

About PhysTEC
PhysTEC LogoPhysTEC, a flagship education program of the American Physical Society (APS), aims to improve the education of future physics teachers by transforming physics departments, creating successful models for physics teacher education programs, and disseminating best practices. The PhysTEC program is led by APS in partnership with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), with financial support from the National Science Foundation.

About APS
APS LogoThe American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents over 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world.

About AAPT
AAPT LogoThe American Association of Physics Teachers is a professional membership association of scientists dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching.

For More Information:

TCNJ Physics Students Present at DFD/APS Meeting

TCNJ Physics Students Present at DFD/APS Meeting

In November Maxwell Pollack and David Pauls presented their research on astrophysical jets at the Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting of the American Physical Society in San Francisco. They worked with Prof. Paul Wiita to compute hydrodynamical models for propagating jets of hot fluid moving at a very large fraction of the speed of light. These emerge from the vicinity of supermassive black holes and plow their way through the more dense gas found in the galaxies housing them. Their numerical work combined variations arising from jet instabilities with those coming from turbulence within the jets to provide a model for the changes in the brightness of active galaxies seen over periods from hours to decades. This work is being written up for publication.

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TCNJ Physics Alumni Awarded C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching

TCNJ Physics Alumni Awarded C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching

Daniel Costantino, a lecturer in physics who earned his bachelor’s degree in physics at The College of New Jersey in 2004, has been honored with the 2014 C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society. Click here to read the full press release from Eberly College of Science at Penn State University.

Volleyball Game 2014: Freshman vs. Uppercalssmen

The annual freshman/upperclassmen volleyball match was held on the beautiful morning of September 10th, 2014. The large size of the new crop of physics majors meant that they fielded two teams, while only the best of the more senior students, aided by a couple of faculty members, were brave enough to take them on.  Each of the three teams won at least one game and lost at least one game. A good time was had by all!

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