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Tuesday morning
and female students? What is the benefit of taking part in the program to
our undergraduate interns? The lessons we’ve learned may be useful to oth-
ers as they develop their own informal science programs.
8:30-9 a.m. Evaluating Informal Learning Experiences
Invited – David R. Heil,* David Heil & Associates, Inc., 4614 SW Kelly Ave.,
Suite 100, Portland, OR 97239;
Evaluation is an increasingly important element of both public and private
funded projects. This session will explore the nature of informal learning
and the role that evaluation plays in helping a project team successfully
meet their goals and objectives, introduce a variety of approaches used in
informal education evaluation, and share lessons learned from the field.
The presenter will describe the value and methodologies of three types
of evaluation: Front End, which measures an audience’s prior knowledge,
interests, needs, and expectations as well as assessing the landscape within
which a program or exhibit will be used; Formative, which helps inform
the design and revisions of educational programs and exhibits with real
data; and Summative, which measures the efficacy and impact of an educa-
tional experience. Examples from a range of informal learning experiences
will be shared and attendees will be given the opportunity to ask questions
about evaluating their own projects.
*Sponsored by Amber Stuver
Session CH: What Does Success
Mean in Graduate School?
Location: Pavilion East
Sponsor: Committee on Graduate Education in Physics
Co-Sponsor: Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education
Date: Tuesday, July 16
Time: 7:30–9 a.m.
Presider: Steve Turley
7:30-8 a.m. Highlights From the Second Conference on
Graduate Education in Physics
Invited – Renee D. Diehl, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802;
The Second Conference on Graduate Education in Physics was held in
January 2013 with more than 100 participants from 74 different institu-
tions. The conference aimed at fostering innovation and creativity in our
approach to graduate education in physics, which for many departments is
a rather new concept. The fact that the majority of physics PhDs ultimately
find permanent employment outside academia, and the changing demands
on academic physicists, have led many departments to review their
programs and procedures. Presentations and discussions at the conference
included the increasing attention being paid to broader and more flexible
graduate curricula, forming industrial partnerships, strategies to increase
diversity, professional skills training for graduate students and postdocs,
improving mentoring practices and instituting family-friendly policies for
graduate students. The participants in this conference included diverse
group faculty from large and small departments, staff from industry and
national labs, and graduate students and postdocs.
8-8:30 a.m. Physics Graduate Students: Assess the
Program or the Individual?
Invited – Kathie E. Newman,* University of Notre Dame, Department of Phys-
ics, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556;
Graduate physics programs are run in a very different way than under-
graduate ones. While the early years for a graduate student tend to be
spent in graduate courses, serving as teaching assistants, and passing any
required examinations, the PhD student spends an even longer period of
apprenticeship under a senior research adviser. Graduate programs can
be assessed by input (admissions) and output (graduations), research pro-
ductivity (conference attendance, papers published), and external funding
support. A new tool is developing, that of more individual assessment of a
given student, what is the student’s desired outcome, does he or she obtain
success in graduate school, and who decides that? Annual assessments of
students help departments as a community to take responsibility globally
for all of its students, encouraging soft skills development in addition to the
more traditional academic and research related skills.
*Sponsored by Steve Turley
8:30-9 a.m. Motivations, Outcomes, and Implications
for Reform in Graduate Physics
Invited – Geoff Potvin, Clemson University, M-13 Holtzendorff Hall, Clemson,
SC 29634;
Graduate physics has been understudied compared to other levels of
education, in part due to its smaller size and the complexity of graduate
student experiences. Graduate programs often continue to be organized in
ways that have developed organically over many years, rather than as the
result of an intentional, evidence-driven cycle of research, assessment, and
reform. This has resulted in stagnant retention rates, degree completion
times, and particularly low representation of women and other tradition-
ally marginalized students. Further, the factors that lead to successful
graduate outcomes remain the subject of much speculation and private
empiricism. Drawing from research on student motivations, graduate
school outcomes, and productivity, I will present evidence that emphasizes
the need for improvement, factors that are critical to the development of
productive physicists (which are often overlooked in graduate school), and
the impact of the graduate school experience on the careers of physicists.
Session CI: Gender and Sexual
Diversity Issues in Physics
Location: Pavilion West
Sponsor: Committee on Women in Physics
Date: Tuesday, July 16
Time: 7:30–8:50 a.m.
Presider: Ramon Barthelemy
7:30-8 a.m. Meeting the Needs of Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, and Transgender Learners in the Physics
Invited – Mary Hoelscher, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108;
There is a high need for all teachers to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-
gender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students in the K-12 classrooms to im-
prove students’ educational outcomes such as attendance, grades, pursuit of
higher education, and to improve psychological health outcomes (Meyers,
2010; GLSEN, 2012; Robinson & Espelage, 2012 and 2013). This presenta-
tion provides an overview of recommended actions for teachers generally
including advocating for explicitly LGBT-inclusive school policies; provid-
ing support for LGBT learners; and generating LGBT-inclusive curriculum
(GLSEN, 2012). Specific suggestions for how this translates into practices
for physics teachers will be highlighted (Hoelscher, unpublished).
8-8:30 a.m. Women’s Careers in Physics: Results from
the Global Survey of Physicists
Invited – Rachel Ivie,* American Institute of Physics, 1 Physics Ellipse, Col-
lege Park, MD 20740;
Casey Langer Tesfaye, American Insitute of Physics
Previous studies of women in physics have mostly focused on the lack of
women in the field. The Global Survey of Physics goes beyond the obvious
shortage of women and shows that there are much deeper issues. For the
first time, a multinational study was conducted with 15,000 respondents
from 130 countries, showing that problems for women in physics tran-
scend national borders. Across all countries, women have fewer resources
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