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Symposium on Physics Education in Baltimore Next Week


Symposium on Physics Education in Baltimore Next Week

College Park, Maryland, United States, January 17, 2008

For more information, please contact:

Jason Socrates Bardi, American Institute of Physics
301-209-3091 (office), 858-775-4080 (cell)

Robert Merz, American Association of Physics Teachers
301-209-3307 (office), 410-371-7020 (cell)

Jan. 17, 2008 -- Is there a crisis in science education? If so, how serious is it? And, most importantly, how do we fix it? The Second Annual Symposium on
Physics Education will address these questions and many more next week during the 2008 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Winter Meeting, which
takes place January 19 to 23 at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

The latest statistics compiled by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) show that annual high school physics enrollment has topped the one-million-student mark.
This news comes as school districts nationwide continue to suffer serious shortages of qualified physics teachers.

The AAPT symposium, titled "The Many-Body Challenge: The Full-Community Solution for Strengthening Teacher Recruitment, Preparation and Retention in Physics," will examine
the shortage in the physics teacher workforce and explore issues relevant to the shortage, such as teacher recruitment, preparation and retention. Symposium panelists will share their
diverse experiences in education, and seek to identify ways of addressing the shortage of qualified physics teachers

There will never be one single solution, says AAPT Executive Officer Toufic Hakim, who organized the symposium. Any workable solutions will require the joint efforts of
many sectors: universities, school districts, corporations, foundations, and key federal, state, and local agencies. Each has a crucial role to play, and collaboration among the
various groups is critical to our collective ability to recruit, prepare and retain physics teachers. Also critical, he adds, is that we discuss these issues today and into the future.

"Strong science education is essential for producing informed citizens and a knowledgeable and highly prepared workforce," says Hakim. "With physics as the cornerstone subject in
science education, we must establish a reliable supply of qualified physics teachers to meet this country's education needs."

"The Many-Body Challenge," the Second Annual AAPT Symposium on Physics Education is organized by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and sponsored in part
by the PhysTEC Project, an NSF-funded partnership of APS, AAPT and AIP.

The Symposium will take place from 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, 2008, in Grand Ballroom VI of the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

Michael C. Lach, Officer of Teaching and Learning, Chicago Public Schools.

Patrick Mulvey, Statistical Research Center, American Institute of Physics, will discuss the sources of high school physics teachers and the flow of new physics bachelors into high
school teaching positions.

Marilyn R. Decker, Senior Program Director, Science, Boston Public Schools, will discuss the roll out of a physics-first curriculum for the Boston Public Schools and how this has impacted
the demand for physics teachers. She will also discuss what Boston has done to increase the number of licensed physics teachers to meet this increased demand.

Patrick Callahan, Executive Director, CalTeach Program, University of California Office of the President, will discuss the roles and challenges of universities in responding to the
shortage of physics teachers, and illustrate some specific examples and data from California and the University of California's new Science and Mathematics Initiative.

Sally S. Marietta, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Program Manager, IBM Corporation, will describe IBM's innovative Transition to Teaching program, which supports
employees pursuing a second career as a teacher. She will also highlight what corporations are doing to address the critical shortage of STEM teachers.

The 2008 AAPT Winter Meeting takes place January 19-23 at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. This year's theme is "Enriching the Health of Physics Education." Full
meeting program, workshop and job fair information, and directions to the hotel are at: http://www.aapt.org/events/wm2008/.

Journalists are invited to cover the meeting onsite. News releases describing meeting highlights,including this year's plenary lectures featuring several nationally renowned
speakers, are available at: http://aapt.org/aboutaapt/PressReleases.cfm.

Members of the press can request information and are invited to cover the upcoming meeting onsite. Credentials can be obtained by sending an email to media@aapt.org or by contacting Robert Merz at 410-371-7020.

AAPT is the leading organization for physics educators -- with more than 11,500 members worldwide. Its mission is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through
teaching. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is a not-for-profit organization chartered in 1931 for the purpose of promoting the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of physics and its application to human welfare. It is the mission of the Institute to serve physics, astronomy, and related fields of science and technology by serving its ten Member Societies and their associates, individual scientists, educators, R&D leaders, and the general public with programs, services and publications.

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