Physics Education Produces Twelve Teachers in Two Years

Adam LaMee

Adam LaMee has always had a passion for showing others the wonder of physics.

So when UCF recruited him from his small, high school classroom to teach in their Physics Teacher Education (PhysTEC) program, it was a no-brainer. Now on its eighth year, LaMee’s passion has led PhysTEC to hit a major milestone: the 5+ Club.

The PhysTEC program takes undergraduate students in the STEM field and helps them transition into teaching high school physics. Most universities only produce one high school physics teacher every few years, but UCF has produced six each year for the past two years. That puts UCF in the 99th percentile of U.S. universities.

“Without someone in a position like mine overseeing the operation, there will be a lack of graduates. But because UCF brought me in, a real high school teacher with a love for physics, I’m able to mentor these kids personally,” LaMee said.

Within the last few years, the Orange County School District has ramped up their support for classroom physics teachers. Co-teaching positions created specifically for UCF students allows them to work in a veteran physics teacher’s classroom immediately upon graduation.

“The co-teaching positions have been a great addition,” said LaMee. “It allows students to learn from someone with experience and work under even more mentorship before being sent into the classroom solo.”

LaMee points to the support of the College of Sciences Dean Michael Johnson, Ph.D., and Department of Physics Chair Eduardo Mucciolo, Ph.D., for steering a program that started with a grant to gaining university support.

“It seems like such a small number, six…” said LaMee. “But in comparison to other schools in the United States, UCF is at the forefront. We are so pleased with our number of graduate and are glad to see the program having continuous growth and development.”


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