The PhysTEC program at UCF is increasing the number of highly-qualified high school physics teachers and transforming the learning environment for our own students. We do that with undergraduate Learning Assistants, courses on Physics pedagogy, a Physics B.A. degree with a focus in Education, and staffing a veteran high school teacher as full-time Teacher-in-Residence to recruit students into the teaching profession.
Help Us Support K12 Schools
Florida requires biology for high school graduation, but chemistry and physics enrollment is critically low and those courses are recommended for a host of reasons (see below). Help us encourage schools to increase physics and chemistry enrollment by sharing this Letter of Support. Email email@example.com to have yourself or your organization listed as a signatory. If you’re a K`12 educator, let us know what else you need to prepare your students for the 21st century.
We have flyers for high school classrooms, too! Here’s some evidence that helped convince my colleagues and me.
Why is Physics so Important in High School?
Florida requires Biology for high school graduation, but students who also take physics and chemistry find lucrative, rewarding college degrees and trade programs waiting for them. Regrettably, only 22% of high school students in Florida take these courses. Here’s some evidence that helped convince my colleagues and me this needs to change.
- Of the top 25 highest-earning college majors, 24 require physics and chemistry.
- Students who took physics and chemistry in high school earned a letter grade higher than their peers in college STEM courses and are 4 times more likely to graduate college on time.
- High school chemistry and physics are the recommended preparation for trade programs. too.
“Giving every student the opportunity to access careers in engineering and the physical, mathematical, health and life sciences is not an extra that is outside the mission of public education. It is central to the whole idea of collective education that every student be given the opportunity to fulfill her or his potential.” — Dr. Paul Cottle, FSU Physicist and past Chair of the American Physical Society’s Committee on Education
“… High school students hoping to complete a college degree in engineering or engineering technology should include a full year each of chemistry, physics, and (at least) pre-calculus.” — American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)