Welcome to the undergraduate program webpages of the Physics department. We intend to provide you will all the information that you will need during your stay with us or while applying into our program. We will keep these pages updated in a regular fashion, so that you know of the latest developments affecting your degree. Navigate within the sections in the menu on the left of the page to find out about the numerous opportunities to get involved with the department.
The Physics department, through a NSF PhysTEC grant awarded to Jacquelyn Chini and Talat Rahman, has developed a Learning Assistant program by which undergraduate students are paid to assist in the teaching of our introductory physics courses. Learning Assistants are undergraduates we hire to improve how students learn Physics by working in a class and staffing the Physics Help Room. If you earned an A or B in a Physics class and want to help others learn, we’d love to have you join our team. We hire LAs for fall and spring semesters, but not summer. A typical LA appointment is for one semester and involves:
- $12.50/hr for 10 hrs/week for one full semester
- attending all class meetings for you designated course, helping with student questions, lab setup, demos, and classroom operations
- planning with the instructor
- two hours per week in the Physics Help Room
- enrolling in a 1-credit seminar course on physics pedagogy (if it’s your first time as an LA)
Our LA program is based on the model developed at the University of Colorado, Boulder as a way to help UCF students succeed in their major and recruit undergraduates into careers in K-12 teaching. The LA experience involves three main themes: content, pedagogy and practice. The LA model has been adopted at a growing number of institutions. Here are a few quotes from UCF students on their own experience as a Learning Assistant.
“A learning Assistant is there to offer students not only support and a helping hand, but also to challenge and inspire further academic pursuits in the STEM fields … someone who interacts directly with the students.”
“Being an LA never felt like a typical job to me because I was able to help others enjoy physics as much as I do … I was also able to learn a lot from the students, grad students, and professors in return!”
“The seminar helped me discover what it means for a student to truly understand and appreciate a physics course, and how I could help them achieve that level of understanding as an LA.”
“[After visiting a local high school] It’s refreshing to see people excited to do science. I wasn’t 100% sure that I wanted to teach before, but being in a classroom and engaging with those students … I found that to be the best part about the [LA experience].”