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Becoming "re-energized about Physics"

The Center for Nanoscale Systems is actively engaged in supporting and assisting high school physics teachers, both across New York State and across the nation. This effort, the CNS Institute for Physics Teachers (CIPT), has the goals of updating teachers on recent advances in physics and related engineering applications, with an emphasis on nanoscale science and engineering (NSE) topics, and of providing teachers with hands-on NSE oriented laboratory exercises for use in their classrooms that are designed to meet the time, budgetary, and curricular constraints of a typical high school. In July 2003 CNS offered two intensive summer courses for high school physics teachers. Thirty-eight teachers from NY State and four from Cleveland participated in one or both courses, which spanned a total of three weeks. The courses emphasized NSE themes, and included lectures by CNS faculty and detailed training on a number of lab kits developed by teams of CNS researchers and HS teachers. Teacher comments at the conclusion of this summer session included:

  • "CIPT has provided a source of new and interesting labs."
  • "I feel re-energized about physics."
  •  Liked best: "To see the current research. This was amazing and so very important to add to the explanations in the classroom."

CIPT continues its interactions with teachers during the year through one-day workshops and by providing a "lending library" of NSE oriented lab kits. To date more than 270 different teachers have attended at least one CIPT event. These numbers include over 10% of all the high school physics teachers in NY State.

Participants in first CNS Institute for Physics Teachers summer session, together with CNS Outreach coordinator Dr. Monica Plisch (second from left, third row).
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