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Summer Physics Academy Draws Local High School Teachers to UC Riverside
June 24, 2014 - 6:47pm | CSP  

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Twenty-one high school teachers from Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties are participating this week (June 23-27, 2014) at the Summer Physics Academy hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside.

The academy is a weeklong workshop that trains and equips local high school physics teachers with practical and conceptual physics lessons, hands-on activities, curriculum and technology to use in their own classrooms. (See below for a slideshow.)

The workshop is taking place in Room 3041 (Reading Room) in the Physics Building on campus. The goal is to reach out to local high school students through their teachers so that the students are encouraged to learn physics and be prepared for physics courses at the college level.

“The popular academy is now in its seventh year, making it the longest such academy at UC Riverside that is managed and offered exclusively by faculty in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences to serve teachers in our region and beyond,” said Maria Chiara Simani, the executive director of the California Science Project and an organizer of the academy.

Unlike previous years, the teachers participating in the academy this year are learning about the Next Generation Science Standards—new standards that are rich in content and practice. They have been organized into groups so that they can experience—as will their students through them—the collaborative kind of work required by the Next Generation Science Standards.

“This academy is the only one of its kind offered in the Southern California region,” Simani said. “For the past seven years, we regularly received more than 35 applications for only about 20 available seats, indicating a sustained need for this type of professional development for teachers.”

John-Henry Cottrell, a teacher at San Jacinto High School, said, “This academy is letting me network with other teachers in the area and with UCR professors so that if there are questions in the future you can link with them and find those answers.”

Nanor Williams, a teacher at Chaffey High School, said, “I like the demos the best. But the most valuable are the ones of the optics and with masses and forces because those are subjects that the students actually learn in our classrooms.”

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