OPTYCs SPOTLIGHT 2024 Issue 31

June 28, 2024 Issue #31

SPOTLIGHT is the OPTYCs bi-weekly newsletter. It brings you OPTYCs activity updates, highlights from recent publications related to physics education, and news & resources for Two-Year colleges.

Summer recess: The next issue of SPOTLIGHT will be published on August 29. 


AIP Survey 2024

Did you know that the American Institute of Physics Statistical Research has surveyed TYCs about physics and astronomy only twice in the past (1995-1996 and 2011-2012)? OPTYCs is funding a third survey and it is open to faculty right now! Please check your email for a message from  stats@aip-info.org. By taking time to do this survey, you are helping our community gather current data on our students, our courses, our faculty, and our institutions! If you have checked your inbox and junk folders and do not see an invitation to this survey from stats@aip-info.org, please contact us.

Upcoming events
  • LHC Physics In the Classroom  July 7, 2024 in Boston, MA. Join us at AAPT Summer Meeting for this co-sponsored workshop with QuarkNet.

  • TEAM UP Together & Transfer Students: Supporting student transfer between two- and four-year institutions. July 7, 2024 in Boston, MA Join us at the AAPT Summer Meeting for this workshop to support transfer students.

  • Integrating Computation into Your Intro Physics Class July 30, 2024-August 1, 2024  Join PICUP for this 3-day virtual workshop to develop a computation activity for use in your classroom. This workshop is a very basic primer on integrating computation into introductory courses with easy-to-use, readily available computational tools. No programming experience whatsoever is necessary to participate.

  • Undergrad Research 2024 Workshop  - Dwain Desbien (Estrella Mountain CC, AZ) Wayne Manrakhan (Harford CC, MD) Kendra Sibbernsen (Metropolitan CC, NE)

  • LaTeX 2024 Workshop  - Joe Heafner (Independent Scholar, Coordinator for OPTYCs Continuing Professional Development Workshops).
  • Students with Disabilities 2024 Workshop -Tony Musumba (Riverside City Community College)Dean Stocker (University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College)Alex Bohn (Northern Virginia Community College) Shahida Dar (Mohawk Valley Community College)

  • Physics Toolbox 2024 Workshop  - Facilitators:  Rebecca & Chrystian Vieyra (Vieyra Software)

Kris’ corner

Tips, summaries, and musings from Kris Lui (OPTYCs Director)

Transparency is so important for equity in our classes; being upfront about our expectations, our goals, our reasons for choices we make helps demystify academics for many students. We’re born knowing how to learn, but somehow, by the time we reach college, we’ve lost that knack of trying, making mistakes, using these experiences for alternatives, and trying again. So, helping college students understand how learning works, that it is difficult, and normalizing confusion and errors is part of this transparency. In Inclusive Teaching: Strategies for Promoting Equity in the College Classroom (West Virginia University Press, 2022), authors  Kelly A. Hogan and Viji Sathy write, “We like to imagine we are running a semester-long marketing campaign for how learning works and how we are aligning our teaching to these best practices.” Explaining that small group discussions helps learners refine their thinking, for example, shows students that you care about their learning and have made choices to maximize their opportunities. 

AAPT Summer Meeting 2024



The work of OPTYCs is supported by NSF-DUE-2212807.