2009 Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education

Goals

The goals of the CPUE for the past year of 2009 included organizing excellent sessions, workshops, and tutorials for the national meetings of the AAPT, and providing feedback and recommendations on statement of Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) as requested by the AAPT Executive Board. The CPUE sponsored and co-sponsored several well-attended sessions and workshops at the 2009 Winter and Summer Meetings, thereby fulfilling one its goals for 2009. The CPUE also has been worked on the CPUE Statement on Undergraduate Research and made a recommendation to the Executive Board, therefore partially fulfilling the other goal for 2009.

The goals for 2010 is to continue help organize excellent workshops, tutorials and sessions for AAPT 2010 meetings and to finalize the URE statement with rationale, based on the feedback from the AAPT Executive Board.

The long-range goal of our committee is to improve the undergraduate physics education by getting feedbacks from committee members, organizing excellent sessions, workshops, and tutorials for the national meetings of the AAPT, and also working closely with other AAPT committees and Executive Board.

Overview of Activity in 2009

Committee meetings were held at the Winter Meeting in Chicago on Feb 14th (4 of 9 members attended, along with at least 10 friends) and at the Summer Meeting in Ann Arbor on July 28th (9 of 9 members attended, along with at least 15 friends). In both meetings, in addition to getting ideas for the future AAPT workshops and sessions, vigorous discussions of the URE statement occurred. Everyone agreed on the importance of research experience for undergraduates, but differed in how the committee would word the statement to support such effort. A significant amount of email exchange on this topic occurred via the CPUE email listserv for more than half a year, with a lot of effort put by committee members and friends. The URE statement proposed below in the last part is the CPUE group accomplishment.

All the sessions and workshops sponsored by the CPUE were well attended (more than 50 for most of the sessions) and received very positive feedbacks. Most of the workshop organizers would like to continue their workshop based on the success and some of the organizers intend to organize follow-up sessions for the following AAPT meetings. The flyer idea used to promote CPUE sponsored workshops and sessions is well received as a success during the summer Ann Arbor meeting.

Recommendations to the AAPT Executive Board

The AAPT Committee on Physics Undergraduate Education (CPUE) recognizes the importance of research experience for undergraduate students would like to recommend the following statement to the AAPT Executive Board for possible adoption as the AAPT statement.

The Committee on Physics Undergraduate Education of the American Association of Physics Teachers urges that every physics and astronomy department provide its majors and potential physics majors with the opportunities and encouragement to engage in a meaningful and appropriate undergraduate research experience.

Lili Cui, Chair


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Last updated 05/30/2010