The goal of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) project is to improve and promote the future education of future physics and physical science teachers. CSULB undergraduate and graduate students who are interested or committed to teaching high school physics are encouraged to join.
CSULB's Monthly Demo Days are a chance for physics teachers (K-12 and university), physics majors, and preservice teachers to join to share teaching ideas, favorite demos and activities, network, and learn from each other.
Fall 2023 Schedule
PhysTEC DemoDays are held on the second Thursday of every month in person in HSCI-280 (Hall of Science, Room 280), from 5:00pm-6:00pm.
- September 14 - Force and Motion
- October 12- Engineering Challenge
- November 9 - Energy and Momentum
- December 14 - Make and Take
What We Do
The CSULB PhysTEC project works to address the dramatic shortage of qualified teachers of physics and physical science in the United States. It does this by experimenting with and refining models of teacher education programs, by disseminating information about innovative programs to the physics community, and by working directly with physics departments to engage them in a full spectrum of activities necessary to educate and encourage these teachers.
CSULB PhysTEC is a collaboration between the Physics and Astronomy Department and the Science Education Department.
Training in physics is empowering and opens the door to career opportunities in areas including science, technology, engineering, medicine, finance, journalism and public policy - more opportunities, in fact, than training in just about any other discipline. An undergraduate physics degree is also great preparation for graduate or professional studies in almost any field. CSULB's Physics and Astronomy Department offers a wide range of courses and programs to match your interests.
Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science.
Physics is the basis for most modern technology, and for the tools and instruments used in scientific, engineering and medical research and development. Manufacturing is dominated by physics-based technology.
Physics opens the door to many career options--more options, in fact, than almost any other college subject. Conversely, not taking physics closes the door to more career options. You can't become an engineer or a doctor without physics; you're far less likely to get a job in teaching; your video games will be boring and your animated movies won't look realistic; and your policy judgments on global warming will be less compelling.
Physics teachers, especially at the high school level, are critical in helping young people to learn and explore physics, and to gain the skills and confidence required to pursue further study and physics-related careers. Teaching high school physics can be a highly rewarding experience with lots of excitement and problem solving. It is a career in which you can make a difference in an immediately tangible way and inspire students to see the world in a new way.
The US is in desperate need of qualified physics teachers, for those with a solid grasp of physics and an inventive mind. Graduating physics teachers don't ask "Can I get a job?", but "Which job offer should I take?"
What You Can Do
For those who are exploring and considering teaching physics:
- Enroll in PHYS 390: Exploring Physics Teaching
- Enroll in PHYS 491: Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Physics
- Become a Physics Learning Assistant
- Participate in PhysTEC meetings
PHYS 390: Exploring Physics Teaching
For students interested in physics teaching careers, this course is a great introduction to the profession. Students are exposed to the content and pedagogy appropriate for high school physics through targeted observations and fieldwork assignments in high school physics classrooms. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to become Physics Learning Assistants for introductory-level physics courses and tutors in the Jensen SAS Center.
(3 units. Pre-requisite: PHYS 151)
PHYS 491: Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Physics
For students considering a physics teaching career, credential candidates, and in-service teacher, this course examines a single topic in physics to help students gain a strong conceptual understanding along with an ability to sequence, plan and teach the topic to secondary students. Different topics are available each fall (Force and Motion, Energy and Momentum, Electricity and Magnetism, Waves and Optics, and Heat, and Nuclear and Thermal.
(3 units. Fall semester only)
The PhysTEC meetings are crucial opportunities to meet other physics teachers. Once a month teachers share their physics classroom demonstrations during the PhysTEC DemoDays. Once a semester there is a PhysTEC Open House, where participants can enjoy lab tours, hands-on activities, prizes, and food. All meeting information is posted above.