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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2015 Kansas NSF EPSCoR Teacher Workshop Participants Present at the 2016 Kansas Association of Teachers of Science Conference

   As part of the follow-up activity to the 2015 Kansas NSF EPSCoR Summer Teacher Workshop “Connecting the Physics of Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation with the Next Generation Science Standards,” three physics teachers, Penny Blue from Lyons High School in Lyons, KS; Chery Shepherd-Adams from Hays High School in Hays KS; and Brian Vancil from Sumner Academy in Kansas City, KS presented the lessons they created during the workshop at the 2016 Kansas Association of Teachers of Science (KATS) conference.  Dr. Paul Adams, College of Education, Dean Anschutz Professor of Education and Professor of Physics at Fort Hays State University and Dr. Jackie Spears, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Director of the Center for Science Education in the College of Education at Kansas State University, chaired the session.  Both, Dr. Adams and Dr. Spears are Kansas EPSCoR Education and Outreach collaborators.

   During the summer workshop, teachers were asked to create lessons that would connect the Kansas and Nebraska NSF EPSCoR Track 2 grant “Collaborative Research: Imaging and Controlling Ultrafast Dynamics of Atoms, Molecules and Nanostructures,” research with the newly adopted Kansas Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for high school physics.  As part of the follow-up the teachers were asked to report back on how the lessons were received in the classroom.  In addition, they were invited to speak about their experience at the KATS Conference that was held April 15–16, 2016 in Rock Springs, KS. Penny discussed several key behaviors of electromagnetic radiation by modeling a “Pinhole Camera Activity.”  Cheryl created a “Perspective Activity” to demonstrate light wave behavior passing through various devices and Brian explained how he used a simple bread board spectrometer to help students understand Spectrometry and discover that the energy of a photon is proportional to its frequency.  The session was well attended and well received.

This year the 2016 Kansas NSF EPSCoR Workshop titled “Modeling the Unseen in the Physical Sciences” will take place June 9-10 at Kansas State University.

Education and outreach funding for the physics teacher workshop was provided by the Kansas and Nebraska NSF EPSCoR Track 2 Grant #1430519 titled: "Imaging and Controlling Ultrafast Dynamics of Atoms, Molecules, and Nanostructures."  The grant's educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of atomic/molecular/optical science