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What Makes a Physicist?


In a survey of 6,772 undergraduate students from all majors, Florida International University researcher Geoff Potvin quantified the underpinnings of the “physics identity,” and connected it to the likelihood that a student will pick physics as a career. He explored three main factors: performance, interest, and recognition.

David Brookes publishes paper: "The Importance of Language in Students' Reasoning About Heat"


Researchers believe that the way that students talk, specifically the language that they use, can offer a window into their reasoning processes. Yet the connection between what students are saying and what they are actually thinking can be ambiguous. We present the results of an exploratory interview study with 10 participants, designed to investigate the role of language in university physics students' reasoning about heat in thermodynamic processes. The study revealed two key findings: (1) stu

Zahra Hazari publishes paper: "Obscuring power structures in the physics classroom: Linking teacher


In the process of reforming physics education over the last several decades, a tension has developed between engaging students with the content in more conceptually challenging ways and helping them identify with physics so they are personally motivated in their learning. Through comparative case studies of four high school physics teachers, we used a teacher positioning lens to understand an emergent theme around differences in students' level of engagement, including behavioral, affective, and

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The STEM Transformation Institute is a multidisciplinary collaboration across the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Education, and Engineering & Computing for the research and development of effective educational practices that lead to substantial increases in the number of well-prepared STEM professionals, including teachers, graduating FIU. Undertaking this challenge requires us to partner with local K12 systems and colleges, businesses and industry, foundations, and national education leaders in order to create an educational landscape that supports all students, coming through multiple pathways, and leading to a productive workforce. The STEM Institute capitalizes on the unique skills our diverse student population brings to their learning and ultimately the workforce. The Institute is FIU’s response to the national calls for 100,000 new STEM teachers and an additional 1,000,000 STEM professionals over the next 10 years; hence, our vision that the Institute serve as a living laboratory that disseminates practices, policies, and STEM professionals across the nation.

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