Twenty-one science teachers from across Maryland converged on FSU this summer for Training Opportunities in Physics and Physical Science (TOPPS), a residential program designed to enliven the teaching of physics and physical science at their home schools.
TOPPS is led and was developed by FSU physics professor Francis Tam, who was awarded a $296,000 grant over three years from the Maryland Higher Education Commission through its Improving Teacher Quality program, authorized by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
The goal of TOPPS is to increase the number of highly qualified middle and high school physics and physical science teachers in Maryland. Middle and high school teachers participate in the program to upgrade their content knowledge, integrate technology into their lessons and to develop their teaching strategies and practices. This specific training was designed to improve teaching in the area of Kinematics and Newton’s Laws.
“We give them hands-on knowledge and techniques they can teach when they’re back in their classrooms,” Tam said. The workshops emphasize both scientific content and teaching methods.
TOPPS was provided at no cost to the teachers. The program is particularly designed to assist teachers who may not be instructing in their areas of expertise or are teaching in schools in greatest need of improved science instruction.
For more information about the program, contact Tam at (301) 687-4165.