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Garfield Avenue project affects travel on lower campus.

The project is expected to be completed in fall 2018, and the footbridge will be closed from late May to late August in both 2017 and 2018.

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Teaching the wonders of physics

We hear time and again from our education majors that they were inspired to become teachers by one or more incredible teachers in their own lives.  Another thing we hear often is that students come here knowing they want to major in a certain field, and along the way they discover another inner passion for teaching.

No matter what path you follow to entering the teaching program as a physics major, one thing is for sure — you will leave here well prepared to enter your own classroom and ignite the curiosity of young people to answer some of the deepest questions of the universe.

Physics

See specific details about our majors(M) and minors(m).

I teach 8th grade science (a combination of physical, life, and earth science) in a large school district near Des Moines, IA. Working with 8th graders has its challenges, but my job is incredibly rewarding.

Amy Root, '09, physics teaching

Three options

There are three routes to a teaching license in physics. One is a traditional teaching major, which will require a separate minor that may or may not be within the teacher education program. Two are comprehensive interdisciplinary majors, which do not require minors.
All physics education students have the opportunities to be out in the middle and high schools for three separate experiences— observations, teacher assisting, and then their full semester of student teaching in their own classrooms. All of these experiences are supported by university supervisors and cooperating teachers in the schools.

Physics teaching, B.S.

In this major, you will study all of the major areas of physics:  mechanics, electricity/magnetism, optics, modern physics, electric circuits, thermodynamics and fluids.  There are also electives within the areas of astronomy, quantum physics, electronics/robotics, etc. You will work closely with both a physics content advisor in the Physics & Astronomy Department and an education advisor in the Education Studies Department. This major leads to a license to teach physics in Early Adolescence through Adolescence classrooms (grades 6-12).

Sample degree plan

Comprehensive physical science teaching

In this major, you will study all of the major areas of physics and chemistry:  astronomy, mechanics, electricity/magnetism, optics, modern physics, electric circuits, thermodynamics, fluids, chemical analysis, quantitative analysis, inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry.  You will work closely with both a physics or chemistry content advisor in the Physics & Astronomy or Chemistry Department and an education advisor in the Education Studies Department. This major leads to license to teach chemistry, physics and general physical science in Early Adolescence through Adolescence classrooms (grades 6-12). 


Interdisciplinary majors section of course catalog

Comprehensive physics-mathematics teaching

In this major, you will study all of the major areas of physics and math:  mechanics, electricity/magnetism, optics, modern physics, electric circuits, thermodynamics, fluids, calculus, linear algebra, modern geometry, probability/statistics and abstract algebra.  You will work closely with both a physics or math content advisor in the Physics & Astronomy or Math Department and an education advisor in the Education Studies Department. Students must select an emphasis in either physics or mathematics, which allows you to explore a little of the higher level content in that emphasis. This major leads to license to teach physics and math in Early Adolescence through Adolescence classrooms (grades 6-12). 


Interdisciplinary majors section of course catalog

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