Skip to Main Content

UNF physics wins American Institute of Physics’ Meggers Project Award

Students working on a physics project gathered around a table in a classroomThe UNF Department of Physics is one of two winners of the American Institute of Physics’ William F. and Edith R. Meggers Project Award. This biennial award provides funding for projects aimed at boosting interest in physics and improving the quality of high school physics education.

The UNF team includes physics faculty members Dr. Brian Lane and Dr. Grace Bossè working with education assistant professor Dr. Terrie Galanti. Their project focuses on “Teaching'' Teachers to Integrate Computation in Classrooms.”

To help educators with computer usage in their STEM classrooms, the UNF project will seek to provide the tools and development for high school physics teachers to use more computational skills in their scientific curriculum. The program will provide professional development for educators focused on computation-based activities at the high-school level.

“Many physicists in my generation were ‘thrown into the deep end’ of using computation in graduate school and the professional world,” Lane said. “We had little preparation but high demands for computation. It’s important to me that we narrow that gap for today’s students by providing them scaffolded learning experiences and introducing computation early in their STEM education.”

With their award, the team plans to partner with Duval County Public Schools to implement, test, and access the effectiveness of their program, including exploring the relationships between development of student attitudes toward physics and computation in physics, and participation in computational activities.

“I’ve made computation a priority in my own teaching for several years, including on my educational YouTube channel, Let’s Code Physics,” Lane said. “I’m excited to get to expand these efforts with our high school partners.”

The objective of the William F. and Edith R. Meggers Project Award is to support projects at the high-school level designed to raise the level of interest in physics and boost the quality of physics education.