TOPS--the acronym for Teaching Opportunities in Physical Sciences--is a six-week summer program for sophomore and junior physics majors who are considering careers in pre college physics teaching. The goal of TOPS is to give these students an opportunity to prepare and teach material at the middle school and high school levels under the supervision of experienced teachers. Middle school students are taught in a one-week program at the Boston Museum of Science. High school students are taught in a two-week program at MIT. In addition, TOPS provides contact with ongoing physics research in the Center for Ultracold Atoms, much of which illustrates basic concepts of energy, temperature and light that are central to the material being taught. TOPS, which is now in its seventh year, involves two groups of four students, each working with a skilled high school teacher. The goal is to help inspire teaching careers for some of tomorrow's outstanding teachers in the belief that over the years even a small number of outstanding teachers can have a big influence. The Center for Ultracold Atoms is supported by the National Science Foundation.


Education levelHigher Education, Vocational/Professional Development Education
Resource typesReference Material
Resource formatapplication, application/ms-powerpoint, application/pdf
CreatorDaniel Kleppner

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CopyrightDoes not have a copyright, license, or other use restriction.

Found in collection(s)

comPADRE: Resources for physics and astronomy education
Title ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Link http://www.compadre.org/
Description ComPADRE is a set of communities of teachers and students in physics and astronomy and web-based collections of resources to support their needs. The communities supported by ComPADRE are groups that can benefit from the sharing of materials, information, and experiences in a web environment. Example communities include teachers of specific physics or astronomy courses, societies of undergraduate physics and astronomy students, and teachers addressing specific grade levels, such as high-school or middle-school teachers. Resources included in the collections are chosen to enhance the teaching and learning experience, and include multimedia learning objects, lesson plans, tutorials, laboratories and other student activities, and discussion forums on the use of these materials. The different collections are organized under the ComPADRE umbrella, which provides a central database (the Physical Sciences Resource Center), technical support, support for collection editors and community leaders, and the means to coordinate efforts across the communities.