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$75,000 grant to assist teachers in physics

The Austin Peay State University School of Education has been awarded a $75,000 grant by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for a program to prepare science teachers to seek licensure and teach physics.

Dr. Sheila Pirkle, assistant professor of education and director of the new project, sought funding for the program. The APSU Department of Physics co sponsored the Physics First in Tennessee grant, which is supporting the new initiative.
The Austin Peay State University School of Education has been awarded a $75,000 grant by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for a program to prepare science teachers to seek licensure and teach physics.

Dr. Sheila Pirkle, assistant professor of education and director of the new project, sought funding for the program. The APSU Department of Physics co sponsored the Physics First in Tennessee grant, which is supporting the new initiative.

“With increasing demands for well-qualified workers to fill positions in high-tech industries, and with the requirements for students to add more science courses to their high school studies, there is a growing demand for physics teachers,” Pirkle said. “In Tennessee, there is currently a shortage of qualified physics teachers and the shortfall is likely to increase.”

The grant will help subsidize a two-week program from June 1-16, 2009, at APSU. Physics activities will be planned to help prepare science teachers obtain the physics endorsement on their license. Each participant will be offered a stipend of $750 and a scholarship for graduate credit for the course. Other benefits, such as travel funds and materials, also may be offered.

The participants will pursue licensure in physics teaching and register for the required PRAXIS tests, which will be held at APSU during the program.
Pirkle will be joined by Tedman Onyango (co-writer of the grant and c0-project director), Paul Lee and Jennie Preston-Sabin as instructors in the project.

For more information, contact Pirkle by telephone at (931) 221-7055 or by e-mail at pirkles@apsu.edu. -- Melony Shemberger