AAPT/PTRA Teacher Professional Development Intern
American Association of Physics Teachers
Helping Physics Teachers Teach
The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the AAPT Physics Teaching Resource Agents (PTRA) aim to improve the teaching and learning of physics and physical science for all teachers and students in the United States. The PTRA program provides professional development on physics content, teaching techniques based on research in physics education, and integration of technology into curriculum. The program maintains a nationwide cadre of more than 150 accomplished high school teacher-leaders who are trained and continually involved in professional development. These teacher-leaders are certified as PTRAs by AAPT to lead workshops throughout the country.
Working with PTRA teacher-leaders and AAPT staff, Simon is designing and revising resources for AAPT’s high school teacher professional development programs. Simon is supporting the Physics Teaching Resource Agents (PTRAs) as they develop and test activities associated with heliophysics topics in coordination with NASA-Goddard. He is also support eMentoring and online learning by assisting with pairings of mentors and mentees, program evaluation, arranging for a webinar series, and streamlining online resources.
During my summer working with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), I learned a lot about the support provided to educators of students from Kindergarten to Undergraduate levels. My mentor, Rebecca Vieyra, included me in a wide variety of projects including the K-8 Optics Workshop, the Master Teacher Leader Taskforce, the Bootstrap for Physics program, and the development of other curricula and Digi-kits. The highlight of the summer was attending the AAPT Summer Meeting to share 9 lesson plans that I created during the K-8 Workshop, which I also helped to lead. Further, I met many teachers and professionals in physics and education and learned about the varied paths that teachers take in Physics.
Simon Wright is about to start his fourth year at Wesleyan University. He hails from Washington, DC and has been interested in physics and astronomy since high school. He is a physics and astronomy double major, with an interest in public outreach and science education for students of all ages. He is currently researching black hole binaries and high-mass x-ray binaries with advisor Dr. Roy Kilgard at Wesleyan, and is excited to extend his research further during his final year as an undergrad.
Simon is also interested in audio production, politics, and supporting local music. In his spare time he enjoys reading, biking with his friends, and tinkering with computers, phones and other electronics.