STEP UP: Supporting Teachers in Having Difficult Conversations

While the field of physics has become more diverse over the last few decades, it does not reflect the demographics of the population of the United States by any metric. Founded in 2017, the STEP UP program began as a partnership between the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association of Physics Teachers, Florida International University, and Texas A&M University-Commerce. The project research team developed two active learning lessons examining the diverse profiles of individuals who earned a bachelor’s degree in physics, and issues of marginalization of women in physics. After participating in the lessons, research showed that both the students’ sense of physics identity and their intentions to pursue a physics major increased, especially among female-identifying students. The STEP UP curriculum includes two Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned lessons, the Careers in Physics and Women in Physics lessons, complemented by a teacher-oriented Everyday Actions.

Dreyfuss, B. B. (2023). STEP UP: Supporting teachers in having difficult conversations. The Physics Teacher, 61(9), 812-813.