AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

Mobilizing Teachers to Increase Capacity and Broaden Women's Participation in Physics

Project Overview

The participation of women in physics and engineering has been a topic of concern for decades. The persistent underrepresentation of women in these fields is not just an equity issue, but also reflects an unrealized talent pool that can help respond to current and future challenges faced by society. In this project, two research universities (Florida International University, Texas A&M-Commerce) and the two largest national organizations in physics (American Physical Society and American Association of Physics Teachers) will work together to mobilize a large number of high school physics teachers nationally to attract and recruit female students to a physics-related career using research-informed and field-tested classroom practice that improve female students' physics identity. This will ultimately aid in closing the gender gap as most significant increase in women within the field of physics in history.

This project will be implemented in three phases:

Phase 1: Develop and Test - The first phase of the project will begin with a collaborative effort to design a two-day lesson plan that intentionally and effectively addresses the underrepresentation of women in physics and identifying bias and developing a positive physics identity for women. These will then be piloted in 24 classrooms across the country, and data will be gathered.

Phase 2: Mobilize - The second phase will be defined through communication and training of large numbers of educators through various professional development opportunities, including workshops at the AAPT winter and summer meetings, and AAPT sections.

Phase 3: Measure - The final phase will measure the success of the project. Through student and teacher surveys of student identity and enrollments in physics programs, the impact of the movement will be measured and plans will be set in place for sustainability and future impact.

To learn more about this initiative, please contact AAPT K-12 Program Manager Rebecca Vieyra at rvieyra@aapt.org.


Women in Physics

Get Involved
  • Pilot Teachers: We are currently seeking teachers of 11th and 12th grade physics who are willing to pilot two classroom lessons in the 2017-2018 school year. Anonymized student and teacher data will be collected.
  • Mass Mobilization: Starting in summer 2018, we encourage you to take advantage of the workshops and resources that will be made available to you to use with your own students.
  • Please contact rvieyra@aapt.org to express your interest.

Press Release (18 May 2017)


For more details and information about K12 Programs, please contact Rebecca Vieyra, K12 Program Manager, at rvieyra@aapt.org