AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers
July 15, 2002

The Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics at Two-Year Colleges project, SPIN-UP/TYC, is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program through the Division of Undergraduate Education of the National Science Foundation. This project, award DUE-0203862, is funded for 18 months (starting June 1, 2002) for $270,540 and is awarded to the American Association of Physics Teachers. Elizabeth Teles is our Program Officer at NSF. The Principal Investigators are Thomas L. O’Kuma, Lee College; Mary Beth Monroe, Southwest Texas Junior College; and Warren W. Hein, AAPT. Mary Beth Monroe will serve as the Project Director with Tom O’Kuma and Warren Hein as Co-Project Directors. The External Evaluator for the project is Karen Johnston of Momentum Group. AAPT will provide fiscal management of the project. Support for the project is also provided by Lee College and Southwest Texas Junior College. The SPIN-UP/TYC proposal is included for your consideration.

The SPIN-UP/TYC Project will have an Advisory Committee to provide advice and guidance to the project. Advisory Committee members are:

Alex Dickison
Seminole Community College, advocate of TYC physics, PI of ICP/21 project, and TYC21 Steering Committee member
Carolyn Haas
Salem Community College, Two Year College Member-at-Large
of the AAPT Executive Board
Jack Hehn
American Institute of Physics, Manager of Education Division of
AIP, AIP liaison to NTFUP and PhysTEC Co-PI
Ruth Howes
Ball State University, SPIN-UP Co-PI and NTFUP member and
Bernard Khoury
American Association of Physics Teachers, Executive Officer of
AAPT and AAPT liaison to NTFUP
James Palmer
Illinois State University, Research Specialists in Community
Colleges; TYC21 advisor and editor
Fred Stein
American Physical Society, Director of Education and Outreach
Programs of APS, APS liaison to NTFUP and PhysTEC PI
David Wilkinson
Princeton University, NTFUP member
Susan Wood
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Past President of
American Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges
The SPIN-UP/TYC project will conduct ten site visits and will survey the physics programs at two year colleges, nation-wide, for the purpose of collecting information that will specifically:
1. identify and describe two year college physics programs that are shaping the future with
initiatives that:
  • encourage students to pursue degrees in physics or other STEM areas;
  • encourage women and minorities to study physics;
  • encourage students to pursue teacher preparation programs in physics or related STEM programs.

2. prepare a set of Case Studies of Exemplary Two Year College Physics Programs.

Current Status:
1. The SPIN-UP/TYC leadership team has designed a “TYC Physics Program Survey” to be sent out to all TYCs in late July – early August. The Survey will be used, in part, to identify TYCs who have successful physics programs. Site visits will be made to ten successful TYC physics programs.
The TYC Physics Program Survey is included for your consideration.
2. The SPIN-UP/TYC team conducted a Training and Planning Conference (TPC) held at Trinity University in San Antonio during July 25-27, 2002. The goals of this conference were:
  • discuss how the SPIN-UP/TYC project is a natural next step for TYC21 and NTFUP/SPIN-UP activities;
  • help participants define the role of site visits in identifying and describing “best practices” in TYC physics programs; and
  • train participants to collect and report in-depth information that can be used to verify and explain information collected through formal and informal surveys of TYC physics programs.
During this conference, the participants conducted a trial site visits to either Coastal
Bend Community College in Beeville, Texas, or to San Antonio College. From these trial site visits, the site visit teams prepared site visit reports. A panel of experts critiqued these reports. Jack Hehn conducted the training phase of the conference. From the TPC, a “Manual to Conduct a Site Visit” will be developed and then used by the ten site visit teams during 2002-2003.

3. Selection of the 10 TYC site will occur in early fall with site visits beginning in mid-fall. Approximately 5 site visits will be done during Fall 2002 and 5 site visits will be done during Spring 2003. For the selection of the 10 TYC sites, a document was developed that lists the goals of the SPIN-UP/TYC project, describes a “Successful TYC Physics Program” with ten indicators, and contains the site selection criteria. An additional document was developed that lists the research questions that will be addressed by these site visits.

4. Prior to the 10 site visits, a series of documents has been developed. This set includes: a “letter” to the physics program chair/coordinator or physics faculty member explaining the purpose of the site visit; a “contract” with the site host; and a “Physics Program Questionnaire” that will be completed and shared with the site visit team members prior to the actual site visit.

5. The SPIN-UP/TYC leadership team is developing a web site to be mounted on the AAPT web site with mirror sites at Lee College and Southwest Texas Junior College.

6. A poster presentation of the SPIN-UP/TYC project will be presented at the AAPT Summer Meeting at Boise in August. Materials for the project will be available in the TYC Resource Room during the Summer Meeting.

7. A national TYC Physics Program Survey will be developed with the AIP Statistics Division. We are hoping to have the instrument finished this summer with a target date of early to mid-Fall for the mailing of the survey to all TYCs in the nation.

8. There will be “partial” Advisory Committee meetings at the AAPT 2002 Summer Meeting and the AAPT 2003 Winter AAPT Meeting. A full Advisory Committee meeting will be held in the Spring 2003.

9. The Writing and Planning Conference (WPC) has been tentatively set for June 26-28, 2003, at a site to be determined. Preliminary work on the goals, objectives, and schedule for the WPC has begun.