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Alice Flarend to receive 2023 Paul W. Zitzewitz Award

Alice Flarend to receive 2023 Paul W. Zitzewitz Award

Alice FlarendAlice Flarend to Receive 2023 Paul W. Zitzewitz Excellence in K-12 Teaching Award


College Park, Maryland, United States, March 29, 2023—The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that the 2023 Paul Zitzewitz Excellence in K-12 Physics Teaching Award winner is Alice Flarend, physics teacher at Bellwood-Antis High School, Bellwood, PA This award is in recognition for contributions to pre-college physics teaching and awardees are chosen for their extraordinary accomplishments in communicating the excitement of physics to their students.

The Awards committee citation for her award is as follows: “For exemplary teaching at the high school level and development of innovative instruction methods for high school physics educators, particularly in the realm of making modern physics accessible for educators and learners, Dr. Alice Flarend is hereby named as the recipient of 2023 Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in K-12 Physics Teaching.”

Regarding her selection for this award Flarend said, "I am honored to be chosen to join the list of recipients, and I must thank the many people who have inspired and pushed me outside the traditional teaching norms to try new things."

Flarend’s B.S. in Nuclear Engineering is from the University of Illinois – Urbana. She earned her M.S. in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, her Certification in Secondary Physics and Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown, and her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction at Pennsylvania State University – University Park. She is also National Board Certified and co-author with Bob Hilborn of the book Quantum Computing from Alice to Bob.

Flarend began her distinguished service as a PTRA workshop leader over 15 years ago after first attending Central PA Section PTRA workshops. Several years ago she became a part of the Central PA PTRA workshop team and has stepped into the lead role in planning and presenting the Central PA PTRA workshops, In addition to being a regular workshop leader, she has also been serving as the High School representative on the Executive Board of the Central PA Section of AAPT.

In her role as a PTRA workshop leader Flarend has dedicated herself to furthering the mission of providing excellent professional development programs for other teachers which involves sharpening her own pedagogical skills. In addition to the workshops in Central PA, she has presented a workshops for the Western PA Section of AAPT and as well as National AAPT meetings and meetings of other sections (including Texas, New York and New England).

Flarend has also taken on a leading role in the development of curricular materials and presentations for the Quantum for All program. This program aims to help teachers incorporate quantum topics into their traditional curriculum, thereby expanding the realm of high school science into cutting edge and exciting topics. She was created a semester long quantum physics course in her high school, enticing students at a variety of academic levels to learn about the science behind such topic as electron orbitals, quantum key distribution and quantum computers.

Flarend is also working to help teachers make the switch towards the new PA standards, which are closely aligned with the NGSS. She is running workshops across the state as well as working with other organizations to help teachers implement NGSS pedagogy with a focus on discourse and equity.

Prior Award Winners

About the Award
Established as the Excellence in Pre-College Teaching Award in 1993 then renamed and endowed in 2010 by Paul W. and Barbara S. Zitzewitz, the Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in K-12 Physics Teaching recognizes outstanding achievement in teaching pre-college physics.

About AAPT
AAPT is an international organization for physics educators, physicists, and industrial scientists—with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.