Physics Educators Converge on Congress to Inform and Advocate During AAPT’s 2018 Summer Meeting

Contact: David Wolfe
Phone: (301) 209-3327


College Park, MD, July 25, 2018—Physics educators from more than 33 countries around the world are meeting in Washington, DC, for the largest ever gathering of the American Association of Physics Teachers. With science funding and science education high on the national agenda, attendees will increase their skills as communicators and advocates for science education in general and physics education in particular.

AAPT Board members will meet with their representatives to formally voice AAPT’s priority messages (see below). Additionally, general members set up meetings while in DC and at their local and state governments to advocate for physics education. This initiative is part of a growing emphasis on public policy issues and leadership in the organization.

In a workshop scheduled on Saturday July 28, Preparing for Policy and Advocacy they can take advantage of the opportunity to meet with members of Congress and educate them on the issues that are important to science educators. Increasing the quality of science education is critical to helping the nation strengthen its global competitiveness by preparing a workforce for the 21st century. This workshop will train educators on how to do a Congressional visit and how to effectively communicate with policy makers, as well as a briefing on current political news. This workshop is the final part of a three part series on science policy and how to engage Congressional decision makers.

Two training webinars were offered before the AAPT 2018 Summer Meeting: Policy and Advocacy 101; and Communication with Washington. Policy and Advocacy 101 (from April 2, 2018): Science policy, federal budget, and legislative process; Current politics that impact you; Your role in advocating for science; Methods for effective individual advocacy; What the AAPT and AIP Public Policy Office are doing for you. Communicating with Washington! (from June 18, 2018): The second webinar in the series was designed for those interested in setting up meetings and talking with elected officials.

Both webinars can be found @

AAPT’s Priority Messages to be shared with Congress are:

  1. All teachers of physics at all levels should receive suitable investment and education in content and pedagogy.
  2. Physics education research is a critical component of developing effective pedagogical approaches.
  3. Tackling issues in physics education requires infrastructure at all scales: local, state and national.
  4. We recognize the importance of increasing the diversity of physics teachers and students at all levels through the development of curriculum, financial support for students and teachers, and increasing communication among physics teachers across all academic levels.

Related Sessions at the 2018 Meeting:

  • Scientific Activism (Monday, 1:30 - 2:30 PM)
  • Science, Society and Outreach (Monday, 2:30 - 3:30 PM)
  • Peer Review and the Peer Review Process (Monday, 5:00 - 6:30 PM)
  • Experiences in Washington Policy Internships and Fellowships (Tuesday, 5:00 - 7:00 PM)
  • STEP UP 4 Women (Wednesday, 1:00 PM - 2:50 PM)

About AAPT
The AAPT is the premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education with members worldwide. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics education. We provide our members with many opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment. We serve the larger community through a variety of programs and publications. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.