Summer Teacher Institutes

Summer Physics / Physical Science Institutes for Middle Level Teachers have been offered by this team in the Physics Department since 1993.  Institutes were offered in a three-year cycle (Matter and Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Optics and Sound).  Each institute lasted three weeks. In 2003 and 2004 we expanded our offerings to include physics and chemistry.  Institutes were funded by the Missouri Department of Higher Education through the Improving Teacher Quality grants (formerly Eisenhower Professional Development program). 

From 2006-2008 summer teachers academies were offered to Missouri teachers that focused on professional development (PD) for 9th grade science teachers to teach a yearlong course in physics at 9th grade. Seventy-two Missouri 9th grade science teachers participated in the project, which was funded by a Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Math-Science Partnership grant.

Starting Fall 2009, the project team is offering a new series of the leadership and PD program for 9th grade science teachers. The vision is to prepare 80 Missouri science teachers to become intellectual leaders as they learn to teach a yearlong freshman physics course. This project, A TIME for Physics First is funded by the National Science Foundation's Math-Science Partnership Institute program.

Electricity, Magnetism, Atoms and Molecules (last offered in 2004)

  • Static electricity and the structure of atoms: Positive and negative charge, atoms, electroscope, grounding, Van de Graff generator.
  • Batteries, Bulbs and Switches: Contact points, completed circuits, short circuits, direction of flow of current.
  • Simple Circuits: series and parallel circuits, circuit diagrams, current, voltage and resistance.  Using a digital multimeter.
  • Understanding Batteries:  Vegetable, rechargeable, liquid, and standard batteries; batteries in series and parallel.  The chemistry of batteries, and measuring the atomic weight of metals
  • Resistors and Capacitors: Resistance, storage of charge, time constants in RC circuits.
  • Magnets and Magnetism: Permanent magnets, attraction and repulsion, earth's magnetism, solenoids.
  • Properties of Matter:   Compounds elements and chemical reactions: electrochemistry, stoichiometry, constant composition, multiple proportions, gas laws, magnetic materials, periodicity of elements.

Optics and Sound (last offered in 2002)...click here for lessons/activities

  • Optics:  The reflection of light, multiple reflections, the law of reflection, curved mirrors, reflection toys; the refraction of light, refractive index, the law of refraction, internal reflection, lenses; prisms, addition and subtraction of the colors of light, building a  spectrograph, hologram toys;  the polarization of light, polarization puzzles and pictures, rotating the polarization of light, polarization pictures.
  • Sound:  Producing vibrations, making a sound detector, how sound travels, understanding volume, what controls pitch in strings and pipes, the Doppler effect, how sound travels, resonance and interference.

Matter, Mechanics and Energy (last offered in 2003)...click here for lessons/activities

  • Motion: one and two-dimensional motion, concepts of speed, velocity, acceleration, and trajectories;
  • Forces in nature, primarily mechanical forces and simple machines, gears, levers, pulleys; mechanical advantage;
  • Work and Energy: potential, kinetic, elastic, and conversion of one form of energy to another.
  • Properties of Matter: Air and Liquids: concepts of pressure, vacuum,neumatic systems, density, Archimedes' principle, floating and sinking.
  • Properties of Matter: Chemical Properties: intrinsic vs. extrinsic properties, the ways properties may change, and the properties of pure substances, mixtures and solutions.

Projects created by teachers 

Program developers...

  • Meera Chandrsekhar, Professor of Physics, University of Missouri
  • Bruce A. McClure Associate Professor of Biochemistry, University of Missouri
  • Steven W. Keller, Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Missouri
  • Mark J. Volkmann, Associate Professor of Science Education, University of Missouri
  • Rebecca Litherland, Science Coordinator, Columbia Public Schools
  • Kathy Phillips, former Program Coordinator
  • Jennifer Geib, former Program Coordinator
  • Gordon Prince and Michael Wallace, Teaching Assistants
  • Cerry Klein, Prof. of Industrial Engineering, Evaluator
  • Martha A. Henry, M.A. Henry Consulting, Program Evaluator
  • Sandra Abell and College of Education Evaluation Team