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National Science Foundation graduate fellowship changes announced

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National Science Foundation graduate fellowship changes announced

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program has just announced policy changes for graduate fellows.

1. NSF GRF fellows may no longer be employed while they are on tenure. In a nutshell, this means that if you want to teach or to receive support on a research assistantship, you’ll have to go on reserve status or will need to forfeit the stipend for the months you are receiving support other than the GRF stipend.

2. NSF GRF fellows may no longer receive concurrent federal fellowships. The upshot is that you may no longer defer the NSF to accept another federal fellowship.

If you’re thinking about applying for the GRFP, check out the resources and recent examples on my fellowships page!

Photo credit: Rachel C. Smith 2004 All rights reserved

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Videos Allow Teachers to Engage Students in Physics

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Videos Allow Teachers to Engage Students in Physics

This month’s Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) goes to David Brookes and Eugenia Etkina from Rutgers University for their work identifying novel ways to engage students in physics education. Their essay, Physical Phenomena in Real Time, can be found in this month’s issue of the journal Science. From the essay:

There is a growing realization that nurturing scientists for the 21st century requires engaging students in the processes of doing science (1). For students to be engaged in the process of doing physics, they need to learn to think like a physicist. Physics is more than the final content that we assess in a traditional exam. Much of its richness is the process through which physicists acquire knowledge and those specific “habits of mind” that are necessary to practice physics. For example, when solving an experimental problem, a physicist needs to decide what features of the problem are relevant and which features can be ignored, how to represent the problem in different ways, including mathematical expressions, how to use available equipment to collect necessary data, how to analyze the data, and how to evaluate the results (23). Investigations are subject to the variability of experimental conditions and unanticipated complications. What if we could guide students so that they can make progress in a short amount of class time, yet still be engaged in the process of doing physics?

This is an exciting project, both in its current realization and its future potential!

Photo credit La.Catholique via Creative Commons

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