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The Physics Education Group at the University of Washington conducts a coordinated program of research, curriculum development, and instruction to improve student learning in physics and physical science from kindergarten through graduate school.  The work of the group is guided by ongoing discipline-based research.  

The primary curricula developed by the group include Physics by Inquiry (Wiley and Sons) and Tutorials in Introductory Physics (Pearson Publishing).  Results from research are disseminated through journal articles, talks at various colleges and professional meetings (e.g., the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Physical Society, etc.), and in various workshops given by group members.

Recent news

Fri, May 5th

The Physics Education Group is pleased to announce plans for the 2017 Summer Institute in Physics and Physical Science for Inservice K-12 Teachers.  The 2017 Institute will be held for four weeks, June 28-July 28.  Classes will be held Monday through Friday, 9:00-3:30.  Additional information, including instructions for applying, can be found by clicking on the following tabs at the top of this page:  Instruction>K-12 Teachers>2017 Summer Institute or by contacting Donna Messina (  

Mon, October 17th

On Friday, October 14, the Physics Education Group hosted members of the Interlake High School and Bellevue High School science departments  in a Day of Professional Development.  First on the agenda was a talk by Professor Mary Pat Wenderoth (UW Biology) who presented her research and the advances in interactive instructional practice in UW biology classes.  Professor Wenderoth 's talk was followed by visits to the classes of Professor Nikolai Tolich (Physics 121) and Professor Jennifer Doherty (Biology 220) to observe these instructional changes in practice.  In the afternoon the teachers worked through an experiment from the ENERGY module of the Physics Education Group's Tutorials for Teachers curriculum.  Throughout the day the teachers reflected on and discussed the research presented by Professor Wenderoth, their experiences in the university classes, and the ways in which these innovations can be implemented in their classrsooms.

Thu, September 29th

The Academic-year Continuation Class for Autumn 2016 begins tonight!  Eighteen local elementary, middle and high school teachers who have participated in the PEG's Summer Institute for Inservice Physics and Physial Science Teachers will meet every Thrueday from 5:00-7:00 PM and will continue their efforts to bring inquiry teaching and learning to their classrooms.  A special "welcome" to those attending for the first time and "welcome back" to those who have participated in the past!  See you tonight!

Thu, September 29th

During his sabatical Jerry Feldman, Professor of Physics at George Washington University, will be spending time with the Physics Education Group.  Jerry was a very welcomed participant in the  NSF-funded Summer Institute for Inservice Teachers and, while in Seattle during this 2016-17 academic year, will continue to spend time in the UW Physics Department.  We especially welcome Jerry to the weekly Academic-year Continuation Course for teachers who have attended the PEG's Summer Institute.  The inservice teachers will certainly look forward to working with Jerry on Thrusday evenings.

Thu, September 29th

On June 27, twenty K-12 teachers from the greater Seattle area and thoughout the United States started the five-week, NSF-sponsored Summer Institute in Physics and Physical Science that is conducted by the Physics Education Group each year.   The Institute is a full time commitment; the teachers and PEG instructors met for six hours each day, Monday through Thursday for the five weeks.  During that time the participants developed, through inquiry instruction, an in-depth understanding of concepts relevant to the grade levels and subjects they teach, with their own learning experiences serving as teaching and learning models for their classrooms.  Congratulations to the 2016 Summer Institute cohort on the completion of the first of three possible years of attending the Institute, joining the ranks of other teachers who have participated in the Institute for more than forty years.

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