The Physics Instrumentation PDA held February 13-14th, 2012 in Austin, Texas by the TRC–in partnership with the Texas Education Agency–took the TRC’s PDA concept to a whole new level. Dubbed the “mini-Annual Meeting” after the TRC’s annual mid-summer gathering, the Physics Instrumentation PDA packed over 25 sessions into two days of intensive professional development. Presenters ranging from highly qualified physics teachers, professors, and specialists to representatives from instrumentation vendors shared their knowledge of physics content and materials with an audience of TRC project directors, instructional team members, and science teacher mentors. Attendees were encouraged to take what they learned back to their schools and institutions in order to share their newly acquired knowledge and skills with their fellow physics educators.
Sessions ran the gamut from presentations and equipment demonstrations to hands-on workshops where attendees built fan-powered cars. Another session showed teachers how to use the latest smart phone and tablet computing technology to collect and analyze data from classroom experiments. Whatever the session’s topic, the TRC encouraged presenters to align their presentations and materials to the TEA’s Physics TEKS for Middle and High School. This alignment of professional development to TEKS ensures that attendees can easily put what they’ve learned to use in the classroom or pass the knowledge they’ve gained to other teachers and educators.
The TRC would like to thank all of the attendees, presenters, and partners who helped make the Physics Instrumentation PDA a resounding success.