Join our in-person workshop at AAPT Summer Meeting in Provo, UT

Event Title: Curriculum Swap: Creating, Sharing, and Improving Student-centered Activities for Life Science Students (W48)

Date & Time: July 21, 2019 1-5pm

Location: Utah Valley University in Provo, Utah

Cost: $60 for AAPT members, $85 for non-members

Description: Come join a community of faculty committed to innovative teaching within introductory college physics courses for life science students. Bring an instructional task that you are proud of to share with other highly engaged educators. Solicit other educators’ reactions to your classroom or lab activities. Hear about innovative things that other highly engaged educators are doing. In this workshop, educators will discuss the logic behind why they organize their physics activities in the ways that they do. Learn how to use the Living Physics Portal ( to make your innovations accessible to other educators. By the end of the workshop, you will be prepared to contribute your own activities to the Portal for other educators to use and adapt.

Registration available through AAPT online or onsite.


Upcoming Workshop at Rockhurst University

Event Title: Growing your physics program by engaging pre-health and life science students: A Living Physics Professional Community Workshop

Date & Time: TBA, Spring 2020

Location: Kansas City, MO

Cost: $75 (with scholarships available for instructors with financial need)

Description: Are you interested in growing your physics program but not sure where to start? Pre-health and life science students can expand and enrich your physics program. Come and learn about ways to support more science and pre-health majors in seeing the beautiful intersections between physics and the health sciences. Hear about Rockhurst University’s award winning “Physics of Medicine” curriculum and degree program. Experience for yourself this unique hands-on curriculum that focuses on deep conceptual understanding of physics as it applies to other sciences, medicine and healthcare. Their Physics of Medicine program is an interdisciplinary, pre-professional, physics major track designed for students that wish to attend clinical graduate school programs in medicine or healthcare. Due to their Physics of Medicine program, Rockhurst (a relatively small college) now ranks first in the nation in awarding a second degree in physics to women and 7th nationally in awarding a second degree in physics overall.

Find out more details.

Register to attend.


Participate in synchronous online discussions about teaching physics to life science majors, starting in September 2019

We are developing small working groups of faculty committed to innovative teaching within introductory physics courses for life science students. Here educators share and get feedback on classroom activities, and hear about others’ innovative materials. These small groups of 6-12 educators collaborate and discuss together for a short-period of time (<3 months beginning in Oct. and continuing through mid-Dec.). If you are interested and willing, we would like you to join one of these small communities (or working groups). The activities of these communities would inform the development of the Living Physics Portal (NSF project #1624185). Some of the central activities that we envision for these communities include:

  • presenting examples of in-class tasks that members have developed or adapted

  • describing how such tasks were implemented and the task’s driving purpose

  • reacting to video clips of instructors implementing IPLS tasks or students reasoning through IPLS tasks

  • weighing in on design decisions that present themselves within the Living Physics Portal design process.

The activities of this community would also be flexible as we hope that this space meets your own needs and concerns.

These groups will meet for ~1.5 hour long online video conference calls twice monthly over a 1-3 month period during this academic year. If you are willing and interested in participating, please fill out this short interest form.


Past Workshop at Swarthmore College

Event Title: Making physics personally meaningful and coherent with life science students’ other STEM knowledge: A Living Physics Professional Community Workshop

Date & Time: March 29-30, 2019, starting 4:00pm ET on Fri.

Location: Swarthmore College, PA

Cost: $75 (with scholarships available for instructors with financial need)

Description: This 1.5 day workshop hosted by Swarthmore College’s Physics & Astronomy Department immerses instructors in re-thinking and adapting introductory physics courses and lab activities for life science students to emphasize interdisciplinary connections. Instructors and lab managers will be exposed to practical changes they can implement at their home institutions that put students’ experiences and learning at the center of classroom interactions. Workshop participants will also join a growing network of highly-engaged physics instructors who share curricular materials and troubleshoot instructional challenges. The experiences of learning, re-thinking, changing, and networking are tied together within the Living Physics Portal, an NSF-funded online resource for instructors of introductory physics classes for life science majors. Instructors, lab managers, community college faculty & staff and those with varying degrees of familiarity with physics for life scientists or active learning are welcome!

Find out more details.