UTPA Physics for Teachers program assists Donna school teachers
Posted: 06/06/2002
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Sixteen teachers from the Donna school district will return to the classroom this summer as they participate in The University of Texas-Pan American sixth annual Physics for Teachers program, June 3-14.

Dr. Mohammad Hannan, standing far left, physics and geology assistant professor, and Dr. Mohammad I. Bhatti, standing far right, director of the UTPA Physics for Teachers program, assisted 16 Donna school district science teachers recently during the eight-day course.

The program - funded by a federal Eisenhower Professional Development Grant - allows a group of science and math teachers from area school districts to learn basic concepts of physics using the latest technology, including motion detectors, sensor probes and TI graphic calculators.

"The program is designed for teacher preparation and training in the physical sciences for middle and high school teachers," said Dr. Mohammad I. Bhatti, program coordinator.

"The participating teachers make and take activities to use in their classrooms to help create student excitement about science phenomena that will transcend into other sciences, both in secondary education and college."

A kick-off ceremony June 3 welcomed program participants and informed them about the upcoming courses and topics, such as micro gravity, properties of matter and energy conservation law.

"The different ways we teach, the better quality education we give," said Ray Quiroga, eighth-grade science teacher from the Donna school district. "I hope to learn more about physics and chemistry concepts and laboratory experiments."

The program lasts 17 months, beginning with an intensive two-week introductory course and continuing throughout the fall and spring semesters, during which the teachers meet once a month for an entire day of training.

Participants then visit the Smithsonian in Washington, D. C., or the NASA Spacer Center in Houston.

Since its inception in 1997, Physics for Teachers has trained about 125 teachers from the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, McAllen, Edinburg and Mission school districts.

For more information on the Physics for Teachers program, contact Bhatti or Dr. A.H.M. Abdul Hannan at 956/381-3521.