Rockhurst University Workshop in February 2020

Integrating physics with the health sciences from activities to programs: A Living Physics Faculty Community

Date & Time: February 21-22, 2020 (beginning at 2:30 pm CT on Friday)
Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO

Description: Do you want to increase enrollment in your physics program? Do you teach Interdisciplinary physics courses? Are you interested in finding resources for these courses? Are you interested in developing an interdisciplinary physics course or program even, and are unsure where to start? Exploring the educational opportunities and intersections between physics and the life sciences can help. Come learn about Rockhurst university’s award-winning “Physics of medicine” physics major track for pre-health majors. This workshop will give you the resources to do everything from integrating new activities to your existing classes, to creating entire physics major tracks for life science students. Experience for yourself this unique hands-on curriculum that focuses on deep conceptual understanding of physics as it applies to other sciences, medicine, and health care. This 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. Rockhurst ( a relatively small college) now ranks first in the nation in awarding a second degree in physics to females, and 7th in awarding a second-degree program overall due to this program. 


For more information on the Rockhurst Workshop click here.

Spring Workshop – Done!

Making physics personally meaningful and coherent with life science students’ other STEM knowledge


Date & Time: March 29-30, 2019 (beginning at 4:00pm CT on Friday)
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

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!

(from Left to Right: Ilia Gogoladze, John Shaw, Edmund Nowak, Matthew DeCamp, Jessie Taylor, Benjamin Geller, Chandra Turpen, Cody Goolsby-Cole, Lili Cui, Robert Cohen, David Buckley, Mary Chessey, George Keiser, David Schaffner; Not pictured: Catherine Crouch, Mary Ann Klassen, Tianran Chen, Patrick Johnson, and Chuck Adler)

Virtual Curriculum Swap Working Groups

Update Dec. 12, 2018: Scheduling is currently underway for the Working Group that will start meeting in January 2019. Please indicate your interest in joining by December 19, 2018 to weigh in on finding a meeting time.

Participate in synchronous online discussions about teaching physics to life science majors.

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 late Nov. or Jan. 2019). 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.

AAPT Winter Meeting 2019 Workshop

Join us in Houston, TX Jan. 12, 2019 for a workshop about innovative teaching in intro physics!

We are developing a supportive community of physics faculty committed to innovative teaching within introductory physics courses for life science majors as part of the Living Physics Portal Project. We aim to cultivate a thriving community that communicates with one another regularly, seeks support from one another, provides support to one another, and uses online tools to sustain constructive professional collaborations.

Here is an update about upcoming events and opportunities to get involved in community activities:

Event Title: Building the Living Physics Portal Community (W15)
Date & Time: January 12, 2019 1-5pm
Location: University of Houston
Cost: $60 for American Association of Physics Teachers (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.

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