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Our Mission

PhysTEC’s mission is to increase the number of highly qualified physics teachers.

Our staff:

WVU’s PhysTEC program works in collaboration with WVUteach, which is modeled after the original UTeach program to provide interactive, inquiry-based science and mathematics education skills to future teachers.

West Virginia University has been a PhysTEC Supported Site since 2015. WVU’s PhysTEC staff includes members who have been working with PhysTEC since 2001.

PhysTEC is a partnership between the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society. It is funded by the National Science Foundation and the APS’s 21st Century Campaign.

The National Need for More Highly Qualified Physics Teachers

The United States has a severe, long-term shortage of qualified physics teachers. In fact, in 2013, the National Task Force on Teacher Education reported that the need for qualified physics teachers is greater now than at any previous time in U.S. history. School districts consistently rank physics as the highest need area among all academic disciplines with regard to teacher shortages. Only 47% of physics classes are taught by a teacher with a degree in the subject, compared with 73% of biology classes and about 80% of humanities classes.

High School Classes that are taught by a teacher with a degree in the subject pictorial graph. Social Studies - >80%, English <70%, Biology >70%, Math 70%, Physics >40%, and Chemistry >40%.

Of the approximately 3,100 teachers who are new to teaching physics each year, only about 1,100, or 35%, have a degree in physics or physics education. The numbers of high school students taking physics has been growing rapidly: over the past two decades, that number has more than doubled to 1.38 million students, with the number of Advanced Placement or second-year physics students increasing more than nine-fold to 229,000. Every child deserves a well-qualified science education and access to the high tech jobs that will define the next century.

This summary excerpted from, the home of the National PhysTEC project, which West Virginia University thanks for their generous support. Visit their site to learn more.