The quality of education of undergraduate and graduate physics students is a very high priority. Active programs for the general improvement of science education for students and teachers include summer enhancement projects for teachers from elementary to high school level, and the development of statewide televised courses emphasizing hands-on use of equipment. See the Education Outreach page: www.phys.virginia.edu/Education/Outreach/. A new M.A. degree in Physics Education has been instituted for inservice middle and high school teachers who want to teach physical science and physics.
Our Physics Education programs provide numerous research opportunities for pedagogical assessment that could lead to graduate theses or dissertations. For example, do engineering students learn better since we have merged their lab and discussion sections into a two-hour workshop? Is web-based assignment and grading of homework problems effective? How well will our new M.A. in Physics Education serve teachers through night and summer courses at UVa, and through new video and web-based distance learning courses? How can we best present hands-on activities for students with full-time jobs?