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Physics Education Research Conference 2019

July 24, 2019 - July 25, 2019 in Provo, Utah

Physics Outside of the Classroom: Teaching, Learning, and Cultural Engagement in Informal Physics Environments

Physics education occurs in a multitude of contexts: in the home, afterschool, in museums, in the community, online, and in classrooms. Learning environments other than formal classroom experiences are collectively referred to as "informal learning environments" and they provide different opportunities and challenges for both researchers and practitioners. Since these programs are not typically bound by grades or standardized testing, informal physics education environments and programs can more freely focus on providing opportunities to develop interest and excitement toward physics, empowering participants of all ages and backgrounds to ask questions, be critical of information, and simply wonder at the universe, all while still engaging participants in a range of topics from introductory physics to cutting-edge research.

Thus, as a complement to formal physics education, informal physics provides novel contexts for researching physics learning and instruction, pathways to physics identity, and other topics. Informal physics education research provides opportunities to consider the ways in which physics as a culture presents itself to the public, including to potential future physicists, especially those from under-represented groups. Informal physics can also have a strong focus on elements of inclusion and equity, often serving as the first point of contact for interested members of the public, and the experiences of informal physics practitioners and researchers can complement and even inform the way formal physics departments address these important issues. In a broader context, informal physics is the gateway through which physicists communicate with the public, making physics part of society in the process.

In PERC 2019, we seek to provide opportunities in both traditional and non-traditional  ways to connect and socialize with other physicists, as well as with the local community, and we plan to provide opportunities to showcase the rigorous research being done in informal and formal fields with connections to outreach. In line with the advantages of informal learning spaces, we encourage submissions to push on the boundaries of traditional modes of presentations.

PERC 2019 Organizers

Important Dates

January 14, 2019: Parallel session proposal abstract submission opened
January 14, 2019: Juried talk abstract submission opened
February 22, 2019: Parallel session proposal and juried talk abstract deadline
April 5, 2019: Parallel sessions and juried talks selected and notified