In addition to training the current generation of college students to be physicists, there is a great need in the U.S. for highly qualified secondary (8-12th grade) physical science teachers who will prepare the following generation of scientists. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics includes slightly fewer specialized upper division courses, so that the student interested in becoming a teacher can focus on building a strong content foundation across the physical sciences by taking additional courses in chemistry and geosciences, as well as courses in education though the Pacific’s Benerd College.
The Physics Department has been a partner with the San Joaquin County Office of Education for over 10 years, running the Delta Sierra Science Project, a professional development network for science teachers of all grade levels. The DSSP runs intensive summer institutes and other year-round programs for teacher development, serving the region of Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne Counties.
Thus, opportunities for internships, research projects and networking within the northern California community of science teachers are easily available.