Program Information

Sec. 3: Requirements

Below are the requirements for both Fellows and their districts for the five-year span of the project.

A. Participant Requirements and Agreements


  • Participate fully in the A TIME for PHYSICS FIRST project for five (5) years, from acceptance in 2010 through summer 2014. Project participation for both cohorts begins upon acceptance during 2009-10.
  • Conduct leadership activities for the duration of the project and provide documentation.
  • Teach a yearlong 9th grade physics course using project curriculum, starting in the academic year (AY) following attendance at the Fellow’s first summer academy.
  • Cooperate fully with the evaluation team during the entire five (5) years of the project.

Summer Academy:

  • Attend three summer academies in sequence and in entirety:
    • Academy attendance begins in June of either 2010 or 2011, based on the Fellow’s assignment to Cohort 1 or Cohort 2, respectively.
    • Years 1 and 2 academies are four weeks long and Year 3 is two weeks long. Classes are held M-F, all day.
    • In 2010 the academy was held June 7-July 2. In 2011 the academy will be held June 6 - July 1. Future academies are planned for June each year.
  • While tuition is covered by the project, Fellows must pay MU student incidental fees, amounting to approximately $160 for four graduate credit hours for Years 1 and 2 and $80 for two credit hours in Year 3 (amounts are subject to change by the University Board of Curators). Fellows may seek school district support for this fee.

Academic Year

During each academic year (starting 2010-11 for Cohort 1; 2011-12 for Cohort 2):

  • Attend a pre-academy orientation meeting in April (in April 2010 for Cohorts 1 and 2; and in April 2011 for Cohort 2).
  • Attend three day-long follow-up meetings on Saturdays (April date in 2011 may conincide with pre-academy meeting for Cohort 2)
  • Participate fully in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), and document activities (approx. 45 hours).
  • Participate fully in regular online activities/discussion, meetings, mentoring throughout (approx. 80 hours).
  • Communicate with Coaches via classroom visits (Cohort 1) or with Mentors online (Cohort 2) (approx. 32 hours).
  • Attend a one-graduate credit Leadership in Science Education online seminar annually and pay related student incidental fees, approx. $30. (Tuition is covered by the project).

Evaluation activities

Participate fully in all project evaluation activities, including:

  • Collect student assents and parent consents every year, 2009 – 2014.
  • Administer pre- and post- content tests to students and report scores to the evaluators every year, 2009-2014.


  • Assure at least a working knowledge of computer basics (i.e., Internet navigation, word processing, Excel spreadsheets).
  • Agree to seek leadership activities and professional development opportunities outside of the Physics First project.
  • Agree that all materials provided, including kits, will be considered on loan to each Physics First Fellow until the completion of three years of coursework. After that time materials become the property of the Physics First Fellow. If a Fellow leaves the project prior to completion, materials and equipment must be returned to the project to be redistributed.


B. Requirements for Core Partner Districts

Districts are expected to participate fully in the A TIME FOR PHYSICS FIRST project for five (5) years, through the end of summer 2014, by providing comprehensive support for Physics First Fellows and the project. Each core district is expected to:

For Teachers:

  • Provide Physics First Fellows with learning and leadership opportunities both on- and off-site during the school year (see [1] below).
  • Provide support for Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), including meeting time and place (see [2} below).
  • Encourage teachers to apply for $1500 leadership grants from the Missouri Partnership for Educational Renewal (MPER), assisted by the project.
  • Provide appropriate technology in the physics classroom for the Fellow’s use (see [3] below).
  • Permit classroom visits by Physics First Coaches.
  • In general, advocate for Physics First Fellows.

For the Building/District

  • Commit to making 9th grade Physics a required course following a transition period of professional development.
  • Begin teaching a yearlong 9th grade Physics course using project-provided curriculum starting in the 2010-11 school year for Cohort 1 Fellows and 2011-12 for Cohort 2 Fellows.
  • Instruct guidance counselors, teachers and building principals to encourage students to take freshman physics during the 1-2 year transitional period, effecting transition to a required course.
  • Support appropriate data collection for evaluation and research purposes with regard to student participation in the project.

For the project

  • Designate a district contact person to be responsible for communication among the project, district and Fellows, including collection of evaluation-related documents, and recruitment of math and administrator academy participants.
  • Send a math teacher to attend Year 1 and Year 2 summer academies for five days and offer in-service credit or CEUs where appropriate.
  • Send an administrator representative to attend Year 1 and Year 2 summer academies for three days and offer in-service credit or CEUs where appropriate.
  • Partner districts may be invited to appoint a science teacher or administrator to serve on either the Curriculum Committee or Advisory Board.
  • Provide, in writing, a statement that any products created by the teacher through the project will remain the property of PF.

[1] examples of support include professional development days, seminars, workshops or meetings, to present to their peers what they have learned through participation in the project activities
[2] Districts may provide compensation if PLCs meet outside of contract time, or provide in-service time, or free up additional time.
[3] For example, computer, projector, and Internet connection as needed, and support from district IT staff. The project will provide each Fellow with either a laptop computer or a projector (Fellow’s choice).

Go to Sec. 4: Benefits