Welcome to A TIME for PHYSICS FIRST!

A TIME for Physics First is a partnership among the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), and thirty seven Core Partner school districts. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation Math-Science Partnership Institute grant titled A TIME for Freshman Physics in Missouri (Academy for Teachers using Inquiry and Modeling Experiences for Freshman Physics in Missouri), funded September 2009-Aug 2015 (NSF-DUE 0928924).

The vision of the project is to prepare Missouri’s 9th grade science teachers to become intellectual leaders as they learn to teach a yearlong freshman physics course. Leadership skills are built through research-based professional development (PD) that includes comprehensive physics content, pedagogy, research and evaluation. Participating teachers and university faculty gain an expanded range of leadership expertise, content knowledge and pedagogical proficiency to share with others, as they become resources and catalysts for reform in science education at the secondary and post-secondary institutional levels. Ultimately, the overall goal is a significant increase in student achievement in science and science coursework. Further information about the program starts on the About page.

Project goals

  • Strengthen 9th grade science teachers’ and their students’ understanding of physics and the application of physics to the world around them.
  • Create a solid base of knowledge for students’ subsequent science coursework.
  • Build a strong learning community among research faculty and high school teachers to enable year-round professional development.
  • Create leaders who will become advocates for excellence in mathematics and science.
  • Increase interest of students in future science coursework and toward their career choice.
  • Provide PD for each participating teacher over three years of summer academies and academic year support.

Project Outcomes 

A summary of the results of the project is available on the Project Results page.

Project Curriculum 

The curriculum developed by the project was originally published as a digital app. Since September 2023 it is available for free on the Exploring Physics website. Eight units are available: Introduction to Electricity, Electrical Circuits, Uniform Motion, Accelerated Motion, Forces and Newton’s Laws, Applications of Newtons Laws, Linear Momentum and Energy.

A short description of the project. Supported by a National Science Foundation Mathematics and Sciences Partnership grant NSF DUE 0928924 (2009-15).
Why we need the Exploring Physics App.
Supported by an NSF I-Corps grant NSF IIP 1608624.


See how Physics First enrollment increased in Missouri.

The App

The curriculum used for Physics First was edited, refined, and published as an app suitable for digital learning in the classroom.

YouTube Channel

Click on the tutorial movie above and subscribe to our YouTube channel. The channel features an expanding collection of movies featuring pedagogy and content.