Department of Physics

Physics Education

Physics Education is promoted at Western Illinois University in a number of ways:

Demonstration to K-12 students Western Illinois University has a long history of supporting in-service teachers of Physics.

  • WIU has run state-supported (IBHE) summer workshops for High School teachers of physics for more than 14 years.
  • WIU has developed the Secondary Physics Instrumentation Laboratory (SPIL), which provides physics teachers and their students in the west central Illinois region access to top of the line educational resources in physics. In particular, WIU has been a leader in promoting the use of Computer-based laboratory experiments in the region. Teachers can schedule times to bring their classes in during the school year and request that WIU personnel help them in conducting a number of experiments from different topics in physics.
  • WIU has provided opportunities for physics teachers to seek advanced degrees in physics in ways that suit their busy schedules and needs.

Successful graduateWestern Illinois University has a long history of making Physics accessible to the larger community through outreach.

  • Since 1998, the physics department at WIU has held its annual Physics demonstration show on the Macomb campus. This show is a lot of fun, and educational, too!
  • The Physics and Chemistry Departments at WIU ran a pilot project from 1999-2002, funded by the ISBE, entitled “The Scensational Science Scircus”, which brought physics and chemistry demonstrations to many of the K-12 students in a 70 mile radius of Macomb. We also developed a number of lab activities which we could bring to the science teacher’s classroom.

Western Illinois University has a long history of helping develop Physics teachers for Secondary Science Education in the state of Illinois.

  • WIU has an accredited 6-12 science education program, with Dr. Laura Barden-Gabbei as the science education advisor.
  • Physics teachers from WIU have been placed throughout the state of Illinois and beyond.

Physics department faculty and staff

Teach Physics

Physics Videos

U.S. Physics Teacher Shortage and the Need for PhysTEC

The United States has a severe, long-term shortage of qualified physics teachers. In fact, in 2013, the National Task Force on Teacher Education reported that "the need for qualified physics teachers is greater now than at any previous time in U.S. history."