The Alabama Commission on Higher Education has
just approved $125,000 for a fourth year of funding for Jacksonville
State University's IMPACTSEED program, which helps physics and
chemistry teachers and, ultimately, hundreds of students in
area school systems. The program assists chemistry and physics
high school teachers in connection with the No Child Left Behind
Act. The latest funding is for the period March 2006 to July
the past four years, Dr. Nouredine Zettili, Jacksonville State
University professor of physics, has been assisting northeast
Alabama science teachers by improving the quality of course
content for physics and chemistry courses in secondary schools.
His project is called Improving Physics and Chemistry Teaching
in Secondary Education -- or IMPACTSEED.
The latest funding will help teachers in the following
1. Professional Development Institute:
A Professional Summer Institute will be held from June 5-16
for 20 high school chemistry and physics teachers
2. Technology workshops: During Fall 2006
and Spring 2007, JSU will offer five technology workshops on
Saturdays. They will be designed to help bring technology into
high school chemistry/physics classrooms.
3. Onsite Support: During Fall 2006 and
Spring 2007, JSU will offer onsite support to participating
teachers. This will include lectures and a rich collection of
demonstrations about physics and chemistry geared especially
for high school students
4. Chemistry/Physics Hotlines: During Fall
2006 and Spring 2007, JSU will offer timely support (through
phone and the Internet) to the teachers in the areas of physics
5. IMPACTSEED Website: The university will
give useful information/links to teachers at http://www.jsu.edu/depart/pes/physics/impactseed/
The latest funding brings JSU's total funding
for five years to $ 468,363.15.
Dr. Zettili said, "During the last four years
and through my 2002-2003 SPINSEED (Strengthening Physics IN
SEcondary Education) program and three IMPACTSEED grants (2003-2006),
I have managed to reach out to teachers far-beyond JSU's service
area; we have been serving teachers from 19 school districts
and one private school located in 11 different counties. These
teachers come not only from throughout Alabama but from other
states as well, such as Georgia. During these four years, we
have trained about 100 high school physics teachers.
"During the last four years, I have personally
visited and offered numerous lectures about physics to high
school students throughout Northeast Alabama. Having trained
about 100 high school teachers and having given physics presentations
at their high schools, a rough calculation suggests that we
have impacted no less than 1,500 high school students."
As a result of IMPACTSEED, JSU is finding there
is much better coordination in the area of chemistry/physics
between high schools in Northeast Alabama and JSU.
"We know the high school teachers, we know
their students, we know what was covered in chemistry/physics
at the high school level as well as the depth of coverage,"
he said. "This makes the transition of the students from
high school to JSU seamless. In addition, we have been seeing
a heightened interest among high school students enrolling in
chemistry and physics."
Zettili encourages chemistry/physics teachers
to register for the 2006 Summer Institute (which will run from
June 5 to 16.
"This year, every teacher will receive $2,200.00
worth of teaching kits/modules," he said.
Registration is limited to 20 teachers. The registration
form for the 2006 Summer Institute can be downloaded from the
project's website at www.jsu.edu/depart/pes/physics/impactseed/
. The form should be returned by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acceptance into the program is based on a first come, first
served basis until 20 seats are filled.