Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join this program?

Our primary goal is to ensure that the high school teachers (and their students) have a successful experience.  To ensure success, we will begin the program with a relatively small and committed group of teachers as Teaching Fellows, who will be critical in shaping the program. We will also begin working with Gateway and Exploratory Partners starting Fall 2020. This approach will ensure the program is efficient and effective as the number of teachers in the program grows. We hope to accommodate rapid steady growth for the first five years, at which point the program will include both calculus-based (AP- Physics C), and algebra-based (AP Physics 1, 2) physics and will be available to teachers throughout the state.

If you would like more information, or are interested in being an early partner please send us your contact information via the following form:

Is this the same as a dual credit program?

No. There are significant issues with creating a dual-credit program that are not consistent with our goals.  So it is perhaps better to think of this partnership program as a professional development opportunity in which the focus is on creating the best possible high school physics course.  That said, the affiliation with the university may provide opportunities for proficiency credit for students attending the University of Illinois. We can also explore possibilities for University credit through a future on-line course if that is desired.

How much does this cost teachers?

The teachers will not be required to make any financial contribution toward the program. At the Teaching Fellow and Gateway Partner levels, we will compensate the teachers for their work in developing their course.

How much does this cost parents/students?

Although this partnership program will certainly bring new resources into the classroom, we do not want cost to prevent anyone from participating. Ultimately, it is the schools with the least resources that are teaching the students we are most interested in reaching. We will work with your school district to see what resources they can provide and work on finding external funding to fill in any deficit.

Is this an AP course?

The curricular materials that we will be providing are from the University of Illinois. Many of these materials have been piloted in high school AP courses and accredited by the College Board. They qualify as AP-level materials and will prepare students for the AP exam. However, there are certain standards covered by the AP that the U of I materials do not cover in as much detail. In these cases, teachers use PD time with their peers to share best-practices and materials with respect to these standards.

What does your timeline for rolling this out to Illinois high schools look like?

  • Summer 2019  - Spring 2020: identify first cohort of participating teachers

  • Summer 2020: Teachers work through the online course + initial in-person retreat 

  • Fall 2020 – Spring 2021: First academic year the first cohort teaches the curriculum; identify 2nd cohort

What if my physics knowledge is a bit rusty?

Even better!  One resource we can easily provide is physics expertise, both for the activities in the curriculum and also for the interesting questions students come up with during the course.

Do you have other questions?

We would love to hear from you!
Please submit your questions at today.