Monthly Archives: February 2020

It’s high school course signup season. Make sure your child or student signs up for chemistry and physics. Too few of her or his high school peers are doing so.

It’s the time of year when high school students and their parents are choosing courses for the 2020-2021 school year. If there is any chance that your student or child presently in high school might want to pursue a career … Continue reading

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In Florida, only 19 public high schools of 1,000 or more students exceed the national enrollment rates in both calculus and physics. Five of them are in Seminole County.

In 2015-16 – the most recent year for which data are available – 4.7% of the nation’s high school students were registered for a calculus course and 10.7% were registered for a physics course. In Florida in the Fall of … Continue reading

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Calculus and Physics are important courses for preparing students for college STEM majors. How does your high school rank for enrolling students in those courses?

So much depends on high school principals. According to state law, the primary goal of high school is to graduate students with baseline levels of competency in math and English language arts. Each high school principal has to decide for … Continue reading

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Troll Day: Yes, Florida is a national leader in AP social science courses, but only average in AP math and science courses.

Once a year, I become a troll. The day I become a troll follows quickly on the day that the Florida Department of Education issues its annual press release bragging on the state’s success in Advanced Placement courses. What I … Continue reading

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Do students get a better education at New College than at Florida State University? Not in my field – physics.

The proposal by Randy Fine, the Chair of the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives, to merge New College into Florida State University as a means to save money has sparked a furious backlash from the … Continue reading

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Getting ready to start your first year of college? Is there any chance you might pursue a STEM major? If so, don’t declare “exploratory” or “undecided” as your major.

The college experience for a student majoring in a STEM field like engineering, chemistry, computer science or physics is fundamentally different from the experience of majoring in almost any other field. Why? Because of the “vertical” structure of these majors: … Continue reading

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Leon County high schools lead the way in Northwest Florida at preparing students for college STEM majors

While talking with a group of high school physics teachers in Central Florida a few years ago, I mentioned that at Leon County’s Godby High School, which has a free and reduced-price eligibility rate of about 90%, about 40% of … Continue reading

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The correlation between skipping high school physics and college heartbreak: Why a university physics professor cares about what happens in high school.

This week, I posted some depressing numbers about high school physics in Florida (statewide high school physics enrollments are down 16% over five years, and 45 public high schools of 1,000 or more students don’t teach physics). What I didn’t … Continue reading

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Florida high school physics enrollments continue sharp decline, while chemistry enrollments level off from recent drops.

Physics enrollments in Florida’s public high schools continued to decline in the Fall of 2019, reaching a level 16.3% lower than five years ago, in the Fall of 2014. In contrast, chemistry enrollments leveled off after three years of sharp … Continue reading

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Number of Florida public high schools with 1,000 or more students but no physics classes grows to 45.

In the Fall of 2019 – the first half of the present school year – there were 45 Florida public high schools with 1,000 or more students that did not teach physics. That number is significantly larger than the corresponding … Continue reading

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