Advocate Program

STEP UP is a national community of physics teachers, researchers, and professional societies. We design high school physics lessons to empower teachers, create cultural change, and inspire young women to pursue physics in college.

Goal: STEP UP Advocates are teachers of physics implementing STEP UP curriculum in their classrooms to inspire young women to pursue physics. Selected teachers will join a cohort of nearly 200 teachers from three specific regions centered around Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. See Eligibility below. 

The 2024-25 cohort will join a growing, regional community of teachers, university faculty, and pre-service teachers to increase the strength of the physics education community in the local area. These teachers will be on the front lines of shifting gender equity in physics and will provide critical feedback to STEP UP about the lessons and the impact in their classrooms.

Apply Now (Deadline March 25)

Eligibility: 

  • Teaching at least one section of physics during the 2024-25 academic year - any level (high school or two-year college).

  • Able to attend the in-person Advocate Summit for your region

  • Willing to provide feedback about your and your students’ experiences with the STEP UP lessons 

  • Teaching in one of the regions below during the 2024-25 academic year:

Los Angeles Region

Chicago Region

LA STEP UP Advocate Region 2024-25 Chicago STEP UP Advocate Region 2024-25

Los Angeles Metropolitan, including Anaheim, Long Beach, and Orange counties

Greater Chicago area, including ISTA Regions 1 (Chicago) and 7 (Suburban Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, or Will County

New York Region

NY Region Advocate Region 2024-25

New York City, Northern New Jersey (counties shown on the map), Westchester, Suffolk, and Nassau counties

The STEP UP program will accept up to 60 teachers from each region, and each Advocate will earn a $750 stipend. The STEP UP program staff will train Advocates on the STEP UP curriculum at an in-person regional STEP UP Summit (See below for date/time) in the summer of 2024.

Applications close **Monday March 25** at 11:59 p.m. EST. Don't miss out!

Advocates earn their stipend by:

  • Attend a one-day in-person training on the STEP UP curriculum (summer 2024)

    • Los Angeles Regional Summit: Saturday June 22, 2024, Time TBD at California State University, Northridge

    • Chicago Regional Summit: Saturday June 8, 2024 Time TBD at Loyola University 

    • New York Regional Summit: Saturday, May 18, 2024 from 9:00-4:00 ET at SUNY Global Center - 116 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022

  • Implement the Careers in Physics and Women in Physics lessons in their classrooms during the 2024-2025 school year 

  • Use the strategies Everyday Actions Guide throughout the school year to build an equitable classroom

  • Complete two pre-surveys for teacher Advocates, distribute student pre- and post-surveys on attitudes towards physics (optional for students but strongly recommended) and one exit survey at the end of school year about their experience as a STEP UP Advocate and with implementing the lessons 

  • Provide an IRS form W-9 to receive a direct deposit, one-time stipend at the end of the term

Advocate Program FAQs:

1. Can I apply if I'm retired / taking a leave of absence / not in a high school classroom?

  • No, the Advocates earning stipends must implement the STEP UP curriculum in a classroom during the 2024-25 school year. Our support is limited to current teachers that can work directly with their students throughout the year. 

2. I am just graduating from a teacher credential program, can I apply? 

  • Yes! If you are applying for jobs in one of the three regions to teach physics, please apply. We would love to have you in the community. 

3. When is the in-person Advocate Summit? 

  • We have not yet determined the exact date of the Summits. They will be available in the application once published. The Regional Coordinator and PhysTEC leads for your region will determine the exact date. 

4. If I can't attend the in-person STEP UP Summit training, can I still apply?

  • Yes, but please email your Regional Coordinator:

    • NYC area: catherine.a.garland@gmail.com

    • Chicago area: kori.bowns@gmail.com 

    • LA area: praisypoluan@gmail.com

as soon possible to coordinate the make-up options. You will be required to attend a make up Summit in order to receive your stipend.

5. Do I have to be registered with STEP UP to apply?

  • No, but you will have to register once you're selected, so feel free to do so now and join the online community discussion! (Sign up is here, and is a two-part process, so make sure you get all the way to "save" on the STEP UP form.)

6. Should I have delivered the STEP UP lessons before?

  • No, we're excited to welcome folks who know about STEP UP but haven't done the lessons yet!

  • Also, if you have delivered the STEP UP lessons, you are still welcome to join us!

7. I don’t know my teaching schedule for the 2024-25 school year. Can I still apply? 

  • Yes, just be sure you expect to teach at least one physics-related class. Email Ambassador Program Coordinator Bree (breebarnettdreyfuss@gmail.com) with additional questions.

8. I have a question about the survey. Who should I contact? 

  • Email Ambassador Program Coordinator Bree (breebarnettdreyfuss@gmail.com).

9. I might be changing schools for the 2024-25 school year, but will remain in one of the regions of focus. Can I still apply?

  • Yes, you can answer the questions in the application that address your current school or your best approximation of your future school.

 10. Is the Advocate position the same as the Ambassador position from past years?

  • No, in the past we've had our Ambassadors focus on training other teachers, but the Advocates are going to focus on direct student inspiration by delivering the STEP UP lessons in physics classes.