Outreach FAQ

How do I find a teacher to contact?

Read the description of the project at the Program Overview and get answers to common questions about our project at our FAQ.

Who should I be doing outreach to?

Preferably, high school physics teachers in your current area or from the high school you attended. On top of that, any high school teachers or enthusiastic supporters are invited to join the movement at STEPUPphysics.org, and do the lessons, if possible.

Where can I find a teacher’s contact information?

Look at school websites for a staff directory provided by the school or school district. Teachers are usually listed with the subject(s) they teach and their email addresses and/or phone number. You can also call the main office of a school and ask for a physics teacher and their contact information, after explaining who you are, if you’re having trouble.

Can I contact my previous high school teachers?

Absolutely! We would love for you to contact any and all physics teachers that you know and who you think might be interested in STEP UP!

Do I need stamps for postcards?

Nope! The postcards have prepaid postage.

If we can’t visit the classroom, but the teacher wants to meet in person, what do I do?

This is great! You can follow up in a few ways. See if you can drop off materials for them at their school, offer to chat on the phone or through a video chat, or see if you can meet somewhere to give them STEP UP materials from the Classroom Visit Kit. Be sure to refer them to STEPUPphysics.org.

Does STEP UP provide a demo to present to a high school class?

No. STEP UP cannot provide classroom demos for you. You may be able to request these from your professors and physics department at your university or through the Society of Physics Students SOCKs program. STEP UP does provide a set of powerpoint slides about the program - find it on the Classroom Visits page.

Where should I send postcards or handwritten letters?

Once you know which teacher you are writing to, search online for their school’s address. If you can’t find it, you can call the school’s main office to ask for the address.

Can I write my own message for postcards, letters, and email?

Go for it! We want you to make a connection with these teachers, so we encourage you to write your own message and have it sound more like you.

Just be sure to your message still meets our goal - getting teachers to register for STEP UP and to use our materials in their classroom.

How do I talk to students during a classroom visit?

  • Be yourself! Talk about what it’s like to be a physics major. Share your struggles and achievements. You don’t want to come across as “perfect” so it’s important to find a balance between struggles and achievements. Too much of either can scare them away from the major.
  • Be respectful! Remember all of the students you are talking to all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. Be mindful of the assumptions you or they might be making.
  • Be casual! Focus on being yourself and meeting the students at their level, since they may be only a few years younger than you.
  • Allow discussion! Make time for the students to ask questions and for them to be a part of the conversation. Try to avoid lecturing.
  • Be conscientious! Be respectful of the classroom materials and the teachers time.
  • Don’t say physics sucks! Be real about physics - it’s not all bad, and it’s not all great, but it’s worth it.

What do I do if the teacher asks for more information?

Send the teacher to STEPUPphysics.org. Here they can find lots of info on our project, what the community is doing and our project FAQ.

If you still have question, please submit it at our Contact Us page or email us at STEPUPphysics@aps.org.