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In this section:
Current group members
A/Prof. Elizabeth Angstmann (Liz)
Liz is an Education Focused Associate Professor in the School of Physics at UNSW Sydney. She leads the teaching arm of PERfECT and is the First Year Physics Director, running courses with thousands of enrolments. She is passionate about professional development of university and high school physics educators—especially in an online environment—and is responsible for the introduction of the graduate certificate in physics for science teachers. Liz is most interested in applying the findings of the educational research literature to the courses she runs and designs, and uses concept inventory tests to measure learning gains.
Dr. Christine Lindstrøm
Christine is a Lecturer in the School of Physics at UNSW Sydney where she teaches physics and leads the research arm of PERfECT. She completed her PhD in Physics Education Research at the University of Sydney, has held positions at various universities in Norway, and has been a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA. Christine is passionate about using student active teaching methods in her courses, and her research focuses on improving physics teaching in higher education and student understanding of astronomical scale.
Dr. Kate Jackson
Kate is an Education Focused Lecturer and Deputy First Year Director in the School of Physics at UNSW Sydney. She completed her PhD in theoretical astrophysics at Monash University (Melbourne) and has experience teaching large cohorts in astrophysics, physics, and biophysics. She has also worked in education design, particularly in online learning environments, and is passionate about implementing active learning in the classroom. Kate is currently developing and running an evidence-based learning assistant training program in the School of Physics, which aims to develop the pedagogical knowledge and teaching skills of undergraduate teaching assistants.
Dr. Thomas Dixon (Tom)
Tom is a PhD graduate in Optics and Photonics working in optical tweezers. His work at PERfECT involves evaluating the impact of educational interventions, data-processing and statistics. Tom runs the first year undergraduate physics lab at UNSW, and teaches high school physics external to the university.
Samuel Wait (Sam)
Sam is an undergraduate student and casual academic in the UNSW School of Physics, currently studying a double degree in science and education. Sam previously worked in research and development at a major mining sector engineering firm, primarily evaluating and enhancing the mechanical properties of products. His recent projects include the development of inexpensive particle detection hardware for use in high school and university teaching environments, and research into the astronomical knowledge of students.
Shannon is a PhD student in the School of Physics at UNSW Sydney, working to characterise the turbulent properties of star forming regions in the Milky Way galaxy. In PERfECT, he is interested in the comparison of online and face-to-face learning environments. Shannon also teaches multiple first year physics courses at UNSW.
Aesha is an Associate Lecturer at the UNSW School of Physics. She is completing her PhD in Physics Education at The University of Sydney, which focussed on students’ emotional engagement with physics. If you would like to learn more about Aesha’s research and see her published works, please click here.
Collaborators and Visitors
Petr Lebedev, University of Sydney
Petr is a visiting physics education PhD student from the University of Sydney and is co-supervised by Dr Lindstrøm. Petr is a passionate science communicator and is interested in researching the ability of undergraduate students to analyse the validity of scientific claims.
Past group members
Michael De La Pena
Michael is a Teaching Fellow in the School of Physics at UNSW Sydney. Prior to this, he has taught years 7–10 Science and HSC Physics in NSW for ten years, having completed his physics and teaching qualifications at the University of Sydney. Michael has a particular interest in the teaching and learning of experimental physics skills at high school level. At UNSW, he is teaching first year physics classes, running laboratory experiences for high school physics students, and developing and running professional learning courses for high school physics teachers.
A/Prof. James L Thomas (Jim), Sabbatical Visitor, July–Dec 2019
Jim was visiting UNSW from the University of New Mexico to further his interests in physics and astronomy general education and to develop an acoustics teaching laboratory (with Prof. Joe Wolfe UNSW). His principal research interests are in biomembrane and monolayer physics. Jim was (and still is) involved in the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire project with data collection with students in introductory astronomy at the University of New Mexico.