Clemson University: Engineering and Science Education

Dr. Zahra Hazari awarded $600,000 National Science Foundation Career Award

Clemson assistant professor of Engineering & Science Education and Mathematical Sciences, Zahra Hazari, has been awarded the National Science Foundation's Early Career Development (CAREER) Award to research pedagogical strategies that promote the development of a physics identity in students, particularly for females and under-represented minorities. Given a general decline in physics representation and interest in physics amongst students over the past several decades as well as a recent call by the American Physical Society to double the number of physics majors, this project will develop a research-based pedagogical plan focused on increasing students' personal engagement with physics topics in order to stimulate interest and long-term persistence. The research will coordinate results from a large-scale quantitative study and a focused qualitative study to understand which teaching strategies and physics content promote the development of positive self-perceptions with respect to physics. Ultimately, this work has the potential to make significant contributions in reforming the teaching of physics and transforming the physics landscape by personally invigorating and empowering students towards their own physics learning.