11 January 2017

AIP Teaching Guides on Women and Minorities

Richard Fienberg

Richard Fienberg American Astronomical Society

Two new books highlight the often forgotten historical contributions of women and minorities to the physical sciences (read the review in Physics Today):

In addition, Hidden Figures has been made into a movie that is now playing nationwide. With all this attention on people and events relevant to our Society (and to our society more generally), the American Institute of Physics (AIP), of which the AAS is a member, wants to make you aware of its teaching guides:

These guides meet national educational standards, can fit into social and natural science courses, and are available for free. These resources are easily integrated into classrooms from first grade through the college level, and they will provide students with a diverse set of role models while also calling attention to ongoing diversity issues in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. A teaching guide typically includes a lesson plan, discussion questions, and an answer key, as well as other readings and resources.

"There are now 51 lesson plans, including roughly 30 that address the history of astronomy and astronomers (with a little allowance for physicists and for NASA)," says Greg Good, director of the AIP's Center for History of Physics. "One goal of these lessons is to document women or minority scientists in history who could inspire young women and young minority students. We will be adding more units over time and welcome suggestions for new topics."