The J-TUPP panel found that one of the weakest areas in the preparation of physics students for the working world was communication skills. George Washington University (GWU) took this challenge head-on and created a new capstone experience for their students that not only required delving deeply into a research area but also included components on career development and communication. Guest speakers in the class included the campus industry career coach and the director of the National Society of Physics Students. In addition to a number of in-class presentations, students were required to write article abstracts as well as draft a piece that would be suitable for Physics Today. These activities utilized outcomes from the Writing Transfer Project, which studied the difficulties students have transferring knowledge from one writing discipline to another, such as writing for a scientific audience versus a popular/public audience.
Activity DescriptionStudents learn to conduct ethical research, explore careers in physics, and disseminate research findings to different audiences.
- Recognize and apply rhetorical principles and stylistic conventions appropriate to the discipline in which they are working;
- Identify, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and employ information resources and/or other forms of supporting evidence appropriate to the discipline in which they are working;
- Construct rigorous, well-informed arguments and/or sound, probing questions or hypothesis appropriate to the discipline in which they are working;
- Apply critical, analytical, and evaluative thinking to their own writing, through drafting, revising, and/or editing processes appropriate to the discipline in which they are working.
Developed for Juniors, relevant to Sophomores and Seniors
Suggested context for implementation
These materials are part of a semester-long capstone course; some elements can be plugged in to individual classes.