The NSF program Research Experiences for Undergraduates is motivated by the conviction that nothing is better than a genuine research experience for kindling a student’s enthusiasm for a career in science. Over the years REU has enabled thousands of undergraduate students to participate in research; for many of them the experience was pivotal in their decision to choose science as a career. Because the nation’s need for scientists is critical, the value of REU is inestimable.

The nation’s need for high-school physics teachers is also critical. The shortage of qualified physics teachers is so grave that the problem is generally viewed as a crisis. (see reference 1 and also “Preparing High-School Physics Teachers,” by Ted Hodapp, Jack Hehn, and Warren Hein, in PHYSICS TODAY, February 2009, page 40.) For kindling an undergraduate’s enthusiasm for a career as a science teacher, I suggest that nothing is better than a...

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