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Department of Physics

KSUPER: Kansas State University Physics Education Research

The Physics Education Research Group at K-State investigates the learning and teaching of physics using methods drawn from physics education research, the learning sciences, and science education. The group applies evidence from research to develop ways to improve physics learning. In recent years the work of this group has concentrated research on how students learn physics and mathematics, how they come to think as physicists, and ways to make this and other research available to physics instructors at all levels. Further efforts have involved the development of learning materials for the high school and college level and the training and support of science teachers and physics faculty members through both in-person and online resources. 

The KSU Physics Education Research group includes faculty, postdocs and students. Faculty have received national awards for their work in physics education. Our group conducts research related to the teaching and learning of physics and develop learning materials based on that research and the research of others.

K-SUPER in one of the oldest education programs located in a US Department of Physics. It was established in 1972 with the appointment of Dean Zollman to a tenure track position in physics. Dean officially retired in 2016, but remains actively involved in the program. The program expanded to two faculty members when Tom Manney joined in the 1980s. Sanjay Rebello joined the group in 2001 as a faculty member prior to his departure in 2015. Eleanor Sayre joined the group in 2011 and J.T. Laverty joined in 2016.

2018 PER Seminar Schedule

Recent Achievements

Sayre publishes Best practices for administering concept inventories in The Physics Teacher


Fulbright Canada scholar studies why students become scientists

Education Division of the European Physical Society presents K-SUPER alumnae Claudia Fracchiolla one of three young researcher awards. Claudia received her PhD under Sanjay Rebello in 2016. She is now part of a DBER project at the National University of Ireland in Galway. "Young" in this context is defined as having received the PhD in the past year. The award includes a certificate and a small cash stipend. The presentation of the award occurred at the recent Groupe International de Recherche sur l'Enseignement de la Physique (GIREP) conference in Dublin.