University students’ negotiation of physics identity in informal physics programs
Seminar by Claudia Fracchiolla
postdoc in the Cell EXPLORERS group
National University of Ireland Galway
Graduate students immersed in research continue to develop their physics identity by engaging in practices that are central to the physics community. However, many graduate students also participate in other relevant practices, such as teaching and outreach. For some, teaching and outreach may be integral to their experience doing physics and building identity, although that may be counter to messaging from advisors or academia about their value. In this work, we investigate university educators’ (UEs) negotiation of physics identity after they have volunteered in an afterschool physics program for K-12 students. We hypothesize that UEs’ physics identity is reshaped by the interactions and experiences they have in the program. We analyze UEs’ interviews using a Community of Practice framework. From this analysis, we extract the experiences that affect their physics identity as they negotiate their memberships in the outreach and scientific communities of practice.