Our physics course is one opportunity where we have as teacher to reach out to non-scientists and to prove the value that physics can have for everyone. It is about
public relations as much as it is about education. Our goal is not to turn everyone into a physicist, but rather to start individuals on the road to critical thinking, to better problem solving ability, and to become better citizens in this increasingly technical world.
Long after students leave our courses, they may not remember all the phenomena and equations, but they will remember whether or not they enjoyed the course and, perhaps, they will recognize some of the tools that they carry with them and use.
Here are some goals to consider:
1) to dispel the popular notion that physics is only accessible to smart people and to
show that physics is interesting, useful, and valuable (physics is fun and cool) to
2) to dispel the popular notion that physics is just a collection of equations used to
solve obscure problems
3) to challenge students to improve their abilities to reason, to think critically, and to
4) to help students gain conceptual understanding of the physical universe by studying
the interrelationships between the concepts that are the framework of physics and to
apply mathematical tools as an aid to understanding those relationships