About Us

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) initiated the Physics Teaching Resource Agents (PTRA) Program in 1985—with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) —with the mission of improving the teaching and learning of physics and physical science for all teachers and students in the United States. AAPT/PTRA is the leading in-service physics professional development program for K-12 teachers.

PTRA provides professional development on physics content, teaching techniques based on research in physics education, and integration of technology into curriculum.The program maintains a nationwide cadre of more than 150 accomplished high school teacher-leaders who are trained and continually involved in professional development. These teacher-leaders are certified as PTRAs by AAPT to lead workshops throughout the country.  The PTRA professional development model includes development of peer mentors as professional development leaders, systemic infrastructure, assessment instruments, and a curriculum based on experienced teacher mentors and physics education research.  Over the past 30 years, the model has evolved into one of the leading professional development providers in the nation. During this time, the project has impacted over 6500 teachers and several million students.

These 150 experienced PTRAs have participated in national leadership institutes where they have developed their skills on a wide range of topics—to assist their fellow teachers. The program has involved more than 30 universities and college physics departments partnering to provide the summer institutes and follow-up sessions.

Potential national PTRAs are selected based on physics content mastery, creativity, successful teaching experience, familiarity with physics education research, and the capacity for professional leadership. For a list of PTRAs in your area, just contact us! kmatsler@me.com