PSP aims to bridge the gap between high school and college physics for those in need and interested in majoring in physics. If you are a prospective physics major and feel like you could benefit by getting involved, let us know you're interested by filling out this form!
Spectra initiated the Physics Scholars Program (PSP) in Spring 2021 as a way to offer first-years the opportunity to bridge the gap between high school physics and introductory sequence physics at Columbia. Due to various socioeconomic circumstances, low-income students may enter college without foundational skills in both math and coding, which lead to a disparity between levels of preparation for both classes and research. PSP aims to teach those skills and build community, while providing students with a support system to succeed in physics.
PSP will meet once a week for a 75 minute active learning session that will cover a number of fundamentals that will be relevant for all physics courses and research. Topics will include basic coding, steps on obtaining a research position, calculus, and other focus areas that are relevant for the class of students. The point is to learn how to solve problems together, build a concrete foundation for your future physics career, and, most importantly, make friends!
PSP has no grading, but optional handouts for additional practice. There are no prerequisites for the course except an interest in majoring in physics. We hope that this program will encourage more students to pursue physics beyond the introductory level.
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Slide 1: "I really enjoyed learning how to code, and getting a head start on learning basic material I know I will have to understand in future classes. I would definitely do it again next semester." - PSP Alumni, Spring 2021
Slide 2: "This was a very helpful program. I was surrounded with those who understood my struggles and let me express myself. We reviewed and learned many topics that will be very useful for the future." - PSP Alumni, Spring 2021
Slide 3: "Thank you so, so, so much for absolutely everything, for the wonderful PSP sessions each week, and taking the time to work with me, run problems, and make sure I had a more solid conceptual foundation for my midterm!" - PSP Alumni, Spring 2021