On March 7, students at The Bear Creek School will have the opportunity to learn from Dr. DJ Wagner, a professor of physics at Grove City College (GCC), a small Christian liberal arts college with a robust science and engineering school, located in western Pennsylvania.
Wagner will teach students in freshman conceptual physics classes, address the student body about her journey from English major to physics professor during a morning assembly, as well as answer questions about GCC during a lunch time “brown bag” session.
Wagner earned a bachelor of science degree in physics and English at William and Mary before continuing to Vanderbilt University, where she received her master of science degree and Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics (modeling neutrino oscillations). While finishing at Vanderbilt, Wagner became interested in the growing field of physics education research (PER), and she turned her attention to PER upon graduation. After holding visiting professorships at Angelo State University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Wagner joined the faculty at GCC in 2001.
Wagner’s current research focuses on student understanding of density, pressure and buoyancy. She is in Seattle working with the Physics Education Group at University of Washington, one of the original groups in the country to do systematic research into how students learn physics, and how we can better structure instruction to improve that learning.
In addition to visiting The Bear Creek School, she plans to also meet with students at Issaquah High School and Holy Names Academy.