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The Physics Education Research Laboratory


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Group Members - MacKenzie R. Stetzer

MacKenzie Stetzer, PhD
Assistant Professor of Physics

105 Bennett Hall
Orono, ME 04469

Office Phone: (207) 581-1033
Email: mackenzie.stetzer<at>maine.edu

Mac graduated in 1993 from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics. He earned his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After working at the University of Washington as a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Research Assistant Professor in Physics Education Research for almost 10 years, Mac joined the Physics Education Research Laboratory in Fall 2011.

Since 2001, Mac has been deeply involved in developing research-based and research-validated instructional materials for undergraduates and K-12 teachers. His current research interests include TA and K-12 teacher ability to assess student understanding, the professional development of TAs and future physics faculty, as well as student understanding of topics such as electric circuits and mechanical waves.

Over the past few years, a primary focus of Mac’s work has been an in-depth investigation of student understanding of analog electronics, primarily in the context of upper-division laboratory courses on the topic. In addition to identifying specific conceptual difficulties and examining the impact of such courses on student learning, he is leading the collaborative development of research-based instructional materials for use in these upper-division courses.


Recent Publications

M. R. Stetzer, P. van Kampen, P. S. Shaffer, and L. C. McDermott, “New insights into student understanding of complete circuits and the conservation of current,” to appear in Am. J. Phys.

M. Kryjevskaia, M. R. Stetzer, and P. R. L. Heron, “Student understanding of wave behavior at a boundary: The relationships among wavelength, propagation speed, and frequency,” Am. J. Phys. 80, 339 (2012).

M. Kryjevskaia, M. R. Stetzer, and P. R. L. Heron, “Student understanding of wave behavior at a boundary: The limiting case of reflection at fixed and free ends,” Am. J. Phys. 79, 508 (2011).

L. C. McDermott, P. R. L. Heron, P. S. Shaffer, and M. R. Stetzer, “Improving the preparation of K-12 teachers through physics education research,” Am. J. Phys. 74, 763 (2006).

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The Physics Education Research Laboratory
Phone: (207) 581-1237 and (207) 581-1030E-mail: wittmann@umit.maine.edu and john.thompson@umit.maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1865