2020 PhysTEC Conference Plenary Speakers
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Zachary Armstrong, University of Northern Colorado
Physics makes life more interesting. Zach is in his thirteenth year of teaching, and twelfth at Greeley West High School, a public high school of about 1600 students in Greeley, CO. As a physics teacher, and just about every other science too, Zach strives to allow all of his students to experience the wonders of science. Additionally, he teaches an undergraduate physics lab at night and graduate level science education courses on-line for the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). He earned his BS in Physics in 2007 and a Masters in K-12 science education in 2012 both from UNC.
Matthew Blackman, Rutgers University
Matthew Blackman is a high school AP Physics 1 and 2 teacher, graduate instructor for the Physics Education master's degree program at Rutgers University, and the designer/developer of Universe and More educational physics games. Matthew's student results have earned him national and statewide recognition. His apps and games have received millions of plays over the past five years, and he was named PhysTEC Teacher of the Year in 2019 for his achievements in and out of the classroom. He uses a constructivist approach in his classroom, drawing mainly from the work of ISLE and Modeling curricula.
Cherie first gained a love and appreciation for Physics Education as an undergraduate intern working for the Little Shop of Physics program at Colorado State University. After graduating from college she taught high school Physics for 10 years. For the past 4 years she's been a Teacher In Residence with the Teach@Mines teacher preparation program, where she gets to organize and lead workshops for future and practicing Physics teachers. Cherie also serves as a Lead Teacher of the CSU QuarkNet Center and still enjoys volunteering with Little Shop of Physics program.
Stephan Graham, born and raised in Mexico, believes that everyone should have equal access to high-quality education in this country. Stephan just completed teaching twenty one years inside the Cristo-Rey Network, a nexus of high schools that provide under-resourced and high-risk students a college-prep curriculum combined with a corporate-work environment. As a chemistry and physics teacher, Stephan looks to make science text come to life with inquiry-based, hands-on instruction, with special emphasis on computer simulations and cross-curricular approaches. Stephan currently teaches an early field experience education course at Colorado School of Mines for students interested in being STEM teachers!
Brian A. Pyper, BYU-Idaho
Brian A Pyper is a Distinguished Professor of Physics and the Director of Physics Education at BYU-Idaho. He holds a BS in Physics from BYU, an MS in Physics from the University of Utah, and a PhD in Physics and Physics Education from Utah State University. He's active and engaged in civic and community service, and enjoys music, scouting, reading, golfing, personal fitness and combat self-defense. He and his wife Heidi have been married for 27 years and have four children.
Shannon Wachowski is currently an Academic Outreach Coordinator in the School of Teacher Education at the University of Wyoming. In her 14-year career as an educator, Shannon has taught a variety of science and math classes in rural high school settings as well as facilitated professional development for teachers through her work with The POGIL Project and PEER Physics. Originally a chemical engineer, Shannon left industry to pursue a career of life-long learning and helping others learn. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys climbing, skiing, pottery, quilting, and spending time with her dog, Shasta and husband, Neil.