18 high school teachers gain valuable experience at Rickey Institute

Marietta College officials were pleased to have another outstanding group of high school teachers for the fourth annual Rickey Summer Science Institute’s five-day workshop.

The Physics Department at Marietta College conducted the highly successful workshop that focused on using video analysis in physics teaching. The Rickey Institute had 18 participants and wrapped on July 1.

Dr. Stanley Radford, Chair of MC’s Physics Department, said one of the overall goals of the program is to help improve the quality of physics education in the United States.

“We are pleased to have returning participants from last year’s Institute as well as participants from a wider geographical area,” Radford said. “Our ability to reach beyond the local schools is an indication of the growing success of the Institute and our program.”

Dr. Radford, Dr. Dennis Kuhl, and Dr. Craig Howald conducted the Institute by using a hands-on approach in the laboratory. The integrated hardware, software and curriculum are based on research in student learning of physics concepts.

The five days of intensive learning, which began on June 27, was conducted in the state-of-the-art Rickey Science Center.

In addition to the expected benefit of increased teaching effectiveness, participants in the Institute were given hardware and software to take back to their respective schools and were provided with room and board for the week.

This year’s participants were: Tom Burton, Conotton Valley High School; Larry Chadwell, Warren High School; Russell Couch, Blackhawk (Pa.) High School; Marvin Feldner, Shenandoah High School; Doug Forrest, Pickerington High School; Robert Fowles, New Philadelphia High School; Catherine Goddard, Reynoldsburg High School; Kate Grumbach, Teays Valley High School; John L. Hank, Walnut Ridge High School; James Hanlon, Beaver Area (Pa.) High School; Kevin Hoskins, Gateway (Pa.) High School; Calvin Huck, Fort Frye High School; James Lear, Oakland Catholic (Pa.) High School; Mark Lemasters, Magnolia (W.Va.) High School; Shane Ricker, Claymont High School; Martha Roderick, Gallia Academy High School; Edward Senor, Gateway (Pa.) High School; Jason Zaros, Waterford High School.

Start-up funding for the project came through a designated endowment from the $10 million gift from alumnus David M. Rickey ’78 and Jan Nielsen, through the J&D Family Foundation. Over the past four years, the Rickey gift has revitalized the Physics Department at the College, with new programs, new faculty, and a state-of-the-art labs and equipment, much of it located in the College’s new Rickey Science Center, which opened in the spring of 2004. Additional funding was provided by a $10,000 grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation of Cleveland.

The MC physics department plans to conduct the Rickey Summer Science Institute annually. Beyond the benefits to physics education, the Rickey Summer Science Institute may bring another sort of benefit to Marietta College, Radford said.

“By establishing working relationships with these dedicated physics teachers, we hope that over the years they will encourage their students to attend Marietta College.