District: Salem-Keizer School District 24JGrades: 9-121776 Titan WaySalem, OR 97304
Michael Lampert is an award winning physics teacher from Salem, Oregon. He began his career intending to do research in atomic physics, but after finishing his graduate research he made a difficult decision to go into high school teaching. It was a decision that initially was very painful, even to the point of tears, and it was not until a student stopped him in the hallway and asked him why he did not smile that it dawned on him to look at teaching and life in a completely different way.
He began writing grants to secure funding for renovating his classroom and initiating new lesson ideas. His students changed their daily routine and began learning science in an exciting, hands-on environment. They investigated the physics of airbags by blowing them up in his classroom; they built solar powered LEGO cards to analyze green energy production; they videotaped themselves doing sports while using computers to study the physics behind their motion. Enrollment in Physics zoomed and soon his students began winning local and national science competitions. Among their many first place medals, students developed the concept of “Smart Paint” with embedded RFID chips, and they even invented a watermelon ripeness tester! Lampert currently teaches at West Salem High School.
Learning to smile and survive the initial 50% dropout rate for new teachers propelled Lampert into one of the most heartwarming and fulfilling life careers a person can possibly have. Not only has he had the privilege of being part of the lives of over three thousand unique and wonderful children but he has been able to continue his zeal for research as a teacher. He has traveled to the frigid shores of Antarctica to launch ozone balloons and to the dusty islands of Africa to build an infrasound detector. Lampert treasures his time spent as Oregon’s “Teacher of the Year”, and his eclectic classroom where, mixed in between all the gizmo’s and gadgets, his student’s pictures adorn the walls, including his own three children, all of which he taught. As a Society for Science & the Public Fellow, Lampert has continued to provide exciting opportunities for his students, including a collaboration with the Student Spaceflights Experiments Program.
Read about Michael Lampert on the SSP blog.
Sign-up for the free SSP newsletter today.
Subscribe to the magazine of Society for Science & the Public.
1719 N Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036202.785.2255© 2012 Copyright
CONNECT WITH SSP