|Fermilab Education Office|
|PO Box 500, MS 226|
|Batavia, IL 60510-0500|
630-840-4035 (Fax) 630-840-8248
Tom Jordan is the project director of QuarkNet, a professional development initiative involving teachers from across the United States. High school physics teachers will perform research at Fermilab during the summer months. These teachers will return to their home schools during the following academic year and use web delivered particle physics data that guide their students in constructivist activities that investigate introductory physics phenomena. These teachers will also work with particle physicists from institutions near their home schools to build a local cadre of physics teachers that meet frequently to reflect upon and discuss their teaching practices. Additional teachers will be invited to Fermilab in subsequent summers, building a national network of physics teachers that help their students learn physics via the reduction of particle physics data. The project is supported by the National Science Foundation, The US Department of Energy and Fermilab itself.
Tom taught science for 12 years before coming to Fermilab. He has worked with learners as young as kindergarten age and even drove the school bus after science classes at one school! Most of Tom's experience has been at the high school level teaching astronomy and physics. His students in Tampa converted a 5-meter satellite dish to a radio telescope and began observing celestial objects that produced significant signals in the radio spectrum. Tom's students at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy performed web searches for primary source scientific data. These data were then reduced by the students to learn about topics such as the large-scale structure of the universe. Quantum tunneling, and the strong nuclear force.
Tom studied physics at the University of Florida and went on to the University of South Florida to receive his training in education. After teaching for four years, Tom received a NSF fellowship to attend graduate school at the University of Arizona. Tom's thesis and subsequent research has been the photometric study of interacting binary star systems.
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