May 2019: Kenric Davies
Liberty High School, Frisco, TX
- Member since 2010
- High School Teacher
- Frisco, TX
When I was in 8th grade, I took a class called IPC (Integrated Physics and Chemistry) where I had a great teacher named Mrs. Rogers. The physics that I learned in this class left me wanting more and so I took as much as I could through high school and college. While attending Texas A&M University seeking my Bachelor’s degree in Physics, I decided to join the aggieTEACH program to get my teacher certification as a backup plan in case I couldn’t find work. In retrospect, this was a terrible reason to get into teaching but I fell in love with it as soon as I started my classroom observations. I had been given the opportunity to pass along my love and passion for physics to students who were the same age I was when I fell in love with it. My secondary plan became my primary plan and I haven’t looked back in the 9 years I have been teaching. I currently teach AP Physics 1 and Astronomy but have taught all levels of Physics at some point in my career.
I joined AAPT when I first became a teacher in 2010 probably because professors in my teaching program advocated we join our national content organizations to stay current on teaching and the scientific field. I remember flipping through The Physics Teacher and American Journal of Physics looking for new things to do in my classroom to help engage students. These publications inspired me to never stop trying new things in the classroom and soon I began crafting my own new and innovated lab investigations or teaching techniques. After a couple of years, I decided to participate in the discussion of physics education by presenting at my state science teachers’ conference called CAST (Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching). AAPT national and the local Texas Section of AAPT had booths at the conference. It was there I became aware of the Physics Teaching Resource Agents (PTRA) program. Through PTRA and my increased involvement in TSAAPT, I have been able to attend and present at national AAPT conferences, local TSAAPT section meetings, state conferences, and for school districts around Texas. I feel like this has been the biggest way that AAPT has shaped my career; this organization has given me opportunities to get involved with physics teachers around the country.
In the past few years, I have served on the Committee on Physics in High Schools and am about to start a position on the PTRA Oversight Committee. I have also been elected to serve as the High School representative to the TSAAPT Executive Council where my responsibilities include coordinating the section’s presence at CAST, the place I first learned about the various ways I could help the larger community of physics educators. I also obtained my Master’s degree in Science Education and began teaching college courses at Collin College and Texas A&M University - Commerce related to physics/astronomy or K-8 teacher preparation on top of my high school teaching.
I believe that AAPT and all of its members are one of the most unique communities in all of science. We are fiercely committed to helping our students learn using the best research based methods. We want to instill a love of learning and a curiosity for how the world works and that is my favorite part of teaching physics. For many years, I have made it my mission to make sure that students get a functional level of understanding about how things that affect their daily lives work including seat belts, light bulbs, electric/gasoline motors, telescopes or eye glasses. I even teach them how the data logging tools (like motion detectors) we use in the lab work so that it is not a mystery how we are obtaining data. Not all of my students are going to go on to be physics majors, although some have, but they all deserve to know how their world works.
I am honored to have been chosen for the AAPT Member spotlight and I look forward to seeing what is next for me on my journey with AAPT.