Paul Hickman Obituary

Paul Hickman 1942-2023

Paul was born in Flushing, New York on May 29, 1942, to Herman Charles Hickman and Eleanor (Smigelski) Hickman and grew up in Glendale, New York. He graduated in 1959 from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, in 1963 from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics, and in 1978 from Long Island University with a Master of Science degree in Physics and Education.

Paul began his career in engineering, working on the construction of NASA’s lunar module at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation on Long Island. He was proud to say that his name is somewhere on the surface of the moon! But Paul soon realized that teaching was his true calling. Paul taught physics and earth science at Cold Spring Harbor High School on Long Island and taught physics at Belmont High School in Belmont, MA before becoming Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Science and Math Education at Northeastern University.

In 1985, Paul was selected by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) to become a Physics Teaching Resource Agent (PTRA). Over the next two decades he developed science curriculum and lead teacher training workshops, spending many summers working with teachers at San Diego State University and Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. From Hayes, KS to Anchorage, AK, Paul traveled the country each summer running workshops for teachers. His work earned him several awards including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the Tandy Technology Scholars Award, the MAST Science Educator of the Year, the American Association of Physics Teachers Award for Excellence in Pre-College Teaching, and many others. He served on numerous national boards and committees, reviewed grants for the National Science Foundation, developed national standards in physics education and gave talks and conducted workshops around the world. Read full obituary.