Harrisonburg, Virginia, 1942
- B.S. General Engineering
- United States Military Academy (West Point) 1964
- M.S. Geodetic Science
- Ohio State University, 1972
- M.S. Physics
- University of Virginia, 1983
- M.B.A. Finance
- University of Hartford, 1995
- Ph.D. Educational Psychology
- University of Virginia, 1990
"Here is an initiative with the potential to impact science learners around the world!"
My life has evolved as a series of chapters, each from five to 10 years in length, with many satisfying opportunities for professional growth and service. The chance to be part of SEED is the most recent exciting chapter!
I was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a wonderful place to grow up. From 4th through 8th grade, I lived on a farm right on the Shenandoah River, and pursued a Huckleberry Finn lifestyle during those years. I enjoyed the time I spent on the river, but I also did a lot of tinkering. Science and mathematics were my favorite school subjects.
The education I received at the United States Military Academy was fantastic, especially for science and mathematics. I graduated in 1964 and began the first of 10 years as an engineer officer in the US Army. During that time, I had tours of duty in the US, Korea, Vietnam, and Germany, married my dear wife, Posy, and earned a masters degree in geodetic science from Ohio State University.
I resigned from the service in 1974 with the rank of major to return to my small high school in Virginia as an earth science and mathematics teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to help my students learn about our natural world. In 1978, I was accepted into the graduate physics program at the University of Virginia. When I finished my masters program in 1983, I was offered a full-time physics teaching position at a nearby community college, where I taught for the next five years. In that same year, our son, Kyser, was born.
While at the community college, I began work on my Ph.D. program in educational psychology. I became interested in how student emotions and attitudes affect successful science teaching. I also came into contact with Logo, a new computer language that would change my life forever. When I was introduced to Logo and its accompanying philosophy, I felt as if I had found a treasure, an educational approach that resonated strongly with my own beliefs and values. I eagerly adopted it as the basis for much of my physics teaching.
I realized that the teachers who were going to start using Logo in their classrooms would need support and encouragement. So, I started the National Logo Exchange, a newsletter that featured stories and tips for using Logo in the classroom. The newsletter eventually became a journal published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Because of my newsletter activity, I was invited to serve on the steering committee of a series of Logo conferences held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (which is where I first met Michael Tempel).
As I finished my Ph.D., I received a call from the LEGO company to interview for a newly created curriculum coordinator position. They had just combined LEGO with the Logo computer language to create an exciting robotics system! For the next nine years, I helped to develop LEGO robotics, physical science sets and curriculum material for schools. My son loved my work, and helped me a great deal as he progressed from the first through the eighth grade. It was during this time that I also received the opportunity to pursue an MBA at the University of Hartford.
By the late 1990s, I was squirming to get back to the classroom. When I learned about the science methods position at Murray State University, I jumped at the opportunity. Teaching future elementary science teachers proved to be tremendously satisfying. I also enjoyed the freedom to pursue independent projects at the university, including the establishment of academic relationships with a counterpart university in Japan, and the creation of a system of university student chapters across the country for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). I also set up a summer program of robotics camps based on the LEGO RCX programmable brick, and had the opportunity to write the MicroWorlds Pro user guide for LCSI.
While at one of the NSTA conferences, I had the chance to renew my friendship with Michael Tempel. He had just started work at SEED, and enlisted my assistance in correlating the published activities to the National Science Education Standards. The goals and programs of SEED made a profound impression on me. Here is an initiative with the potential to impact science learners around the world! It wasn’t long before I was working steadily as a part-time editor and activity developer. Starting in the fall of 2005, I was the recipient of a three-year fellowship which made it possible for me to focus on SEED assignments in place of my university teaching. Now I am the SEED Educational Consultant. Talk about a dream job, this is it!
I have also had a variety of athletic opportunities throughout my life. During my military service, I was able to train in a sport called modern pentathlon, a combination of horseback riding over jumps, fencing with the epee, pistol shooting, swimming, and cross country running. Even though I was not a a world class athlete in any of the five separate events, my overall modern pentathlon performance was good enough for me to make the 1968 US Olympic Team! What a thrill it was to compete in Mexico City and to meet some of the world’s finest athletes from countries all over the world!
So you can see that I have had many exciting chapters in my life. However, I feel that all I have done until now has helped me prepare for my current chapter of working with SEED – the best chapter yet!