2008 Medal Winners | francais

The 2008 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics

is awarded to

Adam James Sarty

"I am humbled and honoured to receive this Medal, and would like to share the recognition with my 'team': my wife and children, my Department and Dean, and SMU's instructional development office - all have taught me, guided me, and supported me in my physics teaching." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2008 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to Adam James Sarty, St. Mary, in recognition of for inspiring his students to love learning physics, successfully implementing innovative teaching technologies and sharing the beauty of the discipline, through his dedication to physics education. announcement

One of Adam Sarty's driving goals as an educator is to remove the "fear of physics" from people. This desire has manifested itself in two main ways.

First, is his dedication to the pre-med" first-year physics course, making it as engaging and approachable as possible: this is a course taken by non-physicists/non-engineers, and is the road to "de-mystify" physics for the non-specialist university student. As such, all the various approaches he has brought to the course are all means to hat end. As part of this effort, Adam was instrumental in the preparation of a "Physics Demonstration Website" (www.ap.smu.ca/demos). Teachers can use the on-line videos to demonstrate key principles to students or as a resource for new physics demonstration ideas - should the teacher have the time and equipment on hand.

Second, is his dedication to community outreach, particularly engaging school-aged children in the region; this is demonstrated in all of his school shows, his current involvement with the Discovery Center, and special events on campus. Furthermore, Adam takes his love and passion for physics to the parks and streets where people live. He has run "Adam Sarty Physics Shows" in his own driveway, at neighbourhood barbeques, and they have been a popular auction prize at various university fund raisers. His goal is to excite children (and their parents) about physics and how it impacts their everyday lives.

The demonstrations do not have to be complicated to do this - they have to be relevant. In fact, simplicity is often the key to success. The goals here are not just to engage people in a future study of physics, but to raise their awareness that physics matters and that it is not something mysterious beyond the publics' reach. nominator citation

Adam James Sarty will receive the 2008 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at on 0000-00-00.

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