2011 Medal Winners | francais

The 2011 CAP Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CEGEP Physics (Atlantic)

is awarded to

Ian Fogarty

"There are so many great teachers of physics, I feel quite honored and privileged to be in their company. I stand on the shoulders of giants. The students who come to me are ready to learn and this is a credit to the hard work from all their previous teachers, coaches and families. I get to explore new pedagogies, labs and activities because I have great kids at a great school in a great district." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2011 CAP Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CEGEP Physics (Atlantic) is awarded to Ian Fogarty, Riverview High School (Riverview, NB), in recognition of his novel work in using technology to advance learning in physics. Ian is one of Canada's most innovative high school physics teachers. He is at the forefront of integrating technology and experiential learning. From getting students to employ stop-frame analysis of action movies to figure out whether or not the scenes could actually occur, to racing remote-controlled vehicles to understand acceleration, wind resistance, and centre-of-gravity, Ian Fogarty continually seeks new ways to engage a broader range of students. The CAP is proud to recognize Ian for his outstanding contributions. announcement

Ian Fogarty has been teaching at Chemistry and Physics at Riverview High School for the decade. RHS and NB District #2 has been a wonderfully supportive place to teach, learn and grow.

Ian emphasizes the importance of thinking problems through and applying the sciences to real life situations that now includes technology. “We could cover more material and students would know more formulas. However, I choose depth to develop the capacity of the brain. I could just tell students the answers and they would get them right on the test. But I want to take them on a thought process. I want them to question what I say and struggle with the answers. They need to design a lab, fail, retry and succeed. I want my students to be smarter, not just know more.”

It is common to see Ian’s students video taping a bike skidding outside to measure friction, jumping off the diving board at the pool to measure buoyancy , or racing Remote Controlled Cars to get different kinds of graphs. Field trips often include a visit to the park to discover pendulums, levers, and centripetal motion. Some of his students have decided to become elementary school teachers after they had to teach a grade 5 class about inclined planes on the toboggan hill or friction with tug of war. Ian is most happy when groups of students arrive on a Monday morning upset because while they were out on the weekend, something happened like a sunset, or rainbow, or a stunt on a movie, and they thought of the physics and exclaim, “Fogarty”.

Ian learns and teaches all the time inside and outside of RHS. “I have been extremely fortunate to surround myself with wonderful students and teachers as I work at RHS, School District 2, New Brunswick and around the world”. He is the director of the UNB chapter of the prestigious Shad Valley International program where he gets to work with top students from all over Canada. Ian presents his experience and educational research with colleagues in the city, at international conferences and informal skypes.

“Teaching might possibly be simultaneously the most demanding, crucial and most fun job in the world.“ nominator citation

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