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Auburn Students Present at State Physics Conference

Auburn Students present at state physics conference

On October 20-21, the Illinois and Chicago sections of the American Association of Physics Teachers held a joint fall meeting at Joliet Central High School. The theme was “Innovations in High School Physics”.

Last year, I created a unit about science communication where students learned about how to present scientific findings to a non-specialist audience. The unit culminated in an improvisation workshop led by Auburn alum and current Rockford University pathway student, Elijah Lowry. I was asked to be one of the keynotes to share this innovation at the meeting.

When the meetings are fairly close to Rockford, I will invite students to join me. Not only did four students (Jeffery Matthew, SarahPearl Anderson, Ekaterina Dmitrieva and Ashley Ferry) attend the meeting, but SarahPearl and Jeffery approached me asking if they could also present at the conference! SarahPearl and Jeffrey created a presentation where they described their experiences taking AP Physics 1 and currently AP Physics C.

In a room filled with predominantly college faculty, they shared how the active learning environment and collaborative experiences created a class that not only was engaging and less daunting than they originally anticipated, but shared that they now cannot help but consider the physics of everyday life as they go about their daily activities. SarahPearl and Jeffery fielded a great deal of questions after their presentation.

Faculty from Augustana, NIU, Loyola and Lewis, to name a few, eagerly spoke with the students to promote their physics programs and scholarship opportunities. The faculty were highly impressed not only with the information from the presentation but also the professionalism and excellent presentation skills from the students.

Marianna Ruggerio


Marianna Ruggerio teaches physics and AP physics at Auburn High School and is an adjunct professor at Rockford University. She is an active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers and a teacher-leader with the University of Illinois Physics and Secondary Schools Partnership Program.

  • Auburn High School
  • Physics