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Adam Quaal

Adam Quaal

2016 Fellow
John W. North High School
Riverside, California

Teaching Discipline

Physics

Why Physics

“Physics undergirds our modern civilization, provides insights into other scientific disciplines, and seeks to answer the fundamental questions about the universe and our place within it. Its importance cannot be understated, yet few students seem to demonstrate an interest in the subject.”

Professional Experience

As an undergraduate student, Adam worked at the Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing at the University of California, Los Angeles. Working with senior researchers, he was exposed to research on evaluation and assessment. This experience piqued his interest in education by allowing him to question the progression of student learning and the limitations of mathematically modeling student understanding. Following graduation, Adam taught Regents Prep Earth Science in the South Bronx through the Teach for America Summer Institute. After completion of the Institute, he taught Pre-AP Conceptual Physics in New Haven, Connecticut for one semester. He returned to southern California to fulfill his desire to positively impact his home community, where he taught college prep physics and AP Physics 1 as a long-term substitute before enrolling in graduate studies.

Volunteer Experience

For three years, Adam served as the Director of Education for CityLab at the University of California, Los Angeles, a student-run organization that brought the wonder and utility of science to underserved Los Angeles Unified School District students. During his tenure, Adam facilitated a GEAR UP grant and designed interdisciplinary lab modules to foster scientific self-efficacy. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the Chancellor’s Service Award and the Vice Provost Prize for Leadership. CityLab spurred his interest in reaching students meaningfully in a field historically inaccessible to most, and taught him the value of peer collaboration.

Hobbies

Adam enjoys exploring coffee shops and independent movie theaters, hiking and vegetarian cooking.

Academic Background

  • California State University, Fullerton (Master of Science in Physics, anticipated completion in 2020)
  • University of California, Riverside (Master of Education in General Teaching)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics)

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Science teachers should empower students to make informed decisions about the critical science-based issues facing both this country and the world at large.

Adam Quaal
2016 Fellow