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Secretary Chu Recalls Garden City High School Physics Teacher

September 30, 2010 - 12:00am

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As part of President Obama's new initiative to recruit teachers, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is featured in a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video recalling how his high school physics teacher inspired him to pursue a career in science.

In the PSA, Secretary Chu shares how his teacher, Mr. Thomas Miner, changed his approach to learning, "He wasn't trying to teach us facts. He was actually trying to teach us a learning process. Learning whether you understand something or not was probably the most important thing I began to learn in his class. That lesson I took with me, not only through college and graduate school, but for my entire career as a physicist." 

The video is featured on Teach.gov,  the website for the Obama Administration's national teacher recruitment campaign to increase the number, quality and diversity of people seeking to become teachers, particularly in rural and urban schools and in subject areas in greatest demand, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). President Obama also announced this week a new goal of recruiting 10,000 STEM teachers over the next two years - an important step towards fulfilling the Administration's goal of preparing 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade.

Secretary Chu's physics teacher, Thomas Miner taught at Garden City High School in Garden City, NY from 1932 to 1966. He later served as Assistant Professor of Physics at Yeshiva University and as Associate Editor of The Physics Teacher. In 1980, he received the Robert A. Millikan Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers for his contributions to the teaching of physics.

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