About The Staff

I am a science (physics) and technology teacher devoted to integrating the design and fabrication process with the scientific method of observation and experimentation. Along with my amazing colleague Bob, we created the Academy of Physics and Technology. It has been our goal to promote the learning of science through project based investigations incorporating engineering methods and knowledge.

A number of years ago, I happened to learn about Modeling Instruction in Physics and was immediately impressed by the approach developed by David Hestenes and the work of what was then the nascent American Modeling Teachers Association. Since then, I have been inspired by the work and writings of many modeling teachers and have chosen to follow in their footsteps. In the last few years, my instruction has taken a huge leap forward and with it my students’ conceptual understanding of the physical universe.

I am also very interested in how computer science can play a more engaging role in the teaching of science. I am exploring ways to incorporate coding into the learning of science, specifically through creating computer simulations of the physical (as well as chemical and biological) world.

Steve Temple (stemple@srcs.org)

Sabrina Paiz (spaiz@srcs.org)

Hello! I am a physics teacher at San Rafael High School and I teach the Mechanical Engineering (year one, physics course) in the academy. I have both my physics and biology credential and am dedicated to the expansion of the engineering program past the world of physics.

I was invited into this wonderful program by Mr. Steve Temple and am constantly impressed by the curriculum the academy staff continues to develop. We focus on hands-on, modeling instruction to best explain physical phenomena and then take it to the next level by introducing the students to coding, as they build online simulations to represent such physical events. This type of teaching is a relief from the traditional science textbooks and had proven itself time and time again as we test and assess our students.

I am devoted to the idea of inclusion when it comes to the engineering academy, noting that the number of LGBTQ+, minority, and female students is increasingly lacking in the physical science field and I wish to build a program which sufficiently represents the community we live in.

Kevin McSorley (kmcsorley@srcs.org)

Bob Holt (rholt@srcs.org)

People who have known me for a half century or more will tell you that I have always been a teacher.  Truth is I’ve only done “professional” teaching for thirty or so years.  In the late 80’s I was tasked with creating, managing and delivering a sales management and tool use training department for a national chain of retail tool stores with 748 locations.  I enjoyed the decade long challenge but found the traveling kept me away from my family more that I cared for, so I joined the faculty of the Academy of Art’s Product and Industrial Design Department in San Francisco.  This kept me engaged for another near decade but I longed to reach out to younger students.  I went back to school and earned my teaching credentials at Berkeley and became a member of the teaching staff of San Rafael High in 2002.

With a background in machine design my interest in all things mechanical and the tools used to create them goes back even further.  In a sense I have been training my entire life for the position I hold now.  My skill set coupled with the awesome Mr. Temple has resulted in a very unique venue where students can explore and engage the world with a broad lens and a Newtonian perspective.

Solidly rooted in project based learning principals our program allows students develop and employ their critical thinking skills to build an increasingly complex series of projects throughout the two or three years they spend with us.  The Academy of Physics and Technology is the capstone project of my life and I am humbled to be partnered with Mr. Temple to provide this opportunity to your families.

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