Friday, June 2, 2017

Windham High School physics teacher Wayne Rathbun inducted into University of Maine Francis Crowe Society by Elizabeth Richards

Rathbun on the right accepting his award
Wayne Rathbun, who teaches physics at Windham High School (WHS), was recently recognized for the impact he has made on students, inspiring them to pursue studies in engineering. On Tuesday, May 23, University of Maine College of Engineering Dean, Dana Humphrey was at Windham High School to induct Rathbun into the University’s Francis Crowe Society.

According to the University of Maine College of Engineering website, one purpose of the Francis Crowe Society is to recognize individuals who have made considerable engineering contributions and honored the profession. The society’s namesake, Francis Crowe, was the chief engineer of the Hoover Dam. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1905 with a degree in civil engineering. 

According to a university press release, selection for this recognition is made through a survey of first-year engineering students. Students are asked to name one person who has impacted their schooling and their decision to study engineering in a significant way. The two most often mentioned names are selected for induction into the society.
Rathbun has been teaching for 19 years, and teaching physics at WHS for the past nine years.  Rathbun earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Gordon College and a Masters in Arts and Teaching degree from the University of New Hampshire. At WHS, Rathbun has taught astronomy and all levels of physics.   
WHS principal Christopher Howell said he is not surprised that Rathbun was recognized. “Mr. Rathbun is a talented teacher who knows how to take the theoretical and make it practical for students.  His classes provide multiple opportunities for students to interact with materials in a way that is relevant to them,” Howell said. 

The curriculum Rathbun has developed, allows students to fully explore the important concepts of physics in a deep and meaningful way, according to Howell. “His classes are filled with multiple real world examples of practical applications of how concepts are applied. The ability to apply physics to real world examples is also reinforced through Wayne’s personal experiences of applying ‘Yankee ingenuity’ to solve problems.” said that through Rathbun’s classes, students are exposed to many different vocational opportunities that fall under the engineering umbrella. “Through the high level of interest that he generates, I am not surprised that students want to pursue a major in this area,” Howell said.  We are fortunate to have him as a teacher at Windham High School.”

Rathbun said he is honored to receive the award, and is thrilled that it was based on input from former students.  “I have been fortunate to work with such high-quality students and to have the support of the RSU 14 School District, administrators and other science faculty,” he said.

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