Congratulations to Steve Powell!
Steve retired after 37 years of teaching physical sciences at Mark Morris High School in Longview.
Steve mainly taught elective physics and freshman physical science, but occasionally also math and astronomy. For much of the most recent school year, teaching was done via Zoom, but eventually switched to a hybrid model with some students in class and some on Zoom.
What was Steve's highest award?
The senior class last year voted him the "most dedicated educator." That meant a great deal to to Steve.
Friends of Galileo
Steve has been a member of Friends of Galileo since the club started in 1995. He is our Treasurer (and past President and VP) and for years has arranged our meeting space at Mark Morris High School.
FoG gave a "Human Sundial" to Lower Columbia College in 2005. Steve was instrumental in its design (and describes it here https://www.friendsofgalileo.com/blog/the-human-sundial).
Club members first tried purchasing plans that were supposed to be accurate for Longview's coordinates. They tested the plans.
"In June of 2005 we used chalk to mark out part of the sundial on my asphalt basketball court. It failed miserably! So I decided to do some online research on the mathematics for such a sundial. Then I created a spreadsheet that calculated the positions of the various parts of the sundial... When we were finally finished, we were delighted and relieved to see that the sundial was accurate to within a minute of the correct time. Not too shabby!"
More recently, Steve was the the guest speaker for the FoG meeting in April.
He spoke about the tidal forces of the sun and moon on the earth - and the tidal forces affecting galaxies and black holes. He started with basic descriptions of vectors and acceleration, and brought us along to fascinating descriptions of the largest structures in the universe.
Steve says the reality of retirement hasn't really hit yet because he's taken off 37 summers already, but this fall it will sink in when he doesn't have to go back to school.
He's looking forward to traveling, reading, and home improvement projects.
Good luck in retirement, Steve!
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Friends of Galileo
We are astronomy enthusiasts who love to learn and to share our wonder at the amazing sights right overhead.