UCCSTeach Alumnus Andrew Simmons Featured on KRDO News Channel 13
(via Vista Ridge High School: "VRHS Physics Teacher Explains Hydrogen, Atomic Bombs")
Jan. 6, 2016
Andrew Simmons, physics teacher, described the difference between nuclear weapon systems Jan. 6 at Vista Ridge High School in District 49. Simmons was interviewed by Greg Miller, a journalist with KRDO News Channel 13, the ABC affiliate for Southern Colorado.
Following reports that North Korea detonated its first test of a hydrogen bomb, Simmons, who recently retired after 22 years in the U.S. Air Force, described how hydrogen bombs differ from the more commonly understood atomic bombs.
"Basically the difference between the two bombs is the way the energy is deployed ... a hydrogen bomb deals with a process like our sun does. It deals with what's called nuclear fusion," he said.
"A normal nuclear bomb that we're all used to thinking about, one that uses maybe uranium or plutonium, that deals with a process called fission."
The first-year physics teacher, who once conducted in-flight fueling missions as a KC-135 Stratotanker commander, instructor and trainer - he ushered nuclear weapons on several occasions - says hydrogen bombs are difficult to develop and detonate, which is why many doubt North Korea's reports.
Simmons graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991 with a degree in bioenvironmental engineering. After retiring, he earned his teaching certificate through the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He was a student teacher at Skyview Middle School.
"When we go through the academy, we get a pretty extensive background in all of the sciences - engineering sciences - and physics was one of them that I had a lot of experience in," said Simmons.
"I utilized a lot of those principles when I was a pilot in the Air Force."
Simmons' interview was scheduled to air at 5 p.m.
Laura Horner Awarded Scholarship
Sept. 1, 2014
Laura Horner, a junior at UCCS, was named a 2014 winner of the STEM Teachers Scholarship from AFCEA, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Chapter. Students actively pursuing an undergraduate degree, graduate degree or credential/licensure for the purpose of teaching STEM subjects at a U.S. middle or secondary school are eligible for the $5,000 scholarship. The scholarships are made possible by generous contributions from Booz Allen Hamilton, Terremark Worldwide, AFCEA International and several of AFCEA's regional chapters.
"We produce some of the best science in the world here, yet we were graduating so few science teachers," says CU-Boulder faculty member Valerie Otero. Innovative CU-Boulder and UCCS programs are demonstrating the value of K-12 teaching careers.
Click here to read the article.
UTeach Highlighted on NBC Nightly News
Building a new generation of math and science teachers: UTeach, a program that recruits math and science majors to be secondary teachers, is now being replicated across the country. NBC’s Rehema Ellis reports.
Click here to watch the video.
UCCSTeach Student Ryan Johnson Wins National Award
UCCSTeach student Ryan Johnson (Chemistry major), won the Research (Student) category at the 2012 UTeach Institute - NMSI Conference in May in Austin, Texas. His poster presentation was titled "Keeping Manitou Springs Weird...Through Lead Poisoning? Analysis of Spring Water Via Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry."
The presentation connected directly to his work with Dr. Weiss and the Incline Friends group. The award was highly competitive as it included students from the 35 other UTeach Institute replication sites from across the nation.