Dr. Paul Adams, professor of physics and Anschutz Professor of Education, was the featured speaker at the Fort Hays State University Honors Convocation on Oct. 22, where he was awarded as a President's Distinguished Scholar.
In a lively presentation called "Reflections and Refractions of a Science Nomad," Adams told the story of his work in science teaching and student learning. He conducted science demonstrations using items such as a basketball, bottles of water and a fire extinguisher to illustrate key speaking points of his research-based ideas.
Adams is a graduate of Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Science in physics and math. He received his teaching certification and a Master of Science in physics from Washington State University, Pullman, and a Ph.D. in science education from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. He joined the FHSU faculty in 1996 as an instructor of physics and was promoted to the academic rank of professor in 2003. He now holds the endowed position of Anschutz Professor of Education.
Well known for his dedication to science education and his extensive grant writing skills, Adams' efforts over the years have added substantial resources to the accomplishments of FHSU. One of his most successful entrepreneurial achievements is his introduction of the Kansas Academy of Math and Science, or KAMS. KAMS is a premiere early-entry-to-college program that incorporates a unique residential learning experience for exceptional high school juniors and seniors. The Kansas Board of Regents selected FHSU to host the academy in partnership with the Kansas Legislature and other key stakeholders.
Adams serves as the founding director of the FHSU Science and Mathematics Education Institute in the College of Education and Technology. The institute sponsors LEGO robotics competitions, FHSU girls' science and math camps, space week, Earth Day and various teacher workshops. Adams has served on numerous departmental and university committees, and his record in research and faculty institutional leadership provided a solid foundation for his reception of the Faculty Member of the Year Award in 1998 and 2005.
Adams has been a facilitator of two satellite missions and three NASA workshops. He has worked with teachers from the French Space Agency and teachers in Mexico.
During the convocation, President Edward H. Hammond also recognized various students and faculty who had received academic honors.