People

Mike Hancock, A'10

Mike Hancock

"Problem solving skills I learned throughout my degree serve [me] well." (Mike Hancock)

Current occupation:
High school science teacher at Pioneer Charter School of Science in Everett, Mass. I am currently teaching two sections of junior physics, two sections of engineering to seniors, and a section of astronomy. My job is to teach students a small part of how the world works, and inspire them to want to learn more.

How do you use your physics degree and/or knowledge in your line of work?
I use my physics background daily in the creation and execution of my lessons. I am preparing my students for college level science classes so I am teaching the scientific mindset alongside content. Problem solving skills I learned throughout my degree serve as well in figuring out how best to differentiate instruction to different of learners as they do for figuring out why the infrared spectrometer won't work.

Did the Tufts physics department prepare you for your current career path?
I feel that the Tufts Physics department absolutely prepared me for my career. My physics background and the problem solving skills that come with it are valuable in every aspect of my job. From the more obvious planning and execution of physics lessons, to working with my colleagues to improve and develop our school, what I learned is always useful.

What is your favorite memory of your time in the Tufts physics department?
My favorite Tufts physics memories are of the study group that I struggled through quantum mechanics and E&M problem sets with. The students and professors of physics were extremely willing to help one another, creating an atmosphere of collaboration rather than competition. My favorite classes were Relativity and Cosmology with Professor Ford, and Quantum Mechanics with Professor Tobin. Both courses took common sense and stood it on its head. Both made for very interesting physics.