Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Conceptual Physical Science Explorations

How I Met Paul Hewitt
I attended my first Northern California and Nevada Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers meeting in the autumn of 1986 at American River College in Sacramento. Among the instructors doing Show & Tell that morning was Conceptual Physics author, Paul Hewitt.

There aren't many celebrities in the world of physics teachers, but Paul Hewitt was one. His Conceptual Physics textbook had been growing in popularity at colleges since 1971, and the then-new Conceptual Physics: A High School Program was in the process of shaking up the high school physics textbook market.

But there was Hewitt, just another person in the queue to present a demonstration to the NorCal family of physics instructors. I did my best to play it cool.

In 1989, the AAPT's Summer Meeting was in San Luis Obispo. This was my first national meeting. One day at lunch, I found myself across the table from Hewitt and we chatted it up, but I gave him no reason to remember me.