Jen Meyer, 2014-2015 Gene Fuchs Award

The 2014-2015 Gene Fuchs Excellence in Physics Teaching is awarded to Jen Meyer.  This award was established in 1995 in honor of its namesake.  The award is given to a teacher who embodies the characteristics that defined Gene: an excellent classroom Physics teacher who also contributes to the professional development of other teachers.  Jen Meyer is just such a teacher.  One thing that says a lot about Jen is her willingness to volunteer and take on large projects, whether its hosting and coordinating a SLAPT Saturday workshop or event, volunteering to be the SLAPT president or working on the Six Flags Physics Day committee so that thousands of students can attend physics day at Six Flags.  Jen is a past president of the Association and has volunteered, again, to be the president for the 2016-2017 school year.  She takes on these additional responsibilities while still managing to be an assistant girls cross country coach and the head girls swimming coach.  With all of these extracurricular activities it is easy to forget that Jen is also a fantastic teacher.  She teaches with the passion of a new teacher while having the wisdom of one who has been teaching a lifetime.  Jen knows how to push students so they learn how to think scientifically while still showing them that she cares about them as a person.  Her passion for life is contagious amongst her fellow teachers and the students she teaches.  Simply put, Jen makes those around her better.   SLAPT is honored to bestow this award on Jen, and look forward to her continued involvement with the St. Louis Area Physics Teachers.  Thank you Jen!    

About the Award and Gene Fuchs

In the spring of 1995, the St. Louis Area Physics Teachers established the Gene Fuchs Excellence in Physics Teaching Award. This annual award for excellence in physics teaching not only honors the recipient, but serves as a memorial to our friend and fellow physics teacher, Gene Fuchs, who was terminally ill at the time. Paul Hewitt, of Conceptual Physics fame, designed the graphic which appears on the award plaque. Gene Fuchs was the first recipient of the award in 1995. Since then we have honored Fred Zurheide, 1996; Bill McConnell, 1997; Valerie Michael, 1998; Rex Rice, 1999; Larry Stacey, 2000; Debbie Rice, 2001; Bill Brinkhorst, 2005-2006; Gene Allard, 2006-2007; Dave Bross, 2007-2008; and Frank Cange, 2008-2009. As Valerie Michael said in 1998 when she received the award, “This award means a lot because it comes from you, the members of the Saint Louis Area Physics Teachers.”

To nominate someone for the Gene Fuchs award, send a note to Jim Cibulka,,  and Elegan Kramer, with the name of your nominee and a brief description of the nominee's excellence in physics teaching. 

Past Recipients:

Gene Fuchs, 1995
Fred Zurheide, 1996
Bill McConnell, 1997
Valerie Michael, 1998
Rex Rice, 1999
Larry Stacey, 2000
Debbie Rice, 2001
Bill Brinkhorst, 2005-2006
Gene Allard, 2006-2007
Dave Bross, 2007-2008
Frank Cange, 2008-2009
Mark Schober, 2009-2010

Mark Schober, 2009-2010 Gene Fuchs Award

Mark Schober Leading an electrostatic demonstration.




Bill Brinkhorst, 2005-2006 Gene Fuchs Award

Bill Brinkhorst is this year's recipient of the St. Louis Area Physics Teachers' highest honor, the Gene Fuchs award. The award is presented in recognition of Bill's excellence in physics teaching and his years of leadership and service to improving physics education throughout St. Louis. In addition to being a founder and past president of the St. Louis Area Physics Teachers, he was a member of the Amusement Park Physics Committee that developed the original materials for use at Six Flags Physics Day. Bill continues to provide essential leadership that makes Six Flags Physics Day a valuable educational experience for thousands of student participants. Bill has led numerous physics teacher workshops locally and nationally as a trained member of the American Association of Physics Teacher's Physics Teaching Resource Agents, as well as presenting innumerable workshops of his own design. His dedication to physics teaching for over 40 years has had a profound impact on both students and teachers. Bill exemplifies the professional teacher whose brilliance in the classroom is inseparable from the professional development he facilitates in the larger physics education community. His thoughtful exchange of ideas with both students and teachers draws out the potential in all of us, making Bill a true master teacher.


Gene Allard, 2006-2007 Gene Fuchs Award

Gene Allard retired in 2007 after 39 years of physics teaching.   He began his career in Pueblo, Colorado at Roncalli High School in 1968.   He moved to St. Louis and taught at St. Mary's High School from 1970-1977 where Gene Fuchs was his colleague.   From 1977- 1986 Gene taught Physics at Assumption High School in East St. Louis.   He taught at Vianney High School from 1986 until he retired last year.   Gene was one of SLAPT's   earliest regular members and he has played an important role in keeping the organization strong.   He hosted meetings regularly and served as the President of SLAPT for three years.   Gene was on the Awards Committee when SLAPT honored its first awardee, his long time friend, Gene Fuchs.   

David Bross, 2007-2008 Gene Fuchs Award

David Bross began his physics teaching career at Windsor High School in 1975.   He started teaching physics at Parkway West high School in 1976 and retired from Parkway in 2006.   During his last ten years at Parkway Dave served as Assistant Principal.   This year Dave will be taking over for Gene Allard at Vianney High School teaching physics.   Dave was one of the earliest regular members of SLAPT and he was the first Treasurer. Dave kept the membership list up to date in the early days the old fashioned way by calling dozens of schools to find out who was teaching physics.   Dave also served in the presidential chain of the Missouri Section of AAPT.   During his tenure, SLAPT had its only joint meeting with the Missouri Section at Parkway West High School.   Dave also served as the Missouri Section Representative to AAPT.   Dave was on the Awards Committee when SLAPT honored its first awardee, Gene Fuchs.  


Frank Cange Receives 2008-2009 Gene Fuchs Award

Frank Cange has taught for 29 years, including 22 years teaching high school AP physics and chemistry and 17 years teaching chemistry and physics at Southwest Illinois College . He has a Master’s in Education in both physics and chemistry. Frank is a founding member of the St. Louis Area Physics Teachers, and has served as SLAPT's president twice.  Frank was the driving force in starting and maintaining the SLAPT High School Physics Contest, and has coached individuals and teams to awards in the contest.  Frank has been published twice in The Physics Teacher: "Individualized project physics in a modular schedule" in 1985 and a 1997 article on the success of the High School Physics Contest . He was part of the Amusement Park Physics Committee of SLAPT in 1991 that developed the original Six Flags Physics Day workbook.  Frank is generous with his time and expertise; he loves to share what he knows with others as a peer mentor as well as a host and leader of numerous SLAPT workshops.  Frank's exemplary teaching and service to the physics teaching community has deservedly earned him the recognition bearing the name of his friend, Gene Fuchs.

St. Louis Area Physics Teachers