Sunday, November 25, 2018

Teacher Feature: Mr. Baumann

Mr. Baumann teaches 8th grade Earth Science.  He came to North Phoenix Prep from one of our sister academies, Veritas Prep, where he taught high school mathematics.  Mr. Baumann graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Biochemistry. 

Our students prepared a few questions for Mr. Baumann:

How did you become interested in your subject?
My middle school science teacher was very passionate about science. He taught my 6th-grade earth science, 7th-grade life science, and 8th-grade physical sciences classes, and he did a phenomenal job. A couple of my favorite memories from those years are looking at sunspots using a telescope and my 8th-grade frog dissection project. At Arcadia High School, I had the best biology teacher (no offense to Ms. Humphrey) for honors and AP biology. At ASU, I started as a biology major, but discovered my deep interest in organic chemistry and biochemistry, and switched majors to finish my bachelor of science in biochemistry. FYI, if anyone tells you that organic chemistry is simply memorizing dozens of chemical reactions, s/he does not understand organic chemistry.

How do you best connect with students?
Playing games or sports with students is always fun. The middle school boys at NPX also think I'm a decent football referee. I will gladly dominate any NPX student in a game of table tennis (challengers are welcome). I also enjoy sharing my dry sense of humor in the classroom and hearing about the hobbies my students have, which allows me to get a clearer picture of who they are as individuals.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history or literature, who would it be?
I have to pick two answers for this question. History: Jesus of Nazareth; this choice is easy for me because of his profound influence on the last two thousand years of history and in my own life. Also, in the gospels he frequently dines with all kinds of people. It would be very enlightening to have that experience myself. Literature: Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings; this choice is very easy for me. Whether he's Grey or White, he's the wisest wizard ever to grace the pages of literature. AND he fought and killed the Balrog of Morgoth. Enough said.