Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Civil Engineering
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Physics/Math, Juniors and Seniors
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Santa Clara University
Current academic or teaching status:
Student Teaching, SS Credential Program
School and school district:
San Jose Unified, Pioneer High School
My name is Ryan Clark, I am a 22 year old Northern California native with an innate curiosity that continually leads me to enjoy learning more physics. I love to be outdoors and traveling is a true passion of mine. I have studied abroad in Australia at the University of Sydney also having the opportunity to visit New Zealand and Fiji.
Last year as a Senior Civil Engineering major at Santa Clara University I had the opportunity to work on a senior design project that involved a redesign of a water distribution system in Honduras for a village of 725 people while also working on improving the existing water system with a major focus placed on water quality.
Why do you want to teach:
I was always a naturally talented student however, it was not until I was faced with a great teacher that I became passionate about learning. I am forever grateful for the love of learning and general love of problem solving that was instilled in me and I hope to someday be able to achieve the same results with my own students.
Also teaching physics provides for a high degree of educational creativity due to the practical nature of the material that when done properly makes it so enjoyable.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My teacher, Mr. Ikezi, had inspired a love of science and mathematics in me and by trade was a civil engineer who had become a physics teacher. He would often share life stories during class that would provide lessons of their own. The passion and knowledge which he had for the subject along with the ability he had to personally relate to his students is something that I hope to model in my development as a teacher. The countless projects and assignments that he would assign were so interesting. My favorite had to be the infamous pasta bridge assignment. Each group had to make a bridge out of pasta and glue that was required to hold a certain weight. My group initially built a test bridge which weighed approximately 1.3Al pounds. The bridge was able to hold over 170 pounds, and I will always remember how cool it felt being able to physically stand on my bridge comprised of spaghetti filled rigatoni noodles and glue.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce Scholarship has provided me with a great opportunity for which I am truly grateful. The ability to obtain such great mentor ship from faculty at Santa Clara University in conjunction with my Master Teachers during the critical developing stages of my teaching career has proven invaluable.