“Inspiring the next generation” offers a profile of Ghada Nehmeh, a physics teacher who has brought about innovative changes at the Bronx High School of Science in New York. By creating an interactive environment in her classroom, Nehmeh has significantly boosted the number of female students taking Advanced Placement (AP) physics.
This is the second film in our Faces of Physics series – a collection of short films about the lives of people working in physics, exploring their motivations and the impact of their work.
Produced by New York filmmaker Lucina Melesio, “Inspiring the next generation” explores Nehmeh’s teaching philosophy. Nehmeh is currently studying for a PhD in science education at Stony Brook University and places a strong emphasis on group work and learning through self-exploration. We visit the teacher in her classroom at Bronx Science, a school that has produced a whopping seven Nobel-prize-winning physicists despite being in a area of New York that has faced many social and economic challenges over the years.
The film also explores Nehmeh’s life outside of the classroom, as we visit her home and meet her family. After moving to the US to undertake research at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Nehmeh switched to physics education in search of a better work–life balance. She also talks about her Islamic beliefs and how she is affected by the growing religious tensions within the US.
We will be publishing more films in the Faces of Physics series throughout 2016. By telling personal stories, we hope to show that physics is an ordinary activity that can lead to an extraordinary array of careers. To find out more about the social side of physics, take a look at the March 2016 issue of Physics World, a special edition about diversity issues in physics. Find out how to access that issue here.