Something else than engaging with the community

WHO TURNED THE WORLD AROUND was a contest born out of our will to engage with our community and actually learn who was the most influential physicist of all times. While some scientists have been widely recognised worldwide, other genius minds have been under recognized or have even been forgotten in time. That is why we decided to give our physics heros the voice and jurisprudence to decide who should be in the candidate list, who deserves their vote and who needed to be proclaimed the most influential physicist of all time.

Inside the candidate list we found the expected Galileo, Einstein, Marie Curie, Newton, Bohr or Tesla but to our surprise, names like James Maxwell, Marcela Carena, Lisa Randall, Annie Jump Cannon, John Bell or Emmy Noether were brought up by Physics Teachers who found them absolutely worth the recognition. It became such a democratic process who made some of us, discover genius minds that were kept unknown until then.

The contest was officially launched in Denver, Colorado during the International Society of technology Education (ISTE) Conference. We encouraged every physics teacher to vote for their favorite candidate. It became an amazing experience to observe their faces when they scrolled through the candidate list and they got the chance to vote. Many of them even explained to us the reason why they were voting for that candidate.

During the following month, physics teachers continued to vote for their favorite physicist. WHO TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN couldn’t have had a better wrap. In Sacramento, during the AAPT Summer Meeting, surrounded by enthusiastic physics teachers from all over the country we closed the scrutiny.

We got more than 200 physics teachers from the US speaking out loud for their favorite physicist. Who has proven to become the scientist who turned the world upside down? ISAAC NEWTON! The contest runner ups where Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla and Marie Curie. Out of the 200 teachers who cast their vote, we got 3 winners!

The 3rd prize winner was Stephen McNeil from Brigham Young University Idaho, the 2nd prize winner was Michael Ray from CSU Sacramento and the 1st Prize winner was Richard Piccioni from The Bay School of San Francisco!


As mentioned before, the whole idea was to engage with our community by entertaining ourselves while advocating for science. To our surprise, something else happened during that month. We actually gave ourselves the chance to get to know physics teachers better, we asked them something beyond professional, it became a playful way to learn about their personal hero. Teachers mostly voted for someone they admire. Probably, someone who inspired them to become a physics teacher on the first place.

This is just one more way technology may help us connect and feel closer. We admire physics teachers profoundly, and today, we know a bit more about who THEY ADMIRE. They inspire us every single day and know we know who inspires THEM.

To all physics teachers who voted and helped us know them better, THANK YOU!





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