Mornings with MAC – Peralta Edition

Get to know the Science Faculty with your weekly installment of Mornings with MAC

Guest Post by Michael Codrington ’18Mornings with MAC logo

This week on Mornings with MAC, we have Jose Peralta. Mr. Jose N. Peralta is a house counselor in the greatest boys dorm to ever exist, Bartlet hall, and a Teaching Fellow in introductory Biology for 9th graders. Peralta has an office in CAMD (Community and Multicultural Development). Throughout the year in the dorm, Mr. Peralta and I have gotten to know each other very well. So, I thought who better to inaugurate Mornings with MAC than Mr. Peralta. I sat down to ask him a few questions.

FA 3686471 Navarro Peralta, Jose

MC: How long have you been working at Andover?
JP: For about a year – started my teaching fellowship in the fall of 2016. However, I’ve worked in Summer Session for the last two summers. Specifically, as a teaching assistant for the Mathematics and Science for Minority Students (MS)2 program.

MC: What brought you here?
JP: I would say a United aircraft, but that’s my silly attempt to be funny. And, they didn’t drag me off the plane!

MC: Where did you go to college? What did you study?
JP: Bates College for undergrad. Studied biology and completed two concentrations in Film and Media Studies and in French and Francophone Studies

MC: You studied film? That’s pretty cool actually. What’s your favorite movie?
JP: Wow, you got me with this question! I’m a film fanatic, so choosing one is hard for me, but I would say the new Doctor Strange is one of my favorite movies; it’s a movie I would watch again. Sorry, Moonlight and La La Land– you weren’t that great, just saying.

MC: I’d just like to say I enjoyed both of those movies, so I’m a little hurt, but I hold nothing against you. What is your favorite thing about Andover?
JP: The students, faculty, and staff. I’ve been supported by everyone on campus, and the students in my classes and dormitory, GO BARTLET! They have made my year at Andover one to remember. Saying bye will be very hard.

MC: Do you have any advice for aspiring Science Teachers?
JP: Be yourself, be authentic, be genuine—students will appreciate that, sometimes more than any of your lessons.

MC: Do you consider yourself an easy or hard teacher?
JP: I’m not sure. You should ask some of my students. Some would say that I’m “picky” in my grading, and I would have to agree with that. My good sense of humor and approachability makes up for anything they might say about my grading style.

MC: What’s one thing a lot of people don’t know about you?
JP: I think some people know that I’m an amateur photographer, but many might not know that I placed third in a nation-wide photo contest on Instagram.

MC: Whoa, I actually had no clue about that, that’s crazy! Well thank you so much Mr. Peralta!
JP: Thank you for having me.

Next week on Mornings with MAC we interview whale-fanatic Mr. Leon Holley.

Infrared: Not Just for Astronomers

Physics Department Has Fun With Infrared!

Caroline Odden, Physics Chair, just got an infrared camera that attaches to the iPhone.  Here’s a class portrait in infrared. 

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Infrared radiation may be used to detect temperature variations.  In this image, the white places are the warmest, followed by red, yellow, green, and blue.  Astronomers take advantage of all kinds of radiation (including infrared) to learn about the universe.  Infrared detectors are also used for a variety of practical purposes here on earth.  For example, thermal (infrared) imaging may be used on buildings to detect where heat is being lost in the winter. 

http://www.flir.com/instruments/building/display/?id=49418

Chemistry Visits Addison Art Gallery

Chem 200 Visits the Addison Art Gallery to Learn About the Chemical History of Photography

Guest Post by Sofie Brown ’18

Our Chem 200 class was a little bit surprised when Mr. Robinson told us that we would be taking a class field trip to campus’ Addison Gallery of American Art. Chemistry is usually not something associated with art museums but Chem 200 was there to take the sometimes abstract and hard to understand equations and formulas and apply them to photography.

Before the trip, the class divided up into pairs to research the different types and chemical processes involved the history of the creation of photographs. We researched the Daguerreotype, Tin type, Ambrotype, Albumen Prints, and Gelatin Silver Prints. All of these photograph types uses a different chemical process to create the image and by looking at the chemical processes involved in the creation we could trace the history of photographs.

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By looking at rare old photographs and sharing our research we discussed how chemical advances have made photography more accessible which has significantly altered the country’s memory and way of looking at history. Photography made memory visual and became the most democratic way of capturing the stories of all people, not just those who could afford to have their portraits painted. Chemical advances took photography from using large equipment in many steps with many poisonous chemicals to print a fragile easily faded photo to a small two step process on paper that is durable and cheap. Photographers would take large wagons of equipment and glass around with them to Civil War battlefields in order to photograph soldiers and the fields of dead when photography first came to prominence. Soldiers also often had Daguerreotypes taken (the classic framed black and white head shot). Gradually, Daguerreotypes evolved to be printed on tin and cheaper and more durable and then eventually became a two step process and printed on paper.

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The digital photographs we have today would not be possible without the chemical advances in photography over many, many years. Learning about the chemistry of photographs offered our class real world applications and implications of the molecules and elements we struggle to fit into formulas and categories in the classroom.