Seniors to Skype Scientist in Honors Physics II

By: J1 Reporter Aker Ajak

A phenomenon studied by many scientists is making its way into the classroom of Mr. Nick Miller’s Honors Physics II class. Seniors enrolled in the class will have the opportunity this week to do a Skype video chat with a scientist about facial recognition in infants.

Miller found out about this opportunity through his wife. She teaches gifted students at a Fremont public school and has a career day for her students. Through connections with the career day, she found multiple scientists available to speak to the students. Students in Miller’s class were allowed to vote on which scientist they wanted and narrowed it down to Dr. Laurie Bayet. 

Dr. Laurie Bayet is both a psychologist and neurologist with extensive knowledge in facial recognition in infants. She is a professor’s assistant of Psychology at American University in Washington D.C. Miller says that talking to Dr. Bayet will give students an opportunity to look into different career choices. “I assume that some students don’t want to have physics as a career, so by letting them Skype with Bayet, it gives them a chance to think of other careers,” Miller said. 

Honors Physics II is a class that only seniors can take. Miller said that since they are almost off to college, they need a wide spectrum of career choices to choose from. This was not the first time a scientist was available to speak to students in Physics II so Miller has set expectations for the Skyping. “We did the same last year and it went very well. I’m very excited to see what will happen during the Skyping,” Miller said.

Last year, seniors had to opportunity to do a Skype video call with Dr. Helen Cheng about Marine Biology. Cheng has a Master of Science in Zoology and Bachelor of Science in Biology.

Facial recognition in infants is a topic that has been studied for many years. There is a lot of research on the topic and Dr. Bayet has contributed to it. “I am very interested in the research and insight the scientist has to offer to the class and me,” Miller said.

“I hope that after the Skyping, some students will think about psychology or neurology as a career choice,” Miller said.

The Skyping happened on Nov. 30 during Block B. Students had pre-planned questions to ask Dr. Bayet about her expertise. Miller had high hopes for how it will impact students.

The Skyping ended up being successful. Mr. Miller said he found the experience to be enlightening. “It turned out well and we enjoyed the experience,” Miller said.

Miller Skyping
Members of Mr. Nick Miller’s Honors Physics II class listen as Dr. Laurie Bayet explains her profession in a Skype session on Nov. 30. Photo by Aker Ajak.

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