University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics Force

Meet the Force

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson teaches physics at Centennial High School in Circle Pines. He was the Centennial Teacher of the Year, a Minnesota Teacher of Excellence, an Honor Roll Teacher, and one of the finalists for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Jon was the U of M Physics Department "Teacher-in-Residence" from 2007-2009.

Cindy Cattell

Cindy Cattel is a Professor of Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, and a rocket scientist.

Visit her page on Space Physics


Jay Dornfeld

Jay is a Physics and Astronomy teacher at Armstrong High School in Plymouth. He received a Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics in 1996 from the University of Minnesota and a Masters in Education from the University of St. Thomas in 2003. He is also a member of University of Minnesota's QuarkNet Particle Physics Program and was a member of the 2012 CERN 's High School Teacher Programme and the 2009 FermiLab Teacher Training Program.

Rafael Fernandes

Rafael is a theoretical physicist and Professor at the School of Physics and Astronomy He is originally from Brazil where he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Campinas.

Shaul Hanany

Shaul is an observational cosmologist and Professor at the School of Physics and Astronomy He is the Principal Investigator of the EBEX experiment, a balloon probe of the cosmic microwave background radiation. .

Claire Hypolite

Claire Hypolite teaches at Edison High School in Minneapolis. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Erik Linn-Molin

Erik teaches physics and physical science at Wellstone International High School in South Minneapolis. He also teaches extra engineering and science classes after school and throughout the summer. He graduated with a bachelors degree in physics from Luther College in Decorah, IA.

Jack Netland

Jack Netland is a retired physics teacher who taught at Maple Grove Senior High. Jack was one of three finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Education for the State of Minnesota in 1994 and 1995. He was a Minnesota Chamber Foundation Award Winner in 1987 and was President of the Minnesota Science Teachers Association 1992. He was a regular performer on Newton's Apple Television show, 1984 to 1997. He is an original member of the Physics Force. He and Hank Ryan perform many shows at elementary and middle schools each year.

Donna Norberg

Donna teaches chemistry and physics at Como Park Senior High in St. Paul, where she is also a FIRST Robotics Coach. She is one of the CIS Physics teachers affiliated with the U of MN. She graduated with a bachelors of science in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I have a Masters of Art in Teaching from Hamline University.

Frederick Orsted

Frederick Orsed is a physics teacher at Maple Grove Senior High. He received a BS in Physics in 1996 and a M.Ed. in 1999 both from the University of Minnesota

Marco Peloso

Marco is a theoretical high energy physicist and Professor at the School of Physics and Astronomy. His research focuses on the application of the known fundamental laws of particle physics to the cosmology of the very early universe.

Aaron Pinski

Aaron Pinski has a BA in physics from the University of Minnesota and a M.Ed. from the U of M school of education. He is in his sixteenth year as a science teacher at John F. Kennedy H.S. in Bloomington, MN.

Art Ruder

Art Ruder recently retired from a long career in site location analysis. He has a business degree from the University of Minnesota. This is his second year helping out the Physics Force. Art also volunteers with the Minnesota Streetcar Museum.

Angela Maritza Roberto Torres

Maritza teaches at Hopkins High School and North Junior High. She became involved in physics force after attending an educational conference where she saw the Physics Force in action for the first time. She has been active Physics Force since 2010.

Hank Ryan

Hank Ryan has been a member of The Physics Force since its first performance in 1985. He is now a retired teacher from Mounds View High School and along with Jon Barber, received the Meggars Award through the American Institute of Physics to develop Physics Laboratory activities. This resulted in the publication of their lab manual "racticums for Physics Teachers" (second addition published in 2008). He and Jack Netland perform many shows at elementary and middle schools each year.

Shane Wood

Shane Wood teaches science at Irondale Highschool, in Mounds View, MN. In addition to physics force, he has been active participant in the Quarknet program.

Emeritus Members

Dan Dahlberg, Professor of Physics, University of Minnesota
Jim Kakalios, Professor of Physics, University of Minnesota
Louise Weldon, a physics teacher at Tartan High School.