Physics courses at TSTC invite exploration and curiosity

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Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking all had one thing in common: their love for physics.

Two Texas State Technical College instructors enjoy exploring the complexities that physics has to offer while passing them along to TSTC students.

Physics department chair Jose Alvarez began working at TSTC in 2011 and initially planned on teaching courses in algebra. Ultimately, physics got the best of him and now he thoroughly enjoys teaching the courses.

“I’m having a ball,” he said.

Alvarez has worked in several places around the world, including Brazil and Mexico City, which he credits for adding to his passions as an educator.

“I think those experiences have definitely made me a better instructor,” he said.

Jaime Romo joined TSTC as an adjunct physics instructor last year, and he is eager to bring his admiration for the subject to his students.

“My interests were always in problem-solving,” he said when asked about his particular liking for physical sciences. “Physics is the foundation of this; it encapsulates all sciences into one field.”

Romo mentioned that taking this course is beneficial for anyone who wonders how an everyday object works.

“We showcase a lot of different examples and experiments that allow students to understand basic concepts,” he said. “At TSTC, we do a good job in terms of giving a glimpse of problem-solving and thinking outside the box that will propel your sense of curiosity.”

Alvarez added that these are aspects he utilizes when he is in the classroom.

“I teach the principles of physics that have been around for a long time,” he explained. “Curiosity is the keyword of this entire subject. Once students learn the explanation behind something, they have their aha! moment and everything starts to make sense.”

While there are several programs at TSTC that do require a physics course, Alvarez said that any student with an interest in the subject is welcome to take a physics class.

“Absolutely, take a course,” he explained. “I have had students with an interest in engineering, computer science, education and so many other areas take my classes. If you want to take the course as an elective, take it.”

Both instructors assure students that if they have a sense of wonder about the world, then taking a physics course will keep things interesting.

“If you are just a bit curious about physics, you’ll enjoy a course,” said Romo. “Physics uses math as a language to propel you toward understanding nature. I would definitely suggest taking the course just to see what it is all about.”

“You need curiosity,” added Alvarez. “You need to want to understand why things work the way they do. If you’re interested in that, it’s a lot of fun.”

To learn more about courses offered at TSTC, visit tstc.edu.