Frank Mikan Receives Inspirational Teacher Award from MIT

This spring, Frank Mikan, science department chair and physics instructor, received the Inspirational Teacher Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The award recognized Mikan as a K-12 educator who "has had a significant influence on the lives of his students by instilling values and a love of learning that shapes their future.”
Mikan was nominated for the award by Ryan Przybocki ’16, a member of MIT’s Class of 2020. In his nomination letter, Przybocki recalled afternoons spent in Mikan’s classroom as “my fondest memories of high school, surrounded by countless experimental gadgets and devices we had used in the three courses he taught me.”
Since 1994, Mikan has opened the hearts and minds of students in exploring timeless questions as well as the latest theories in subjects such as physics, astrophysics and geology. He also has engaged Spartan families, friends and alumni in stargazing events at the school’s observatory.
“After taking Advanced Physics with him during my junior year, I was so excited to continue learning that I took two more classes with Mr. Mikan as well as an independent study my senior year with my best friend Pengcheng,” Przybocki said. “He and I regularly reflect on our time in Mr. Mikan’s classes as the defining years of our educational experience.
Przybocki also noted that any discussion of Mikan would be incomplete without mentioning his humor, wit and penchant for telling funny stories. “To this day it is impossible for me to walk into Room 42 and not immediately smile,” he said. “Part of Mr. Mikan’s creed is certainly that learning should be fun, and he exemplified this every day with his lighthearted atmosphere that kept everybody entertained.”
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