I'm flattered you'd actually like to know about me. (Perhaps just so that you can be sure to avoid me in the future.) Here's a little bit more about me and the Science Theater video podcast I started back in the Fall of 2005.
Born in Minnesota, I went off to Caltech in California to attend college, graduating with a BS in Chemistry. Having met a very nice lady there, I stayed at Caltech to continue my education making it far easier to marry that nice lady. My PhD focused on Computational Theoretical Biochemistry - trying to develop forcefields for use in protein folding, which is a very hard thing to do. As I taught classes in graduate school, I began to realize that I found explaining science to be much more fun than doing research. After finishing my PhD, I moved to Boston and became a licensed middle school science teacher. A few years later I moved to Lafayette, Indiana where I am now a public high school teacher teaching physics and chemistry at a school just outside of town. Some of my favorite activities include playing boardgames, playing Ultimate and Volleyball, reading books, and getting to know the students at my school and my church.
While I was working on my PhD at Caltech. Los Angeles must have rubbed off on me because I decided that one day it would be fun to have my own science TV show. Years later I was teaching at a high school in West Lafayette, Indiana that produced its own daily news show for school announcements. With the help of a small grant from the Lilly Partners in Education program I developed a few quick science demonstrations to air on our school's daily news. Dr. Carlson's Science Theater was born and aired two episodes: ST001:Mixing Light and the Orange Crush Special. Unfortunately, the news shows had to be brief and it was very difficult to schedule time to work with the student editors. As Apple was just introducing the video iPod, I realized that now was a golden opportunity to create my own show and put it up on the web for everyone to see. With a little planning and a lot of work, the first episode was put up on iTunes just in time for Christmas! My gift to the internet, the first science-education video podcast, all wrapped up in pretty pictures and starring your friendly neighborhood science teacher.
Throughout that winter and spring, I had fun making science videos and editing them together. There were some great ones and some that could have used a bit more polish. I'd like to think they got better as I went along. When school let out for the summer, I was given an opportunity to develop some of my videos at Purdue University through an NSF grant for teacher development in Purdue's Physics Department. Starting around Episode 10: Chemical Reaction Rates, I began filming in the Physics building and was later even able to take advantage of the many spiffy Physics demos there - thanks to the help of Randy Schnepp. I must also thank Brian Durbin who was my most excellent videographer and assistant throughout the summer.
Most of those episodes filmed in 2006 are now edited and available on the internet. This website you're visiting was born in the summer of 2007 when I had some more time to put it together again. I enjoy putting these little videos together and I hope you enjoy watching them. Feel free to download them and show them to your friends! I plan to continue making videos (and scientist interviews) for the foreseeable future, so keep coming back for more or simply subscribe to the iTunes or RSS feed to make your life easier. I plan to eventually make available DVDs of higher quality versions of the episodes for those that are interested, I'll be sure to make a note on my blog if or when that occurs. Of course, if you are a big television producer or something and want to take my little show "to the next level", feel free to give me a call! We can do lunch, I know a nice little Mexican food restaraunt just down the street - unless school is in session, then we'll have to meet in the school cafeteria.