Associate Professor of Physics, Adjunct Professor of Oboe
Shannon Clardy believes learning is as easy as rocket science. She says anyone can learn with enough hard work and perspective. Through hands-on activities and intriguing demonstrations, the professor of physics makes learning an experience students look forward to.
“If you’re constantly talking about concepts that are not part of everyday life, it’s very difficult to understand,” Clardy said. “Make it real so students can relate to it.”
As a student, Clardy said she struggled to understand physics. “I felt that some instructors put up barriers,” she said. “In my own teaching philosophy, I believe that just about anyone can learn the material. So I try to incorporate visual demonstrations and methods students can relate to.”
That concept led to Clardy’s interest in rocketry and her passion to share it with others, particularly through outreach programs. Rocketry incorporates both physics and engineering. “We can put various sensors on the rockets and build circuit boards with altimeters and barometers and study atmospheric science,” she said.
“This provides students with hands-on projects that really help them connect with the material. Kids love to watch rockets fly, making the science behind it more accessible. If you can see it, you can understand it.”
Clardy is also an accomplished oboe player with a music performance degree. She performs with a symphony and teaches oboe at Henderson. While studying music performance, Clardy began taking physics classes, “mainly because a lot of people told me women just don’t think that way and I knew I could.”
She often uses her music knowledge to teach her acoustics class.
Degree and School:
PhD in Applied Science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock
High energy astrophysics
I've been at Henderson since: