Interview with Dr. Shah

Get to know BB&N’s newest chemistry and physics teacher

Why did you choose your particular STEM field?

In high school, I happened upon physics because I was taking math and they started teaching us calculus, and it felt like they were holding back this thing that was really elegant and beautiful about math. Having [math] and then connecting it to physics problems my friends were doing, I saw that [math and physics] all sort of go together and help us make sense of the world around us; I thought this was one of the most incredible things.

What did you do before you came to BB&N?

I studied geology and geophysics at university and continued on to do a Ph.D. I discovered a field that researches the magnetic fields recorded by rocks. I started looking at the magnetic fields of meteorites during my Ph.D. I worked at MIT for the past four years doing research regarding the magnetic field of the moon. We researched moon rocks from the Apollo mission so we can understand the internal structure of the moon. If it has rocks that are magnetic, it means that the inside of the Moon is similar to the inside of the Earth. Therefore, we could infer the history of the moon’s interior.

How are your new BB&N classes going?

They are going well I think! My favorite moment in class was in Honors Physics when I gave students these little air pucks and just gave them the opportunity to make observations, [raise questions], and then quickly design an experiment. Every single group came up with a different question and then they all ran with it and were just testing and coming up with experiments regarding the motion of this puck. I just thought it was amazing to see that independent thought and exploration. I really enjoy the art of teaching. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I’m a serial hobbyist. I pick up hobbies for a brief period of time, or a long period of time, and then I drop them. So I have been sewing and making clothes, playing the saxophone, and cycling. I did a triathlon after the first week of school with no training, and it was so much fun.

And my favorite food is lasagna, vegan lasagna.