Introducing Drew Wasikoski: Physical Science and Physics Teacher

My name is Drew Wasikoski, but people call me Waz. I have an incredible passion for physics and chemistry, which not only drives me to learn as much as I can about the interactions of the natural world but to also share my passion and knowledge with the world.

I received my Bachelor of Science from Northern Arizona University, in Physics, with minors in Chemistry and Mathematics. The highlight of my college career was taking part in the Arizona Space Grant program. I worked with NASA to study the south pole of Mars at the United States Geological Survey in Flagstaff! I presented my findings, with other space grant interns, at the University of Arizona at the end of the project.

I had always wanted to teach and was thrilled to be one of the founding teachers that opened BASIS Prescott. I am proud to say that I taught Physics, Chemistry and Math teacher there for the last 10 years rotating through every grade from 6th to 12th.

At BASIS, I always loved introducing students to the natural sciences beginning in sixth grade, sparking that curiosity, and giving them a gradual introduction. This allowed students to discover how cool the sciences could be before anyone told them it was too complicated or challenging. Then as the students matriculated to higher grades, the solid foundation that we created in these topics enabled them scale up their knowledge to a level where any problem seemed approachable with the right amount of effort and preparation put into it.

I am looking forward to taking my education and teaching experience to again be a founding faculty member at the School for Advanced Studies, NW Arkansas. SAS seems like the perfect fit for my activity-based teaching style and drive to make the classroom as engaging as possible. I want every lesson to be relatable and something that students can see as being present and usable in their everyday lives. I know that we will build a strong community and form many close connections with families, students, faculty, and staff just as we did over the last ten years in Prescott. Additionally, this move allows my wife and I to be closer to family and friends while settling into a community and landscape that fits our interests.

Now that you know a little bit about my experience in the educational environment, let me tell you a little bit about myself as a person. Growing up, I spent as much time as I could outdoors, especially if I had a chance to go in the water. I was born and raised a river rat, with my family spending summers with the boats and jets skis on the Colorado River. I have not been as close to the river in the last few years, but my wife and I have tried to kayak and canoe around as many of the different lakes, streams, and creeks around Arizona as we could. I love to hike, climb, and ride bikes to explore as much of the landscape as I can. Disc golf is a favorite past time of mine and I have hosted several years of Disc Golf and Ultimate Frisbee clubs in my ten years as a teacher.

While I try to be as active as possible, I am also kind of a nerd with an extreme interest in video games and movies. I love the experience of taking in a good story and getting away to another world sometimes. As a huge fan of tabletop, board and card games has made me consider different clubs and activities that might focus on those interests too.

I look forward to starting classes in the fall. My goal is to have your students not only enjoy my class but find that passion for the natural sciences, leaving my classroom with a desire to learn more.