Father Scott, Guru Of Demonstrations

It was a pleasure to teach with Fr. Scott for nine years at Campion. For several of those years Fr. Scott was just across the hall from the chemistry department. In doing his non-stop demontrations day after day he was way ahead of his time. It was not my style of teaching, but later in my career, when the use of demonstrations in all of science teaching was in vogue, I spent many hours emulating the guru of demonstrations, Fr. Scott. I retired in 1996 but do keep abreast of what is going on in high school chemistry. The premier conferences any high school chemistry teacher can attend are the biennial Chem Ed conferences. At those Chem Eds demontrations fill up almost all the contributed paper program. (The next Chem Ed is at North Texas State near Dallas during the summer of 2007. I plan to be there! Google Chem Ed to get details.)

Long after Fr. Scott ended his classroom teaching career, his influence is still being felt. I have a copy of his "Adventures in Science" -- the textbook he wrote in 1963. Even today that textbook is as timely as ever and could be used by science teachers -- even those who have those sophisticated master's and advanced education degrees. The book is easy to read and reflects Fr. Scott's signature colorful use of words Each chapter (all 53 of them) ends with several suggested demonstrations and usually ten science quiz questions. All still very user friendly -- even in this cyber-infested world. Perfect even for home schooling. Did Fr. Scott ever write a teacher's manual giving the answers to those quizzes? If so, I'd like to obtain a copy. And his textbook on astronomy can still be considered state-of-the-art.

In addition to the textbooks he wrote, there are the many pamphlets and magazine articles -- all masterfully written in what might be called glorious English. I still enjoy reading some from even way back. Even though physical frailties are setting in, I hope Fr. Scott will be able to write for many years to come.

Maurice Oehler
Campion Chemistry