The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder

The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder

The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder


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MIT professor zooms with AP physics students, teaches fusion

Brooke Plowman
AP physics students listen to MIT professor Anne White discuss fusion on Zoom.

MIT fusion professor Anne White met via zoom with AP Physics students in the media center on March 12 due to the efforts of junior Owen Pehle.
According to MIT, White is on the senior leadership team at MIT and earned her PhD in physics at UCLA. White is now a vice provost and associate vice president for research administration. She is the Distinguished Professor of Engineering at MIT, and focuses her research on magnetic fusion energy.
“I learned a lot about the process that goes into fusion and she gave me a lot of resources,” Pehle said.
Every year, AP physics 1 students do an energy project, and have the opportunity to email a professor for extra credit. Pehle, according to Benjamin Nugent, AP physics teacher, sent a very well written email with good questions to White, and said that White’s response was exceptional.
“[Pehle] had done a lot of research and had very detail oriented questions,” Nugent said.
According to Scholastic, White is a “leading expert in nuclear fusion.” Pehle said that the reason he emailed her was because her accomplishments impressed him, and he was surprised at White’s response.
“I was really nervous at the start because you don’t expect something like this incredible opportunity to happen to you,” Pehle said.
White was able to educate the AP physics students on many fusion-related topics, and they had the opportunity to ask questions and interact with White.
“It felt like Dr. White really enjoyed hearing questions and she was really eager to answer them,” Adnan Sabanovic, senior, said.
The large number of students who participated were able to do so because of the media center and its adaptability.
“It was great to see the media center used for a program like this,” Marcum said, “I really enjoyed seeing the large group engaging with the MIT professor.”
This event was one of the first like it to be held in the media center, and it has shown the possibilities of what events the media center could do. Marcum said that moveable furniture and shelves on wheels would give them the most opportunities.
“It makes us more of an asset and a resource for not only our school community but our community at large,” Marcum said.
Sabanovic said that the presentation was very high quality, and is very thankful for the opportunity that was provided. The AP physics students were able to learn a lot, according to Nugent.
“I am incredibly thankful that she was able to do this for a normal high school student that emailed her out of the blue with no expectations,” Pehle said.

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About the Contributor
Brooke Plowman
Brooke Plowman, Editor-in-Chief
Hi!! I am so excited to be back, this year as the Editor-in-Chief. I am also on the dance team, an officer for both Key Club and Care Club, and a member of NHS and Link Crew!

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