About the Authors

Kerry Magruder

Curator and John H. and Drusa B. Cable Chair of the History of Science Collections

MagruderKerry V. Magruder earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Truman State University in Missouri and a doctorate in history of science from the University of Oklahoma.  His background includes teaching high school chemistry and biology, directing a university planetarium, and teaching university astronomy, geology, science education and history of science.  Since 2000, Dr. Magruder has served in the History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries.  In 2009 he became Curator and in 2011 received the John H. and Drusa B. Cable Chair.

As a young kid, Kerry marveled at the sight of the Milky Way, which could be seen almost every night in the dark northeastern Missouri skies.  He remembers just looking up at the myriad of stars, and sometimes feeling lost in the wonder of it all.  He never really thought of himself as an astronomer; the night sky was always a natural part of him, just as natural history was a part of his daytime hours.  Years later, when Kerry taught high school science, he started a student Astronomy Club where they emphasized learning the night sky as part of the common heritage of humanity.

When Kerry began his pursuit of a professional career in the history of science, it provided him an opportunity to explore the marvelous tales of astronomy in ancient and modern cultures.  While completing a doctorate in the history of science, he served as Planetarium Director at a small liberal arts college.  He said that when they assembled the mechanical-optical star projector, he realized that the engineers who designed it were like modern day ancient astronomers, as the gears had the circular devices etched on them of the Tychonic system of mathematical astronomy.  Look at any star projector and it is a monument to ancient astronomy.  As current Curator of the OU History of Science Collections, Kerry works with old astronomy books, meeting Copernicus, Galileo and Newton almost daily in the vault of the collections, and enjoys giving presentations to universities and astronomy clubs.  In his spare time, he enjoys stargazing, through the use of amateur telescopes and naked eye observations.  He and his family go to local star parties around Norman, and sometimes attend our club’s annual fall star party, “Okie-Tex,” held near Black Mesa out in the Oklahoma panhandle.

See Magruder’s Faculty page, OU Department of the History of Science.

Brent Purkaple

OU Lynx Coordinator for K12 Education

112542847Brent Purkaple is both a PhD student in the History of Science department as well as the OU Lynx Coordinator for K12 education. Prior to entering graduate school Brent taught at Veritas Classical Academy in Oklahoma City from 2009-2013. His interest in the history of science grew out of his time teaching, as he tried to search for a better methodology with which to teach science. His interests in the history of science revolve around the development of scientific disciplines, the role of translation in the development of science, the relationship between science and religion, and the use of the history of science in education.

He is excited to coordinate the K12 education efforts for the History of Science Collections. To have the opportunity to collaborate with educators in bringing the history of science to K-12 education is an enriching experience for him. In doing so he is able to pick up where he left off before entering graduate school, developing educational experiences using the history of science.

Jonathan Annis

“Music of the Spheres” Coordinator

Media PRessJonathan Annis is a graduate research assistant at the University of Oklahoma pursuing a DMA in music composition. He holds a bachelor of music degree from Carson-Newman college with majors in music composition, music theory, and saxophone performance and a master of music in music composition from the University of Oklahoma. His primary composition teachers include Marvin Lamb, Ryan Garber, Jeff Gorbski, and Bruce Reiprich. He has also participated in a masterclass taught by Nancy Van de Vate in Vienna. Jonathan was chosen to present “This Title May Vary” on the CMS Pacific Southwest conference 2012 held in Tucson, AZ.

As a performer, Jonathan has performed with the CBDNA Intercollegiate Band, the National Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, the Knoxville Wind Symphony, and on a
recital at the Sing und Musikschule der Stadt Memmingen in Memmingen, Germany. Jonathan has also performed in a masterclass taught by Lars Mlekusch (Vienna Conservatory of Music).

As a composer, Jonathan’s work has been recorded by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s orchestra under the direction of James Fellenbaum, Carson-Newman University’s A cappella Choir directed by Dr. Eric Thorson, and Carson-Newman’s Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Jeff Gorbski.

He is especially excited about his work with “Music of the Spheres.” As he will tell you, his interest in physics and math are why he is studying music.

Quentin Biddy

K-12 Education and Curriculum Consultant

IMG_3960Quentin earned his undergraduate degree in 2006 and his Master’s Degree in 2014 both in science education from the University of Oklahoma. Quentin taught middle school Pre-AP science from 2007 to 2012. Since then he has been working for the K20 Center for Educational and Community Renewal at the University of Oklahoma. During his work with the K20 Center, Quentin has worked with educators from around the state of Oklahoma facilitating trainings on researched based effective teaching practices as well as writing and publishing authentic science curriculum. Quentin served on the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science writing committee working specifically on drafting science standards for the middles school grade levels integrating the three dimensions recommended by the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. In addition Quentin also served on the Standards Transition Committee. Quentin currently is the project manager for the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science Frameworks Project, which is creating resources for Oklahoma teachers to assist in the transition to the new science standards.

Quentin’s Master’s research focused on studying how authentic integration of the History of Science into science curriculum effects students understanding of the Nature of Science. He found that when the History of Science is integrated in a meaningful, authentic way students gained an increased understanding of the Nature of Science (how science works) as well as a deeper understanding of science concepts. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree and plans to continue his research related the History of Science and the Nature of Science. He is excited about the University of Oklahoma’s Galileo’s World exhibition and how this resource can impact K-12 Education not only in Oklahoma but in schools around the world.

Matthew Matheney

K-12 Education Collaborator

Matthew Matheney is a Math and Physics undergraduate at Truman State University in Missouri, who is preparing for a Master of Arts in Education. During the Summer of 2014 he researched and worked on site at the University of Oklahoma History of Science Collections to develop an educational strategy for the OU Academy of the Lynx.

Though living in Missouri during the 2014-2015 academic school year, he remains actively involved in developing resources. His remote participation is a tangible expression of the potential OU Lynx has for development in a digital environment. Collaboration is open to all interested educators, regardless of particular geographic location.

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