Profile: New physics and engineering teacher, Austin Lippincott

Photo Courtesy of Austin Lippincott

Austin Lippincott began teaching physics and engineering at Oak Park High School during the 2020-21 school year, after earning a physics degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and a teaching credential through Western Governors University.

“I chose to come to Oak Park High School because I love the strong community connection!” Lippincott wrote to the Talon. “It reminds me of my small hometown high school where I grew up in Santa Ynez.”

Despite the challenges of having to start teaching at OPHS during distance learning, Lippincott believes that there are some upsides.

“Distance learning has forced me to be a lot more organized and keep all my created teaching material online. I like to look on the bright side of things! I think that in a way it has helped me,” Lippincott wrote. “Next year will be much easier as I will have all these organized resources to pull from.”

Lippincott teaches five different classes with no repeated periods. Three are physics-focused; AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2 and CP Physics, and two are engineering-focused; honors digital electronics and honors mechatronics.

“Teaching five different classes has been an absolute blast! I always feel weird repeating my same lesson to another class,” Lippincott wrote. “It is a lot more work though. I find myself spending a lot of time preparing every day and weekend.”

Outside of school, Lippincott enjoys growing tropical plants.

“I just started an indoor tropical plant set-up this last weekend that I am super excited about. There are so many crazy tropical fruits that I have never tasted or heard of that I want to try growing. I just bought a tropical plant, Bunchosia glandulifera, and its fruit tastes just like sweet peanut butter,” Lipincott wrote.

Lippincott enjoys many hobbies beyond gardening, some related to physics and engineering and some not.

“I also love designing and creating things: whether it is woodworking, pottery, metalworking, robotics, leatherworking, etc.,” Lippincott wrote. “The list is quite long! I have a hobby of collecting hobbies.”

Lippincott likes to use interactive software like Peardeck to engage students during distance learning.

“I like to make my lectures and Google Slides fun and interactive, so that always helps make preparing more fun for me! Students like the memes I throw in (I hope so at least),” Lippincott wrote.

Senior Krisha Thakur, who is taking AP Physics 1, confirms that students do, in fact, like the memes.

“I can really tell that Mr. Lippincott is trying to engage his students because the memes he uses are tailored to the interests his students express, so I really appreciate that he’s making an effort to get to know us and entertain us during what can be a challenging class,” Thakur said.

Senior Jacob Fingerman, enrolled in Lippincott’s AP Physics 1 and 2 classes, agrees.

“People tend to like his memes in an overly ironic way, and I think that’s the intention. His classes are my favorite this year,” Fingerman wrote to the Talon.