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Thomas Warfel

Mr. Thomas Warfel grew up in the San Francisco Bay area of California. He earned a B.A. in Geology from Occidental College in 2016 and a M.S. in Earth Science from Syracuse University in 2018. His undergraduate thesis was focused on using Fission Track Tephrochronology to date volcanic tephra deposits that were collected from early hominid-bearing rock layers in Ethiopia. His master’s thesis involved using Thermochronology to better understand the tectonic history of the Denali Fault in Alaska. While at Syracuse University, Thomas taught introductory geology and oceanography labs and recitations.


After successfully defending his master’s thesis in Syracuse, Thomas spent two years  working as a geologist for an environmental consulting firm in Long Beach, CA. He has subsequently been teaching middle school math, science, physical education, and advisory classes for two years at Heschel Day School in Northridge, CA. He was captain of his high school and collegiate cross country and track and field teams, and he is currently a multi-sport coach at Heschel Day School. In his free time, Thomas enjoys traveling, exercising, and watching sports. Thomas’ favorite sports to watch are soccer, auto racing (primarily Formula One and Indycar), and cycling.

Mr. Warfal has a B.A. from Occidental College, and an M.S. from Syracuse University.

My Courses

The History of the Universe: finding Humanity's Place in the Cosmos (Grades: All)

In this course, students will learn about the very large. The primary objective of this course is to fundamentally change the way in which students view the world around them. Students will learn about the four fundamental forces that govern the universe, attempt to visualize the insurmountable scale of time and space, contemplate the mysteries of dark matter and energy, and learn about the life cycles of stars and how the elements of the periodic table were created. Students will walk away from this course with a new perspective of their place within the cosmos.

The Atom and the Periodic Table: Finding the Cosmos’ Place within Humanity (Grades: All)

In this course, students will learn about the very small. They will study the fundamental building blocks of the particles that make up the universe (atoms) and how they are connected (using the periodic table). Students will learn what atoms are composed of, attempt to visualize the infinitesimal scale of atoms, study the ways in which the elements of the periodic table interact, and even brush upon the contradictions and conundrums that constitute quantum physics. Students will walk away from this course with a new perspective of the cosmos’ place within themselves.

Financial Literacy (Grades: All)

In this course, students will use mathematics to analyze real-world decisions that they can expect to make after graduating high school. Students will learn how to create a budget, balance the benefits and pitfalls of credit cards, plan for retirement, and wisely invest their money. Students will walk away from this course with an understanding of the basics for how to rationally face large-scale decisions that they are likely to tackle in adulthood.

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