9 Images

A Boomer of a scientist

Preston Q. Boomer, science teacher for 50 years at San Lorenzo High School in Felton California, holds a tuning fork as he talks to his physics class about some principles of the transmission of sound. (Robert Durell / LAT)
Mr. Boomer talks about transducers in the amplification of sound to his physics class. (Robert Durell / LAT)
Jackie Parker, right, a junior at San Lorenzo Valley School in Felton, Calif., and others watch as science teacher Preston Q. Boomer shows how sound waves work. The students know their roles: The Boom is the performer; they’re the attentive audience. (Robert Durell / LAT)
Boomer shows that the huge surface area of finely divided fuel will burn explosively. (Robert Durell / LAT)
Students react to Preston Boomer’s physics antics in class at San Lorenzo High School. (Robert Durell / LAT)
Boomer looks around an underground workroom/engine room at Boomeria, his home in the Santa Cruz Mountains. (Robert Durell / LAT)
Chemistry glassware is on display at Boomeria. (Robert Durell / LAT)
Preston Q. Boomer sits at his homemade pipe organ -- which took more than 20 years to build. (Robert Durell / LAT)
Boomer walks the grounds of Boomeria. In the background is a miniature castle used for mock wars. (Robert Durell / LAT)