Dropping Heath Ledger in Physics Class
When I originally applied to teach at King’s, I applied to teach Math, but there were no openings. Well, the nice thing about private school is it really don’t matter what your official background is, you can teach whatever you want!
Reason #65 that I am glad there were no openings in Math and instead I’m teaching Physics – DROPPING EGGS!
The nice thing about being 22 is that I still have the attention span and similar “fun-o-meter” to my students, so whenever I think of something exciting I want to do with them that even tangentially relates to what we are talking about, we do it. Recently, we have been talking about momentum and impulse, and I decided that we needed to drop eggs to demonstrate the subject. We probably could have easily talked about it in the classroom quicker and more efficiently, but I wanted to see eggs explode, and the nice thing about teaching is that you do whatever the hell YOU want to do. We dropped them into water, Styrofoam, and on the ground to demonstrate that if it takes longer to slow something down (the Styrofoam) then less force is needed to do it (and perhaps the egg wont break). We dropped them from different heights to give the eggs more or less momentum when they hit the ground.
To add a bit of a twist, I spent the entire first period of the day decorating the eggs, drawing faces on them and naming them things like “Heath Ledger” and “Michael Jackson” (too soon? not soon enough?).
Another one of those moments where I thought “Really? You guys trusted me with this job… and your children?”