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From the Newsletter: WW Teaching Fellow uses Video Technology to Teach Physics

2016 WW Teaching Fellows National Convening. Detroit

Matt Oney leads a break out session at the 2016 WW Teaching Fellows National Convening in Detroit.

During his first year of teaching physics, Matt Oney TF ’12, whose background was in biology and life science, had a lightbulb moment while watching the TV show MythBusters.

“I need to get my kids to start thinking in the way the MythBusters are thinking,” he said.

This epiphany led to the development of a project in which kids would use the video technology to learn about velocity. Using GoPro cameras Mr. Oney secured through a WW-Michigan State micro-grant, students would capture video of a moving object, and then use that video to calculate velocity. Students were able to pick their own subject for data collection. One group used the project to see if cars outside the school were speeding (some were).

“I was looking for anything I could do to make my students more engaged with the lessons,” said Mr. Oney, who developed the project with the help of his WW mentor teacher Angie Kolonich. The pair presented the project this summer at the National Science Teachers Association conference. The project is now a manuscript which Mr. Oney and Ms. Kolonich will submit to a peer review journal.

Mr. Oney got his master’s degree from Michigan State University, where he said there was a great emphasis placed on creating engaging, inquiry-based curriculum. “I will be forever grateful to the WW program,” said Mr. Oney. “I know for a fact that when I entered the teaching profession straight out of the Woodrow Wilson program that I was better prepared for my first year of teaching than some of my colleagues.”

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This story appeared in the fall/winter 2016 issue of Fellowship, the newsletter of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. To see the full newsletter, click here.


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