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This year, Physics teachers Joel Heitman and Joshua Raghunath have begun implementing hoverboards in their lessons to help their students better understand concepts such as acceleration and motion.
In the past, physics teachers had been limited to using whiteboards and powerpoints to teach. With the introduction of hoverboards, they were able to further engage students into learning the content effectively.
Mr. Raghunath, who teaches both Honors and AP Physics, elaborated on the benefits of using hoverboards in the classroom: “As a teaching tool, it gets students interested in STEM. It’s part of my role as a teacher. It gives us both a chance to tie in the physics of the [hoverboard] to the class, whether it be the equilibrium and the forces of the [hoverboard].”
Mr. Heitman agreed, saying “[The hoverboards have] absolutely been a successful teaching tool. [Students] can see acceleration and velocity right in front of them, giving them a great idea of what’s going on.”
Students also believe that the use of hoverboards plays a great role in the learning experience. Junior Nicole Moshel, a student of Mr. Heitman, explained, “It adds to a positive classroom experience by enhancing the understanding of the concepts learned in class. It’s fun and enjoyable, but also gets the point across in a great way.”
Hoverboards have not yet been introduced to the AP Physics classroom, despite popular demand. Michal Davydov, a junior who currently takes the class, reasoned, “AP Physics is meant for kids willing to go into physics oriented fields, so use of the [hoverboard] in an AP Physics class is perfect.”
When dealing with this type of gadget, safety is a primary concern. People who have ridden hoverboards have reported injuries, and some may question if the boards are appropriate in a school environment. On the other hand, both Mr. Raghunath and Mr. Heitman claim they are “safe drivers,” and they do not allow anyone else ride them. Assistant Principal Susan Brustein of the Math and Science Department decided to permit the use of the hoverboards because they “provide a great visual when teaching on the subject of acceleration as well as motion.”
With this new teaching device, the science department hopes to continue providing better learning experiences for its students.