Teaching

I’ve been teaching for a long time.  When I was a kid, I started teaching our chickens to fly off the second story balcony.  They fell at first but eventually got the hang of it.  Since then, I’ve improved my teaching techniques.

As an undergrad, I was a teaching assistant for the introductory astronomy course at Middlebury College.  I also was a teaching assistant for the introductory electricity and magnetism course.

I’ve been a teaching assistant three times at Stanford, teaching labs for the first year physics sequence.  I’ve taught optics labs, modern physics labs, and electricity and magnetism labs.  My favorite so far was a very open-ended lab course, in which college freshmen had to take a simple system (a water-driven rocket) and decide on something to measure, then go measure it.  Teaching experimental design is no easy task, but everyone had fun with it.  At the very least everyone learned that the real world isn’t as clear as physics theory would like it to be!

But education doesn’t just happen in the lab or classroom: equipment plays a big role in science lab instruction.  I worked for a former high school science teacher in my hometown who built science teaching lab equipment that was sold nationwide.  Through building the devices I learned his philosophy of how students should be able to see all of the science at work in lab equipment.

Outside of the academic realm, I’ve taught sailing through the Juneau Youth Sailing Foundation.  I’ve also been a mentor to many beginning riders on the Stanford Cycling Team.  While this was a less formal teaching setting, it has been very rewarding to see many riders I’ve helped develop a passion for the sport.