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New Milford High School teacher Mrs. Chowdury has evolved into a master teacher in this approach and here is why. Physics is often thought to be a fun subject where students get to perform exciting experiments. Mrs. Chowdhury has a teaching philosophy that her students cannot engage in fun activities simply for the sake of having fun, but the activities have to trail or follow difficult calculations. When Mrs. Chowdhury’s students found out that she had some Nerf guns in the classroom, they wanted to play with them. So she created an assignment that involved Nerf guns where students had to apply their understanding of energy concepts to figure out the velocity of the bullet as it was leaving the gun.
She gave the students a meter stick, a protractor with a string attached from the center, and a Nerf gun with one bullet. The students’ task was to design how they wanted to set up and use the materials to be able to calculate the starting velocity of the bullet. The students chose to use the protractor to figure out how high the bullet went and from there use energy concepts to calculate the velocity. When it comes to learning there should never be an easy way out. Making the process fun and engaging while invoking problem solving and critical thinking skills epitomizes the type of learning our students need and deserve.