Some familiar faces took center stage when Sophia, an online social education platform, hosted what they called the nation’s largest-ever flipped classroom event at the Mall of America rotunda. People of all ages came out in droves to watch Hamline associate professor of physics Andy Rundquist assist well-known scientist, engineer, author, and inventor Bill Nye in presenting and executing the demonstrations. Nye is best known as the face of the popular PBS children’s program Bill Nye the Science Guy. Go to Hamline's Facebook page for more photos of Rundquist and Nye's entertaining and educational demonstrations.
Rundquist was also one of the creative forces behind conceptualizing and producing the large-scale demonstrations for the Mall of America event. For a sense the exciting experiments performed during the presentation, you can watch some of Rundquist’s previous in-class assignments on the Hamline physics YouTube channel. Video from the event will also be available at a future date on YouTube.
“Sophia heard that I work with my students to do the Piper Physics Patrol at local schools and wondered if I'd be willing to do a version of that show with Bill Nye,” Rundquist said. “It was a great opportunity and I really enjoyed it.”
Professor Rundquist is frequently invited to national conferences to talk about his teaching approaches, including flipping the physics classroom and standards-based grading. Much like Bill Nye, Rundquist capitalizes on a hands-on and fun approach to science, giving numerous opportunities for his students to reassess the various learning goals of each course. Rundquist asserts that the focus is on learning and demonstration of that learning.
“I want the student to own their own learning. Success for me is when I can back away and let them demonstrate that ownership,” Rundquist said.
You can watch Bill Nye and Professor Rundquist in action on Hamline's YouTube channel or in the videos below.