IB juniors teach elementary students about physics


Marissa Gilbert

Junior Ryan Anderson teaching an elementary student about circuits.

Codi Farmer, Staff Reporter

After a month of preparation, a junior IB physics class volunteered with elementary school students at Grandview Elementary School last week to teach them about the concepts of physics in use in real-life situations. The students had to come up with a project for their creativity, activity and service requirement for their IB diploma, plan it and implement it outside of school.

“For IB, we do most of the things in class,” junior Patrick Devaney said. “We [also] do a lot of things that will transfer into [concepts in our] other classes, but for this, it was a special activity that we did outside of school. We had to volunteer for it, but we usually don’t do things outside of class like this.”

The IB students came on what Grandview calls their “Bill Nye Day,” which is focused around science exploration for the students. The IB students set up tables explaining different physics concepts for the children.

“Our table explained magnetism to the kids,” junior Adam Tamimi said. “Basically, we just got a bunch of magnets and let them play with them and watch them spin around, which was a lot of fun.”

Some of the IB students chose to do this as their creativity, activity and service requirement because it aligned with what they are interested in pursuing in the future. Tamimi is considering entering pediatric medicine and Devaney is interested in becoming a college professor.

“I’ve kind of always wanted to teach,” Devaney said. “So it’s always fun to work with kids who don’t necessarily have the most advanced understanding of everything because you have to explain it in terms that aren’t exactly verbose, so it has to be short and correct because then they will get the wrong idea.”

Devaney’s table focused primarily on sound and practically applying how sound works and learning about sound waves. They used demonstrations to apply the concepts into a real-world setting, such as using tuning forks or putting salt on top of a speaker to show how the sound makes it vibrate.

“We wanted to show sound without introducing the mathematical concepts,” Devaney said. “We just got them into intuitive thinking of how a wave also is how the pitch of the sound related to its frequency, the number of times that it repeats per second, and how that relates to other wave phenomena, like light.”

Junior Luke Pickard said the students they were teaching at Grandview have already learned a lot about energy in the school year so far. They specifically have focused on mechanical energy, the difference between potential and kinetic energy, and how that applies to real life. He said the stations were more of a review for the students, but it was still fun for the IB students to help the children review their knowledge in a fun way.

“Working with the kids was really fun because they wanted to learn,” Tamimi said. “Honestly I just volunteered to do this [for my creativity, activity and service requirement] because I love kids and I thought it was a good idea for them to have fun and learn physics at the same time.”