Columbia High School physics teacher and ultrarunner Michael Steiner misses seeing his students in class.
“Like every teacher, I miss the energy of the students and the feedback we teachers get in our interactions with them,” said Steiner. “And right now it’s easier for ME to go to THEM.”
So he got out a map, and got to work planning a route that would allow him to run by a maximum number of his students’ houses. The idea took hold, and pretty soon, Steiner realized he’d be running a marathon. “I found a route that goes past the homes of [at least] 10 of my students,” says Steiner.
Steiner continues, “in the name of high school physics education, I’ll be running a (solo) marathon on Saturday [May 9] at 2pm. I figure I’d bring some physics to the people.”
And while this might not be a graded assignment, Steiner is hoping for some out-of-the-classroom participation from his students. “Any student who would like to join me for any part of the [appropriately socially distant] run is welcome. We can talk about physics, or how to post to google classroom, or how to hydrate through a surgical mask,” he says.
In case his students aren’t into running, Steiner hopes they will participate by making signs. “It would be awesome if my students could show me equations relevant to the unit,” says Steiner. “If they learned something, that would sure inspire me. ‘Go’ doesn’t really have the gravitas of ‘GPE = m g h’ and ‘E’ = E + W,’” he says.
Check the map to see if your house is on Steiner’s running route, get out your running shoes and make your signs. Make sure you’re ready when physics class comes to you.