Added: Wed. Dec 19, 2007 6:45pm
Whether you went to college 5 years ago or 55 years ago -- sitting through a lecture was usually something to dread. In fact, I must admit (sorry Mom and Dad!) to working out a sign-in system with friends, so we could rotate who had to actually sit through the class and take notes, and who got to sleep in. Because lectures were just that -- lectures -- and who wants to listen to a person drone on and on?
But I can't imagine skipping a class led by MIT physics professor Walter H.G. Lewin. He was just profiled in the New York Times for his innovative and interesting take on teaching. You'll see for yourself in some of the videos I've posted here on GrowingBolder.com, the 71-year-old inspires people 50 years younger, to think science is cool!
MIT posts video of many of Lewin's lectures online, at ocw.mit.edu, and those videos are also offered free through iTunes U, on Apple's iTunes Store. In fact, Professor Lewin was the number one on the most downloaded tunes there for a while. Instead of just telling students about electrostatics, he demonstrates the theory, hitting a student with cat fur to show how it works.
In another video, Professor Lewin shows how pendulums work. And after listing the formulas and describing the phsyics, Lewin jumps on a steel ball that he's attached to the ceiling, and actually rides it across the room -- all while his students laugh in the background.
Then there's the video where he shows students how magicians make people appear to be levitating.
Professor Lewin is an internet star. The New York Times article that focused on his online popularity actually became the newspaper's most emailed story the day it came out!
Check out the videos, and download more on iTunes, if you're interested in learning more about Professor Lewin or about physics.