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/content/aapt/journal/tpt/54/1/10.1119/1.4937973
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/content/aapt/journal/tpt/54/1/10.1119/1.4937973
2016-01-01
2016-12-07

Abstract

Could Usain Bolt achieve what teachers often fail to do? Could this famous Olympic winner challenge and motivate students to study mechanics and introduce them to the principles of physics in a fun way, outside of the classroom? In order to answer these questions, we “invited” for one semester the world record holder to visit our Greek high school in Thessaloniki as a guest teacher. For 13 weeks, 27 fifteen-year-olds run (or at least try to run) side by side with this great athlete, intending to learn his secrets. Within 9.58 s or 100 m, students have the chance to study a “phenomenon” of their daily lives and be introduced to a variety of concepts of physics in a pleasant and effective way. Students use simple athletic and innovative biomechanical equipment for their experiments, but mostly their own bodies, as experimental tools in order to study and to “feel” physics. Students have the chance to compare their athletic abilities to Bolt's and confront some of their ideas concerning concepts of physics.

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