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Physics on the football field at UMD

Updated: September 23, 2020 06:09 PM

Dr. Margaret Elmer-Dixon brought her intro to physics class outside. | Ben Harper, WDIO Dr. Margaret Elmer-Dixon brought her intro to physics class outside. | Ben Harper, WDIO

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After being cooped up for weeks doing school online, some students at UMD were able to see others in person on Wednesday. Dr. Margaret Elmer-Dixon brought her intro to physics class to the Malosky Stadium for a lesson on velocity.

Their main goal? Get a t-shirt to launch as far as possible.

"I got really tired of writing Zoom lectures. One of the things I love about teaching intro to physics is teaching in a way that the students can go home and try it themselves," Elmer-Dixon told us. 

The students were happy to be able to work in groups, without dealing with the online aspect.

Intro to Physics class | Ben Harper, WDIO Intro to Physics class | Ben Harper, WDIO

"It was really nice to get outside and meet people for the first time," shared Kaden Smart. "Plus, it's a real-world application, and get to see a shirt soar through the air, which is kind of entertaining."

They worked together in teams to figure out how to get the t-shirt to launch further each time.

Elmer-Dixon said that's the real interaction she was hoping for. "It allows them to read the body language, and not have the pressure to hit the microphone button, and just have that conversation casually."

Shay Calloway is a freshman. "I was super excited to go to college. I know it's not the best circumstances. But we're doing the best we can with it."

The advice to keep up with all of this? Don't fall behind! Smart added, "I myself am struggling to stay on top of things. Get things done early rather than late. Once you fall behind, it's really hard to catch up again."

The hope is to bring them out to more in-person, real life experiences a few more times this semester. Elmer-Dixon has her eye on the curling club, for a lesson on collision theory!

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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