Richard Thornley is the chemistry teacher everyone wishes they had in high school. He is using interactive technology to teach the difficult concepts of molecular geometry to his students - and is also a fan of 'Gangnam Style'!
Richard Thornley is the chemistry teacher everyone wishes they had in high school. He is using interactive technology to teach the difficult concepts of molecular geometry to his students.
Currently working at the United Nations International School in New York City, Thornley has uploaded 350 videos to YouTube explaining the different parts of his International Baccalaureate chemistry course.
On Tuesday, the British-born chemistry buff posted on the Guardian's blog page about his teaching style using interactive 3D games, and even gave a shout out to "Gangnam Style."
Thornley says he uses a game called 'Garry's Mod' where the student can enter a world populated with oversized molecules and interact with them, moving, manipulating, and destroying them as they see fit.
The students really enjoy this new, creative way to learn chemistry - a long way off from boring diagrams and plastic models.
The addition of a Microsoft Kinect system allows the student to appear within the game for further interaction. The molecule can then be nudged, spun, or shaken in the game in much the same way real scientists do.
The system has received a lot of attention and praise from Thornley's colleagues - and even the management of the school has gotten involved.
In the blog post Thornley says, "Until you have seen a supervisor perform Gangnam Style avatared through a zombie with oxygen molecules glued to his hands, you haven't lived."
And that is true, the "Gangnam Style" dance has popped up in quite a few videos on his YouTube channel and is often used by the students interacting with the giant molecules in the mystic 3D universe.
Check out one such video below, as well as the introduction video to Thornley's chemistry course.