Fifth grader Han Jeong explained the physics behind how a catapult works and led the students in a hands-on project.

Two combined classes of fifth graders at Colonial Elementary School (CES) recently welcomed a special guest lecturer. “Professor Han” Jeong, another of the fifth graders in class, shared his research on the physics of catapults, led the students in building and testing their own devices and even gave the classes a quiz at the end of the lesson. Han had taken a particular interest in the class’s science unit on variables and took time outside of school to explore the topic more in depth. He approached Mrs. Moyer with the idea of presenting what he had learned to the class, and she made time at the end of the unit for him to share. “The most exciting part was teaching my classmates, because I got to do stuff that I usually don’t get to do,” said Han. “The biggest challenge was the time it takes to prepare everything.” When asked how he learned all of the physics concepts he shared in the lesson, Han was clear about what it takes. “Reading, reading, reading, reading, watching videos, reading, reading, reading, researching, reading, reading,” he said. The students in the class enjoyed having Han as their teacher and saw value in seeing their friend so excited and passionate about a topic. “I think kids should do more of that. They should share things that they’re good at so that other people might get into it,” said fifth grader William Pereira. “It’s a lot of fun when a student is actually teaching, because it takes a lot of bravery, and it’s really interesting to see them teach you things.”

Han’s hoping to do a second lesson with his friends later this year.