Physics by Inquiry challenged me to develop the skills of listening and asking questions. I realized that I must be able to teach in ways that are different from how I happen to learn.”

Matthew’s Story

As an undergraduate at the University of Washington (UW), Matthew Randall gravitated to teaching and coaching roles, beginning with a position during his sophomore year as the cross-country coach at Zion Lutheran Middle School. “I enjoyed it so much that I continued to coach both cross-country and track there for four years.”

Matt earned dual degrees in physics and applied mathematics from UW. “Along the way towards earning my degree in physics, I had the good fortune of becoming involved with the Physics Education Group (PEG) at the UW.” Inspired by the group’s teaching and inquiry process, he became a teaching assistant for the PEG undergraduate physics classes and was an instructor in the summer workshops. “This experience with PEG truly shaped the way that I think about teaching.”

During his college years, Matt coached basketball and taught English in Ethiopia and served as a camp counselor in Haines, Alaska. “The overwhelming theme of my college years was the enjoyment that I found working with adolescents in a variety of settings.”  After getting his undergraduate degree, Matt went on to get his master’s degree in teaching from the University of Washington and to teach and coach at Lindbergh High School in Renton, Washington.

In 2009, Matt was one of three teachers chosen from the Renton School District as the Renton Rotary Teacher of the Month for April.  In 2010, Matt and his students in the Lindbergh High School’s Robotics Club participated in Renton Art Walk, a community outreach event where visitors had an opportunity to interact with demonstrations including his bicycle-powered generator and the club’s pair of student-built robots.