David Wright, Ph.D., a 69-year-old physics and astronomy professor at Tidewater Community College in Virginia, has received an outpouring of admiration and respect after one of his students posted a compilation of all of his over-the-top demonstrations throughout the semester on Twitter.
Erica Church, a sophomore at TCC, admits to Buzzfeed News that she was "a little worried" prior to attending Wright's Elements of Physics class—a prerequisite for her sonography major—with her friend Kierra Brothers. Her concerns, however, were immediately put at ease once she saw his first presentation. "I was a little worried going in," Church said. "On the first day of class, he actually walked on a bed of broken glass. I was like, this is a little crazy. I've never seen a professor doing this before."
Luckily, Church and Brothers had the foresight to record his experiments for a montage that now has recieved over 14 million views and one million likes in less than two days.
The appeal with Wright's class was that he helped make physics more enjoyable for a group of students who were mostly only taking his class to essentially check off a box. His experiments successfully manage to exude a level of joy that cannot be obtained from reading words in a textbook, especially for people who already feel disengaged with the course material.
"I figure if I'm not having fun teaching the course they’re not going to have any fun either," Wright told GMA of the approach he takes with his students. "You should be really passionate in what you’re doing and I hope I serve as an example of that." Judging from the responses to Church's video, Wright's passion for physics can be seen and felt by many people outside the walls of Tidewater Community College.