Kelvin Dueck calls himself a nerd, but his teaching methods are getting some attention from the cool kids.
The Canadian Association of Physicists recently awarded the Pitt Meadows Secondary instructor with the 2021 Excellence in Teaching High School Physics award, recognizing his passion and dedication to science instruction.
“The universe is cool,” said the 25-year teaching veteran. “If I do my job right, I just need to get out of the way, and the universe will be cool on its own.”
Dueck has spent his entire teaching career at Pitt Meadows, starting out as a math instructor in 1997. But after a retirement in 2003, he moved over to the science department and says he hasn’t looked back.
“Teaching physics, there are always moments when the kids will say ‘Wow, I didn’t know that’s how it works,’” he said. “If I am lucky, I can get every kid a bunch of those throughout the year.”
This is not the first time Dueck has been recognized for his teaching abilities.
In 2019, he received the Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence in STEM Award for his creative use of technology in the classroom.
His enthusiastic teaching style is garnering some online fame, and he now boasts a YouTube channel with nearly 3,000 subscribers and over 680,000 views. He also encourages students to learn on their own time, uploading his teaching materials to www.pittmath.com.
Dueck said he still enjoys watching students light up when they unravel a problem or see the universe from a new perspective.
“You can’t get enough of that,” he said. “You see that little light go on and they realize they are understanding the universe differently. You live for that. It is just the best.”