Can MIT Geniuses Light a Bulb with a Battery and Wire?

Try It

This two-minute video makes telling points about what is — and isn’t — being learned in our schools. Share it with community members to start a conversation about education goals, how we learn, and the relative merits of learning science in an academic science class versus hands-on learning experiences (e.g., a CTE course, an apprenticeship with a  master electrician).

Discuss It

  • What do you make of this? Would you have figured this out? 
  • What does this tell us about MIT grads who scored 800 on their SAT math, 5’s on their AP Physics and Calculus BC exams, a 4.5 or higher high-school GPA, and have graduated from the world’s most prestigious engineering institution? If you know Coulomb’s  Law and Kirchhoff’s Law, do you understand electricity?
  • Does this make you re-think the value of CTE education — not just for some students, but for all students?
  • Does this explain why there’s often friction in the workplace between newly-hired college graduates and experienced employees who didn’t attend college?

Go Deeper

Consider posing the light bulb challenge to a few students — including some AP Physics students and some CTE students. Maybe include a local electrician and university engineering professor. This may help your community understand that kids learn in different ways, and that hands-on learning is invaluable. Explore the ramifications of having all students do more hands-on learning.