It's much harder to learn something when you don't care about the topic.
That's why I've always approached learning as two step process.
The first step is getting to the "hmm!" moment -- that moment when you realize that the particular topic you're studying really does matter. It has applications in the real world. It's useful. Your interest is piqued.
The second step is getting to the "aha!" moment -- the moment when you've broken down a topic into its individual, understandable pieces and can put them all together to solve the problem you've been working on.
I do my best to go through both steps with my students. You can't force passion and enthusiasm, but you can develop it when you have a better idea of how the topic you're studying applies to the real world.
I focus on technical topics (math, biology, chemistry, physics, and economics), and I especially enjoy teaching hands-on topics that aren't covered in most high school curricula, including electronics (Arduino) and programming (Scratch, for younger students; Python, for those just coming in to programming; and Objective C -- for making iPhone and iOS apps in general -- for more advanced learners). I prefer to work with students from middle school through high school, but I'm happy to work with students outside this range on a case-by-case basis.
In my spare time, I've taught electronics and Arduino at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire, at the Exploratorium's Open Make, and at the Crucible in Oakland. I co-founded and help run Workshop Weekend, a Bay Area weekend program designed to give kids and young adults hands-on experience in topics not typically covered in schools, with workshops ranging from robot building to cheesemaking, and from wearable electronics to 3D printing!
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