Red Bank Middle's Richard Pokorny teaches kids to find the answers

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Updated: 8/13/2012 3:53 pm
Sometimes knowing how to find the answer is more important than the answer itself...

At Red Bank Middle School there's a sixth grade science teacher who's empowering his kids, to figure it out.

Richard Pokorny is this week's Golden Apple Award winner...

A Red Bank Middle Schooler calls out, "Space craft this is mission control, we read you..."

It's part of a 6th grade field trip to the UTC Challenger Center.

It isn't your typical day in Richard Pokorny's 6th grade class...but the atmosphere is still the same.

Pokorny says, "It's a lot of fun..."

The hands-on space lesson fits in perfectly with Mr. Pokorny's philosophy on teaching science, "It's hands on. You get to play with things. They get to touch things."

This is the 15 year veteran teacher's second year in the sixth grade science.

He says before last year he didn't care much for 6th graders, but it turns out he had the wrong impression, "They're still young, they're still fun, they're still impressionable, they still fall for jokes...it's they're more fun than any of the other grades."

And at least one student is glad for the change of heart.

Sixth Grader Bryant Howard reads from his Golden Apple nomination letter, "Mr. Pokorny also makes me feel good when I don't understand something because he will say stuff like 'Bryant you are smart you just need to show it.'"

Bryant says Mr. Pokorney makes him actually want to come to class, "He just makes it fun. Like if we're trying to learn something he'll turn it into a game or he'll like let us use our books on our tests and that really helps me 'cause I'm not good at science... at all."

Bryant says Pokorny's method has even helped with his study habits... Now when he doesn't know the answer, he knows how to find it.

For Mr. Pokorny that way of problem solving is a lesson every kids needs to learn...and a skill they'll use for the rest of their lives, "This is fun. I'm not gonna make a zillion dollars. But it's a way to make a mark. And...if kids remember me as 'he's the one who taught me how to work hard, and he's the who taught me how to figure things out' great..."
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