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[Image above] Credit: Bill Robertson; YouTube

I love unexpected pairings—when a combination of things goes against your preconceived notions of what should go together.

Like peanut butter on a hamburger.

Or like skateboarding and higher education.

Bill Robertson is a skateboarder and educator with a life mission to inspire learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Roberston, better known as Dr. Skateboard, catalyzes STEM learning through a unique pairing of his passions—skateboarding and teaching.

Robertson has created an educational video series, called Dr. Skateboard’s Action Science, that uses action sports to connect with students and introduce them to science and math concepts, using corresponding interactive classroom activities to cement the lessons.


And with low percentages of U.S. students testing at proficient levels in math and science, novel approaches like Robertson’s may be what’s needed to connect with students to inspire science learning. (You can find more STEM education data from the National Science Foundation here.)

Hear more about Dr. Skateboard’s approach in the video below.

Credit: Bill Robertson; YouTube

Robertson’s approach is unique. And so are his credentials—I would have to guess that not many of the other pro skateboarders in the Freestyle Skateboarding Hall of Fame can also boast having a Ph.D. and being a Fulbright scholar.

But Robertson’s mission to support STEM learning is a familiar one—and one that’s shared by the American Ceramic Society.

In its charge to support ceramic and glass materials, ACerS has long recognized the importance of science education to help students learn about materials science and engineering early on.

Like Dr. Skateboard’s educational series, ACerS materials science classroom kits are designed to bring hands-on science learning into the classroom.

And The Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation is entirely devoted to ensuring that the ceramic and glass industry can attract and train the next generation of workers—a goal that serves both industry and education—by promoting educational opportunities centered around ceramic and glass materials.

Because as Dr. Skateboard says in the video above, it’s all about creating pathways for people to learn—whether that be in the skatepark, the classroom, the factory floor, or anywhere else where individuals can connect concepts and practice.

You tell us—how do you create novel pathways for people to learn about materials science and engineering?