Lovettsville’s Rick Peck, the 6th grade science teacher at Seneca Ridge Middle School in Sterling, Virginia is a passionate, endearing, latter day pied piper, leading his young pupils into the frontiers of the mind like the not so long ago popular TV personality, Don Herbert, more widely known as “Mr. Wizard.”
Like the original Mr. Wizard, Rick has earned a deserved reputation as “the friendly, neighborly scientist.”
I met Rick at the height of his homestead’s rolling hills, by an old-fashioned red country barn.
Rick was puzzling how to straighten 14 hollow plastic tubes slightly curved to use at his 6th grade Monday science class.
Dodging a cloud of no-see-ems, Rick manipulated the tubes, “deformed” by slight arcs, because his intended lesson on fluid density required the students to pour less dense fluids over heavier fluids, without spilling a drop, and then Rick would suggest to the class a last addition to the experiment, a surprising touch of chemical legerdemain, that would disrupt the layered quiescence, guaranteeing the attention and curiosity of his students. Continue reading