A great magician never reveals his secrets.
Except for Curt Tinlin, outreach coordinator at Kent State University at Stark.
A retired Canton City Schools teacher, Tinlin discovered years ago that performing magic was the trick to keeping his students alert in math and science class.
“When students are enthralled by a card trick or illusion and then learn how it works — which often involves mathematic and scientific principles — they go from focus to wonderment to confusion to comprehension. The learning process becomes exciting,” he says.
Today, Tinlin takes his math and science magic to schools around Stark County, serving as a Kent State Stark ambassador to the educational community.
“My role is to connect with the community and position Kent State Stark as a valuable educational resource beyond our own student body,” says Tinlin, who has been outreach coordinator since early 2014.
Accessing Kent State Stark Resources
Using magic to teach is a small part of Tinlin’s work. More often, he’s meeting with administrators and faculty at public, private and parochial schools, learning about their educational needs and identifying ways
Kent State Stark can support them.
That’s how and why Tinlin facilitates outreach efforts like these:
- Associate Professor of History Leslie Heaphy joined a class of language arts students for a lunch discussion about the Roaring Twenties. Her visit was a kickoff to the class’s study of The Great Gatsby.
- Associate Professor of Chemistry Andrew Burns participated in Tuslaw High School’s College Reality Seminar. He led a discussion on the expectations of university studies and how they differ from high school.
- A group of home-schooled juniors and seniors from Stark County came to campus for one-on-one meetings with professors in fields they hope to study. “They had already visited two other campuses and felt that their tours had been one-size-fits-all,” says Tinlin. “At Kent State Stark, their visit was customized just for them.”
- Kent State Stark students, members of a student outreach team Tinlin formed, visited middle school and high school classrooms to share personal stories about social interaction, taking responsibility, the importance of studying and other topics. “One student did a fascinating presentation, making balloon animals while talking about the twists and turns in her path to a college degree,” says Tinlin. Depending on the audience, Tinlin has supplied speakers who are international students, nontraditional students, athletes or others with inspirational stories.
“We are a valuable partner in educating students in kindergarten through 12th grade,” says Tinlin. “This work is building bridges between Stark County’s educational community and Kent State Stark, making our resources more accessible to more people.”