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The Experimentory Blog

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Teacher Voices: Good vs. Bad Stress (Mr. Bakker, Electronics)

January 13, 2017

The Experimentory is happy to announce the addition of Mr. Ben Bakker to our 2017Mr Bakker electronics teacher Faculty Team! He will be teaching Electronics along side Theater Faculty member Daniel Thrasher in our Comedy, Tragedy, Circuitry course cluster.

With degrees in Physics from WPI and Umass Lowell, Mr. Bakker started his STEM career teaching physics and math in Tanzania with the Peace Corps. He later helped found the Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) where he served as Science and Computer Science Chair. And now Mr. Bakker has been at Deerfield Academy for twenty years teaching physics, computer science, robotics, computer architecture, and (a recent addition) green wall design.

As with all our Experimentory staff, Mr. Bakker values creativity and character. As Robotics coach/advisor, he has spent many hours tinkering and problem solving with students in the DA Mr. Bakker watches a student's robot perform its assigned taskrobotics labs. He's brought DA robotics teams to the Trinity Firefighting robotics, Robofest, Olympics of the Mind, and FIRST Robotics competitions. He has also been a community service advisor and Elements Outdoors Club advisor.

Most importantly, you'll find Mr. Bakker is both nurturing and challenging. "Students can feel a lot of stress when working in the lab," he explained to me recently. Worry about appearing successful, or getting good grades, or a fear of failing -- these are debilitating. "But there is also a good sort of stress that's healthy in the right quantities." Good stress is the hunger to understand something that at first is confusing, or to work out a solution to a vexing problem, or to create something that really works. "The one limits you and robs you of joy, but the other is a sign that you've bought in and vested yourself in your work." Mr. Bakker tries to do all that he can to help students drop the bad and thrive in the good.

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Bakker!


Want to read more about what you will learn at the Experimentory? Explore the rest of our web page to learn more about all of our faculty members and course clusters. Ready to gain Mr. Bakker as a mentor?

Apply today!