Canton physics professor gets 100,000 YouTube views for scientific demonstrations
Friday, July 26, 2013 - 12:32 pm

SLU Prof. Daniel W. Koon

CANTON — What started more or less as a backup of a St. Lawrence University professor’s prepared lengthy classroom demonstrations has turned into a popular website and resource.

Professor of Physics Daniel W. Koon has created his own YouTube channel to host videos of his scientific demonstrations.

Since then, his channel has received more than 100,000 viewers from the U.S., South Korea, India, and the U.K., and has more than 50 subscribers.

The site features more than 30 physics demonstrations about a minute or two long on things such as lasers, rainbows, and determining the quickest path between two points. He even has a video of a wild taxi ride through the streets of Havana, Cuba.

Koon said the videos save him quite a bit of time each year.

“I started it because there are some experimental demos for class that take an inordinate amount of time to set up,” he said. “I may use the demos once a year for maybe five minutes tops, and then I take them down and stash away for another year. Now, (the YouTube videos) are pretty much a classroom teaching resource.”

Koon said he also uses his own channel to remember how he conducted previous experiments.

“I would often spend a lot of time finding the exact best power supply, for example, or I would come up with a clever way of putting the demo together, and I wanted to remember next time to not waste that time reinventing the wheel,” he said. “So, if I look at the video, I’ll remember what worked best.”

While Koon uses these videos as a tool for teaching with technology for his own courses at St. Lawrence, he has received feedback from others, including high school teachers, who find the demonstrations useful as well.

To view Koon’s YouTube channel, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/KoonPhysics.