- Associated Press - Monday, January 16, 2017

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Students at Mintonye Elementary School received an early physics lesson from two skateboarding scientists on Thursday.

Tom Veech, a science presenter with the company Wondergy, said he has been skateboarding for 11 years but utilizes his degree in industrial design from Philadelphia University to explain the complexity behind the sport.

He and his fellow presenter Evan Breder, a professional skateboarder, travel across the nation throughout the calendar school year inspiring students to explore the world around them.

Veech said while the duo teaches students about the laws of gravity and inertia energy, they also focus on safety while practicing the sport.

“You’ve got to make sure good habits like wearing a helmet at all times are developed early on,” Veech said.

Breder said he began skating very early in his life, but the first he ever saw of the sport was in the movie “Toy Story.”

“There was a scene where the character Sid is riding his skateboard and kicks it up onto the curb,” he said. “And that just blew my mind, because I had never seen anyone get in the air on a skateboard until then. After that is when I started riding mine everywhere, trying new things with it.”

Breder told the students that he and older kids at his local skate park helped each other become better skaters by sharing ideas of trial and error with one another that he would later understand to be various concepts of physics.

Prior to joining the traveling show with Wondergy, Breder said he worked with local youth outreach groups in Philadelphia to get kids on the right track for their futures.

“Things like this are super important in areas where there isn’t a lot going on,” he said. “It’s a great way for them to set goals for themselves, and it keeps them out of trouble.”

Breder said by traveling the country, showing off his moves to kids, he hopes to inspire them to continue on to do bigger things.

“This sport has brought me a lot of happiness,” he said. “By passing it on and giving kids some in depth knowledge, I hope it does the same for them, too.”

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Source: (Lafayette) Journal and Courier, http://on.jconline.com/2j82LhV

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Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com

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