Students Win Bet, Get Teacher To Make Final Exam About Fortnite

Illustration for article titled Students Win Bet, Get Teacher To Make Final Exam About Fortnite

High school teacher Mike McCray knows a lot about chemistry and absolutely nothing about Fortnite. It’s the opposite for some of his students. And after winning a bet, those students might have a better chance at passing McCray’s class.

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McCray teaches chemistry at Tippecanoe High School in Ohio. According to him, McCray came to an agreement with his students: He’d make their second semester exam about Fortnite if they received 6,700 retweets on a tweet asking for the topic switch—a random number he picked. McCray told Kotaku, “The challenge started by a student asking me to pick a number, and I said something like 11.235, and they said to pick a whole number, so I said 6700. The students then said if they got 6700 retweets would I make their final exam about Fortnite, so I said yes.”

After that, Twitter did its magic. The tweet went viral. “I don’t have a Twitter account, so I didn’t really know if this was feasible or not,” McCray said. “Obviously it must have been, since somebody told me it got up to about 30K retweets.”

Now McCray is planning how to turn a chemistry exam into one about paragliders and pistols. “To be honest with you, I play zero video games, so I had no idea what the kids were talking about,” McCray said. “I’ll just make up chemistry questions that involve Fortnite terminology I suppose.”

Senior reporter at Kotaku.

DISCUSSION

This is how it’s done. While the teacher would’ve done better to make a bet concerning a platform he was familiar with (6700 retweets isn’t much when something like an exam based on a game is at stake), he not only provided an opportunity for his students to teach him something, but he kept his word—and he’s evidently going to find ways to work chemistry concepts into Fortnite terms, which is an excellent way to demonstrate interconnected learning.

This is the kind of person who absolutely deserves to be in their classroom (if this story is a reasonable representation of the rest of their approach/attitude/work, anyway).

I know far too many of my colleagues who are absolutely brilliant in their fields, but have no idea how to teach their material—and a few who hold their students in abject contempt. Of course, this is at the college level, but even at major universities, the first duty of any educator is to educate.

Looks like this guy is doing that in spades. Good on him, and thanks for sharing this, Cecilia!