By Natalie Lorenzo, Editorial Staff, ‘23

Mr. Cornetto, the Honors and A.P. Physics teacher at Indian Hills High School, is one of the most popular teachers amongst students. Not only does he make learning physics more fun, but he also makes walking into the classroom every day a game by hiding a snowman maraca in a different place around the room. In addition, in his classroom one can find Pigasis, a plastic pig with wings, flying high above the lab table in the front, and recently, random Santa Clause heads scattered around the room.  

Why did you decide to teach physics? 

If you’re asking “why physics,” I actually started as a chemistry teacher. I like variety, though, so when some physics sections came available, I volunteered to teach them. I taught both subjects for a few years, but it’s been just physics for a while now – and that’s fine by me. Since you need physics to really understand chemistry, physics is the more satisfying science.

If you’re asking “why teacher,” that’s a harder one. I was managing a psychology lab at Rutgers when I decided to try something different. Teaching was different.

What is your favorite unit in physics in general? 

There are a few, but I think electromagnetism is pretty amazing – especially the very end of AP Physics C, where, with a little hand-wavey magic and Maxwell’s Equations, all the little puzzle pieces snap together into a single picture. That Maxwell was one sharp guy.

What is your favorite unit in physics to teach? 

Optics. With all the mirrors and lenses and lasers and prisms, we get to play with some quality toys. That’s the best way to learn – by trying something for yourself. And no, I haven’t outgrown toys.

What is your favorite thing about teaching physics? 

I enjoy how much room there is for curiosity and creativity. It takes a lot of imagination to ask good questions, and even more to find the answers. The universe is a pretty interesting place when you stop and look at it.

If you could teach another class, what would it be? 

I think a philosophy class could be fun. I like that it’s not about being right or wrong, but rather one’s ability to build an argument. I also seem to have a thing for questions that hurt my head.

Why do you hide the snowman maraca in your class every day? 

Because if I didn’t hide him, he’d be too easy to find. Snowman maracas don’t hide themselves.