Alumni Story: Tom Winget
High School Attended: Saint Francis High School
College Attended: Ohio State University
“Exposure to a wide variety of interests, opportunities to pursue in-depth topics, learning the ‘why’ mindset, and experiencing collaboration gave me the tools to be successful.”
Bowman’s individualized learning model: An incredible opportunity for growth
Tom Winget, an alumnus that is set to graduate from Ohio State with degrees in computer science and engineering attributes his success to the foundation he developed through Bowman’s individualized learning approach. Tom and a few of his academic peers were ardently moving through the math curriculum ahead of the rest, so his teacher customized lesson plans to enable their subject-area acceleration. “It created a nice collaborative and competitive environment—competitive in the motivational sense,” Tom remembers.
This small group of math students worked together throughout the year to explore advanced math topics using Montessori’s experiential approach. Tom recalls a particular trigonometry problem set: “We were all outside, using string, protractors, and going through the relationships between the angle and side lengths and sizes. The hands-on experience helped us to visualize angles, lengths, and distances. It helped to confer with peers to see different perspectives.”
Bowman taught Tom to ask the fundamental question of why things happen, developing a personal sense of curiosity and perseverance. Through participation in the Science Fair, for example, he learned how to test a hypothesis, analyze data, and refine his understandings of how things worked. He managed the science experiment from idea to implementation, including creating a bill of necessary materials within a budget, daily testing, logging results, analysis, and presenting a conclusion. “This early grounding in scientific methods has helped me immensely,” Tom says.
Applying a curious and determined mindset learned through Bowman’s individualized learning model led him to secure an internship at Cisco where he developed automated testing for a security product. He is looking forward to college graduation and successfully tackling more professional challenges ahead.
Experiences like these helped Tom become a self-motivated learner, an insightful investigator, and a collaborative team member-- essential characteristics for interdisciplinary scientific inquiry that will advance the wellness of the people and the planet.