Physics teacher Nigel Cook has a taste for vampires and house music

5th December 2003 at 00:00
Best book ever

Longitude by Dava Sobel (the story of John Harrison, the clockmaker who solved the problem of determining longitude). I'm an infrequent reader but this story of a man obsessed with perfection in the pursuit of science grabbed me. His obsession brought him into conflict with power and influence, but he carried on against the odds and I identified with that persistence.

Best film ever

I've got very broad taste, but Interview with a Vampire (directed by Neil Jordan, starring Brad Pitt, pictured, and Tom Cruise) was fantastic. A Gothic horror story set in modern-day San Francisco about a 200-year-old vampire who tells his life story to an increasingly beguiled journalist. I just loved the idea.

Best sounds

I'm into dance music - European House, Italian Piano House, stuff like that, although as a DJ I keep an open mind. To keep up, I go to a lot of music festivals, such as the Virgin Festival, in the summer.

Favourite resource

I buy model rockets from the local model shop and take them on to the playing field with students. I get 10 or 12 launches out of each one and lose about three a year. They're just great for demonstrating Newton's laws of motion and concepts such as air resistance; it's so exciting when they break cloud cover. They're practical, visual and accessible to all.

Students regard them as great fun, a real treat. I also use a lot of liquid nitrogen because you can do visually exciting things with it. Students love seeing balloons shrivel to nothing when dipped in liquid nitrogen and expand again when they are taken out.

Treat to share with pupils

I'm looking into starting a school radio station and would love to secure a licence for public listening. That's probably going to be too expensive, but we're exploring possibilities.

Nigel Cook, 32, is in his third year of teaching physics and electronics at Morecambe high school, his first post. He has worked as a presenter on local independent radio and a DJ in pubs and clubs. He was talking to Elaine Williams

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