Phoenix science teacher takes unique approach to teaching with music

Many students steer clear of science class, but a Phoenix teacher is trying to change that and he's being recognized for the unique way he does it.

John Tulinao, or Mr. T as the kids call him, teaches first grade at Amberlea School within the Pendergast Elementary School District.

"When I started teaching, I was a music teacher, like a full-fledged music teacher, but ever since I was a kid, I always looked at music as something way beyond its artistic value," he said.

Tulinao uses music as a way to integrate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) components of learning.

"Looking at their faces they're so amazed. I am like telling them, 'Hey, when I do this, you're going to see science,' and they're like, 'What?' and as we go through the process, I love that aha moment," Tulinao said.

He was recently awarded the National Science Teaching Association Award for his unique approach to teaching.

"Mr. T is one of those teachers that really energizes his students," said Principal Marisa Barrio, adding, "He really wants to provide his students opportunities that they wouldn't get elsewhere."

Students also remarked on his unique approach to teaching.

"It's awesome, we do a lot of fun science learning and stuff," one student said. Another said, "I love music and I love how Mr. T plays the music for us and I enjoy it."

Tulinao says he's thankful for the position he's in.

"I am just so thankful that I have this support system. I was able to go further and go beyond my limits because people are believing in each other, especially for us teachers," he said.