Dowling Magnets products have been engaging, challenging, and teaching kids for more than 60 years. But we don’t do it alone! Many of the hundreds of science products in our line are the result of internal brainstorming, but many others were created and developed for us by inventors like Dean Knight, the brains behind our best-selling Science Discovery Kits!
Knight’s timeless sets have been among our biggest sellers since their introduction more than 25 years ago. It’s no surprise that this science teacher knew just what to include in each kit to make them utterly appealing to young scientists… Knight is a professional science teacher and was recently named Sonoma County, California’s longest-serving public school teacher!
In fact, this school year marked Knight’s 44th year in the (same!) classroom at Sonoma Valley High School, where he is currently teaching a course load including chemistry, physics, and advanced placement physics. Knight, who has a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from UC Berkley, is often asked why he continues to teach. Certainly a scientist such as Knight, who has had projects on both the Space Shuttle and the MIR Space Station (wow!) could make more money elsewhere. But Knight measures success in happiness, not in dollars, and engaging kids in science makes him happy.
And boy does he engage them! In addition to lectures and labs, Knight plans field trips, shows films, conducts live demonstrations, and even started the annual Physics Olympics, now in its 29th year. His Science Discovery Kits, including a Magnet Levitation Kit, Electric Motor Generator Kit, Electromagnet Kit, and Magnets in Motion Kit, are proof that he knows just how to make science exciting and hands-on. We’re so excited about Dean’s kits that we even included a caricature version of him in the Science Discovery Kits logo!
When he’s not teaching science or satisfying his curiosity through endless scientific research, Knight spends time with his two children. And if you’re ever out exploring Sonoma, California, you may even see him driving around town in the 1966 VW bug his parents gifted him upon his college graduation.