be excellent to each other & don't run with scissors

Author: mswaterman (Page 1 of 17)

29:180 Ruler Car

Video analysis is a powerful tool in the classroom. With Chromebooks and cellphones, students are able to film and measure data about very quick events using slow-motion controls. Pivot Interactives has a whole library of quality videos that have already been filmed for students to analyze as well.

Slow-motion video of Ruler Car traveling between two known points
Student Whiteboards designing a procedure to measure the speed of a Ruler Car
The procedure needs to be tested and approved before real data is collected


Teachers start before we actually “start”. After a great summer of visiting National Parks with my family, it was good to be with fellow teachers again.

Mentor training meeting was a good time to reflect on what teachers need to be successful in today’s classroom. Also gave me pause, I’m about to start my 19th year of teaching!

Sketchnotes forever!

two pages of sketchnotes from a meeting about mentoring new teachers

176:180 Final Project

Students worked in groups to build a Rube Goldberg machine to perform a task of their choosing. Throughout the build, the themes of Energy conservation and conservation of matter were explored. Many chose to use a battery operated LED circuit that they built because of the storytelling that can occur just with that one simple build:

  • Electrical energy transformed to thermal energy by the soldering iron to solder the parts together in the circuit
  • The transformation of chemical energy (battery) to electrical energy (circuit) to light energy (LED).
  • Conservation of matter: measuring the decrease in the spool of solder mass at the beginning of the build, to the ending mass of the final circuit.

Always fun to watch the students’ process, and the joy that they have when their ideas work.

140:180 Phase Change & Soldering

The Natural Science & Engineering students have been studying how heat energy added or removed from a system affects states of matter. We applied these ideas to learn how to solder. Each student created a ring of wire that included learning how to use wire strippers, create an in-line splice, and soldering that splice together with 99.3% Sn/0.7% Cu rosin core solder. They will use these skills next week when they build an LED flashlight which we will use to model the photoelectric effect.

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