Today we looked at the materials at hand we had to do some work to find the best combination of materials. Students worked with pennies, galvanized washers, and vinegar to create voltaic cells.
And sometimes that writing it down takes more than one try. Writing with detail isn’t easy, and is something that needs to be refined and practiced.
Today after a first attempt at the Engineering Journal Reflection prompt “Edison and You” we took a second attempt in adding more detail to our original work.
It was an individual prewriting exercise as well, but we did it again today in a group, Venn Diagram: Edison & You. This time on whiteboards, we traveled from whiteboard to whiteboard editing, elaborating, and clarifying others ideas on this assignment. After which spent time rewriting the part of the prompt that needed more detail “Compare and Contrast the Work Edison did Creating a Light Bulb and Our Work Creating a Light Bulb”. Each color on the whiteboard was information from a different group.
We modified the traditional Venn Diagram shape from circles to overlapping squares so it would be easier to write details.
After building the lightbulb using a carbon filament, we read about his experiments to enhance the ability of platinum to withstand high temperatures needed for incandescence.
It was an article that had difficult and unfamiliar vocabulary, so as a class we broke it down in the following way:
- Identified vocabulary that was unfamiliar, entered the words into a Google form
- Researched “top 30” words as identified by the classes using a Lib Guide created by WHS Library
- Created a custom glossary for the article
- Divided 6 key paragraphs and re-wrote them in small groups using the student created glossary
- Incorporated feedback on rough drafts through shared Google Doc
- Presented the “before” and “after” results
Students did a great job decoding the work and (hopefully) learned the value of working in groups when trying to read a difficult text.
For homework all the students had a set of FBDs that they had to attempt for homework. Today in class each group got two FBDs to explain (one in motion, one at rest) then in small groups they taught what they learned to other groups. One idea was that since they were teaching multiple groups, that everyone in the group of 3-4 students had to explain the work.
So we’ve modeled free fall from a couple of different perspectives: knowing ∆y, t, final velocity, but we’ve always done Earth based problems. What about “g”?
Given a list of tools: bowling ball, tall tower (1000 m), radar speed detector, and a tape measure: students were asked to propose a procedure to find “g”. Once the procedure was approved, I gave them an incomplete set of “data” to work with to calculate “g”
Working in 1D vertical motion problems (after doing an activity with reaction time and reading about an tape measure accident). Today we used whiteboards to set-up and solve problems in groups.
Each group starts with a problem (and a specific color) and found knowns & unknowns, they then switch to the next problem and find the formula needed, switch to the next to do the algebra, then the next where they solve, and to the final board where they check another groups work. (the original answer is covered up before they arrive to do the double-check)
Afterwards we had a discussion where groups went back to their original board and problems to share: What needed to be improved, what went well, and what was a technique or idea that they’d use on solving a problem like this in the future.
Atomic mass is a great way for teaching the need for weighted averages. Working together groups figured out where the atomic mass published on the PTE comes from (How can you have a decimal if there are only whole protons and whole neutrons?). Working together on whiteboards makes the computations a bit easier to layout and manage.
Today we looked at the map boards created in Physics. Each group got another group’s board then had to figure out the : distance, displacement, avg. velocity, and avg. speed. As a change from presenting to the whole class, this time I walked to each group and had them present to me, their method for solving each piece. It allows me to ask more “how do you know” questions without putting students too much on the spot with their peers.