Day 38: Texting and Driving

How far does your car travel while you drive and one-handedly text "LOL" to your friend?

I borrowed this prompt from a fellow physics teacher. Kids were immediately engaged. They asked questions like "How fast am I driving?" and "How long does it take to text?" I told them to assume whatever speed you wanted, we'd share out later. I also made stopwatches available for kids to time themselves texting. Then we shared assumptions and results (see blackboard pic).

Then we measured out the shortest and longest distances using measuring tape in the hallway. The reactions from the kids were incredible:

"Oh, WOW! That's REALLY far."

"Oh God. That's so scary."

"I had no idea."

It was a great way to spend a shortened period (20 minutes long due to snow delay opening).


About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

5 responses to “Day 38: Texting and Driving”

  1. Sue VanHattum says :

    Good stuff.

  2. Ben Wildeboer says :

    I was reminded by <a href="">Dan Meyer’s mention of this activity</a> that when I used it with my classes I made a little slide to throw up at the beginning. <a href="">Here it is in case you or someone else would like to use it</a>.It was a fun activity, though I found it interesting that at least 1 group per class first came up with the the time to text simply by estimating instead of actually measuring how long it took them to text. I guess that’s what happens when they’re told over and over to not use their phones at school.

  3. Karl Fisch says :

    I do something similar with my freshmen in Algebra, although I give them a bit more info (the speed limit outside of our school – regular, and when the lights are flashing). I haven’t gone out in the hall, but we estimate how many classrooms they would travel to get the same effect.I struggle a bit with how "directed" my version is, but my freshmen seem to flounder without that scaffolding.

  4. Rae White says :

    I can’t wait to try it with my students. Thanks Dan for the idea.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Day 61: Texting While Driving 2014 | Noschese 180 - December 14, 2013

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