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Day 50: Poster Presentations

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College-Prep Physics: Students presented their mini-posters to each other today. Although they worked in groups of three, I wanted each student to present their poster. So each person in a groups was assigned a number (1, 2, or 3). All the 1s presented to each other, all the 2s presented to each other, and all the 3s presented to each other. The students who were listening had a feedback rubric to fill out. To save paper, I turned the rubric into a Google Form and had students use iPads to complete a form for each poster presentation. Each student had 4 minutes 45 seconds to present, and then 15 seconds to move to the next poster. I used OnlineBoxingTimer.com to set up each “Round” and “Rest” time and projected it. (Last year I used the iPad app Circle Timer, but I like that this boxing timer is web-based.)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
#8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

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Day 49: Mini-Posters

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College-Prep Physics: Students worked on making their scientific mini-posters for their pull-back toy truck lab.

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
#8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Day 47: Astronomy Social Media Project

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Astronomy: We’ve been using the activity-based text “Investigating Astronomy” for our semester-long astronomy elective. Each unit ends with a project. For the Earth-Moon-Sun System unit, the project is to make a calendar, with each month about a particular Earth-Sun-Moon phenomena. I decided to spice it up a bit by having kids assume the role of an Educational Outreach and Social Media manager for an astronomical organization. They had to choose a social media platform (Twitter, Facebook, Vine, YouTube, etc.) and create 8 tweets/posts/vines/videos etc, one for each specific phenomena. They were not allowed to copy/paste pictures off the internet. They had to draw their own pictures or model the phenomena in a photograph. The results were due today and some were pretty cool. Some groups made fake tweets (see picture). One group was inspired by Veritasium and made their own “interview” videos (I can’t share the video online because I don’t have permission of everyone interviewed in video). Here’s the project details:

Unit Challenge: Astronomy Social Media

  1. What is the scale of the E-S-M system?
  2. How does the sun rotate?
  3. How does the moon rotate?
  4. What causes the moon phases?
  5. What causes a solar eclipse?
  6. What causes a lunar eclipse?
  7. How does Earth go through phases?
  8. What was the importance of the lunar cycle in ancient cultures?
  • Each post/tweet/etc. must have a model to illustrate the concept.
  • This model may be photos of a physical model (preferred) or a diagram you create. You may NOT copy/paste images directly from the internet, books, etc.

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices
#8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Day 20: Bowling Ball & Mallets 2015

College-Prep Physics: We did the bowling ball and mallet activity today as an introduction to forces and motion. Why do things speed up, slow down, or change direction? One of the tasks asks students to use the mallet to get a moving bowling ball to make a 90 degree turn. What to do is not obvious to students. They just want to hit the ball at right angle. In the video, you’ll hear one group come to terms with their incorrect prediction and how they fix it. They are learning directly from their experience — more powerful and longer lasting than simply listening to me lecture!

I improved my handout from last year, changing some wording and adding a few additional scenarios. You can get it here: WORKSHEET Bowling Ball Motion 2015

We hadn’t done motion diagrams before, so before we played with the bowling balls, I started the lesson with this slide:

strobephotosThe strobe photos came from The Physics Classroom Photo Gallery. The photos made for the best introduction to motion diagrams I’ve ever had.

NGSS Science and Engineering Practice #8: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information