Just found this blog for Science and Math teachers which focuses on free resources!!!
Archive for November, 2008
I was chatting with my cousin at a family gathering today and asking her questions about the Physics class she’s currently taking (she’s a 9th grade student). She mentioned on homework assignment that got me all excited!!!
I read recently in the book Einstein’s Refrigerator, a story about the Citigroup Center building in Manhattan (the building pictured to the right with a triangular roof). The book, compiled by Steve Silverman, is a collection of believe-it-or-not stories “from the flip side of history.”
My mom recently showed me the website below. So cool! I’m just disappointed the website doesn’t have any teacher resources…but it’s great nonetheless!
Check it out —> http://www.engineeryourlife.com
So I observed David McKinney, an 8th Grade Science teacher at Isaac Newton Middle School, today. It was really exciting to see all his energy — even if he admitted part of his energy high was due to having observers in the room! He did the following activity with his class and it was so fun to watch, never mind that the kids could see evolution (a change in frequency of a species) in action.
Based on Sir Charles Darwin’s research in the Galapagos Islands, the kids were challenged to see which finch beaks (modeled with tweezers, clothespins, toothpicks, and spoons) were most effective in eating which foods (rice, sunflower seeds, marshmallows, and marbles). At first, the kids had a plate representing an island since Darwin found there were entirely different species of finches on the islands in comparison to the mainland. Each student made a prediction as to which “beak” would be the most effective. Then they emptied a bag of food onto the plates (each bag had an assortment of the “foods” listed above). They were given 10 seconds with each “beak” to see how many pieces of food they could collect in a cup: NO SCOOPING WITH THE CUP ALLOWED! Results were recorded in a chart and organized by the type of food.
The second half of the activity was based on the first. Half of the groups were given a bag of rice and the other half a bag of marbles since their respective islands had a drought of the other food. Kids predicted which beak would be most effective in this case. Each beak had 10 seconds to prove itself and the data was recorded.
McKinney ran out of time at the end of class, but they had a short discussion about why certain beaks were advantageous given the indigenous food supply. It seemed empowering for the kids to participate in an experimental activity similar to the acclaimed scientist Darwin that it is associated with!
Two atoms were walking across a road when one of them said, “I think I lost an electron!” “Really!” the other replied, “Are you sure?” “Yes, I ‘m absolutely positive!”
A classmate and I were mulling over pendulums on the train ride last night and couldn’t come to any conclusion. We were discussing how mass as a variable effects two pendulums. Initially, my response was that a more massive pendulum would rise to a higher point once released (if two pendulums of differing masses were released from the same height) because it has greater PE, but then we got confused because it also takes more energy to keep it swinging. So then it also made sense for both pendulums to reach the same height and have the same period with every oscillation.
Since we couldn’t come to any conclusion, I went home and played around with some homemade pendulums. I constructed one with some gift wrapping ribbon and one fork and another with gift ribbon and five forks. Attached is a slide show and commentary of what I found. I pretty much observed both phenomena of the two forks at same heights with same periods as well as two forks with same periods but different heights. Then I coupled the two pendulums just for kicks.
My husband Keith got home from work as I was curled up nearly under the sink in the bathroom trying to take pictures. Oh, Physics!