Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ms. Assante Takes Two Airplanes to the Head

All the materials needed for a fun day of Math and Science!
Helping students enjoy learning math and physics also means using real life models. 

Question: How many times can a middle school class of scientists calculate Speed=Distance x time without planning a revolt against their teacher? 

Answer: As many times as you want them to, if let them throw paper airplanes and chew gum. Last week we completed two labs: Bubble Gum Physics where students completed a Chomper Challenge and Speedy Chompers (how many times can you chomp a piece of gum in one minute?) and a Paper Airplanes Design Challenge, where students design paper airplanes that can either cover the greatest distance or attain the greatest speed.  
We used the scientific process to complete our challenges paying close attention to our independent and dependent variables (don’t forget the control!) We completed no less than 40 math calculations (not including measurement, mass calculations, and time).
This time laughter and joy replaced the usual moans, groans, and  tears that can sometimes accompany multi-step math and science projects. This year, I only took two airplanes to the head! Real life experiences and fun can go together and enhance the curriculum at home or in the classroom.

Extensions and Variations:

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