First Year Students Begin Learning About Constant Velocity Particles

photo

And The White Boarding Begins

We are off to a great start with our new students. They did an exceptional job tackling our first observational “lab” (the Buggy Lab without motion detectors), and they got the hang of white boarding pretty quickly. As can be expected, some students were very quiet, but many participated in the group discussion, and everyone was engaged with their individual groups.

One thing discovered by the students was how important it is to draw your graph axis scale correctly. Some of the graphs created were not linear due to the fact that students tried to “squeeze” points onto the graph by effectively warping the axis. This was a good learning opportunity and I explained that in the future we would first be creating our graphs on a computer and that they were to translate the shape and not be too concerned with precisely placing their points according to the imprecisely drawn graph axis.

This also brought up the point made by one student whose team had created a graph that looked like the buggy had gone backward in time! This prompted some great discussions about time and position, but more importantly it allowed me to ask the students if it made sense to “connect the dots” on their graph. A student perceptively commented that it didn’t really make sense because it gave the impression that all the data had been gathered in one trial. We then identified that a better way to show that each data point represented a different trial would be to NOT connect them. Nice work class.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s