I teach Physics in a low-income school in Oregon. All of my students are Juniors or Seniors who have already taken the other science classes in sequence (Bio and Chemistry). Students who take my class are usually dedicated and focused, but still struggle with the issues surrounding a low-income setting. Many have plans to follow a career in either engineering or physics in college.
Physics is a difficult class to teach in a low income school. Not many students take the class every year (less than 20) so not much budget money can be passed that way. As a result, the class tends to be mostly textbook and conceptually based. A tragedy with something like physics!
In order to keep physics from being nothing more than another math class, I am trying to incorporate a series of projects that deal with concepts we are learning in class. When we start getting to structures next term, there are two directions we can go. We can either draw pictures and do book work, or we can build bridges! The equipment necessary isn't really expensive. However, I also teach chemistry and AP chemistry, so my limited budget needs to go for buying the equipment necessary for stocking those larger classes. The kit will be used by students to build a bridge in small groups. Students will be given an imaginary budget and "sold" supplies to build their bridge. Once all the bridges are done, they will compete against each other in a "last-bridge-standing" strength test! The completed bridges will also be displayed in the schools forum in order to increase enrollment in physics in the years to come!
There is a certain pride that goes along with student projects. It is one thing to get a good grade on homework or on a test, but it is a whole different block of cheese when students are able to complete a task and understand the concepts behind them. Suddenly, Newton's laws and structural design are exciting! Your donation will give students that feeling of pride and will possibly point some students in the direction of engineering. Thanks for your support!
|Bridge Building Kit, Basswood • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$98.00||1||$98.00|
|Easy Cutter Ulitmate Precision Wood Cutting Tool • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$25.99||1||$25.99|
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