Investigating Physics Through Engineering and Critical Thinking
My students need supplies, such as balsa wood, a laser pointer, and wood glue, to construct physics projects throughout the year such as building a balsa wood bridge, bobsled, catapult, roller coaster, electricity house and motor.
My students are creative, thoughtful and have a genuine love of learning! They absolutely love hands-on, active, engaging projects and challenges that allow them to think outside the box to find solutions! They come to school each day ready to try new things and take brave chances in order to grow both personally and academically. I continually incorporate a variety of learning strategies, group work, and alternative seating and learning options to ensure that each student's needs are met, right where they are, but this teaching method requires a substantial amount of lab supplies. Fifty-nine percent of our students are economically disadvantaged, so it is unrealistic to rely on them to bring in the supplies.
My students are naturally inquisitive and I want them to have the opportunity to investigate real-world problems beyond the classroom to better prepare them for when they graduate high school.
They are eager to immerse themselves in any kind of challenge and enjoy the thrill that comes with accomplishing a task.
The materials and supplies that are being requested will be used by the students to build and experiment with real-world physics problems through laboratory investigation. The biggest and most exciting project that students will complete is the balsa wood bridge. This bridge must weigh no more that 100 grams and be able to support at least a 40 pound load. This challenge incorporates the engineering side of physics and empowers students to think outside the box, but requires many supplies that we do not have in the lab such as balsa wood, wood glue and wood saws.
By donating to our on-going physics projects, you will not only help to improve and increase student attention and focus, you will ultimately help to increase their academic achievement.
With your help, students will learn essential physics skills through many exciting, hands-on labs. With the toy cars, they can calculate speed, velocity and acceleration and differentiate between vectors and scalars. By designing a bobsled, they will learn how friction affects motion. When designing a roller coaster, they will learn how forces affect moving objects and how energy is transferred. Students will be able to investigate the behaviors of light waves using the lasers. They will also be able to calculate the width of a single strand of hair using the diffraction of a laser beam. The batteries will be used to power the electricity houses that the students will build.
For many culminating projects, students will be given many of these supplies, and they will be challenged to apply what they have learned throughout the unit to construct the best prototype. They will build a catapult to hit a specific target based on their calculations, a boat that holds at least 10 pounds, and wire and light a house and many more.
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