My classroom sees 160 or so 13 year olds a day. They often struggle with science, not because they are uninterested or not smart. They struggle because they have not received the hands on experiences other students take for granted.
My students are curious, devious, and deserving.
They love to investigate things and learn about the world around them. They live in the North East part of Las Vegas and are part of a community that has its fair share of problems.
My students lack the critical thinking and problem solving skills that are required by new science standards. Not only are these skill important for high stakes testing; they are even more important for being a successful citizen in today's world. They struggle with conceptualizing abstract ideas and find it difficult to connect concepts together. This does not hinder them from enjoying science but it has impeded their success.
The 9 motion sensors will be used with laptops at our school. I will be downloading the necessary software so that students can create graphs in real time that show the motion of objects in real time. This will be used for various labs related to our force, motion, and energy standards.
Some example labs include:
-Graphing their own motion to gain a fundamental understanding of motion vs. time graphs.
-Recording the motion of a cart to understand velocity and acceleration.
-Observing falling objects to understand the conversion of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy.
Sensors such as these are becoming more and more common, but students at my school have not received any exposure to these tools. In high school and college, students who are familiar with these tools will not only come in with significant conceptual understanding they will also have lessor a learning curve to overcome.
Studies have shown the benefit of real time graphing to help students make a connection between science concepts and real life phenomena, the impact of using this technology is even greater with male students who struggle with typical academic demands.
This year was my first year of teaching and I saw my students struggle with many science concepts. This technology will help alleviate some of the hurdles that are presented to them in the lab setting and help them become better scientists.
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