Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cell phones and the NGSS Practices

For the past several weeks in my Teaching Elementary Science and Engineering course we've been looking at the three legs that form the three dimensional teaching characteristics of the NGSS program. I recently blogged about the activity we did to illustrate the crosscutting concept of cause and effect. The week before this we explored the disciplinary core ideas by planting 15 Bean Soup beans in hydroponic :gardens" (plastic cups) and the week before that we looked at the science and engineering practices by creating activities with bouncing balls.  The students were able to identify several of the practices that could have been developed through this activity but it was something else they did with the 23 different balls we had  that blew my mind.

As they bounced the balls next to a tape measure taped to the wall they found it difficult to say the exact height of the rebound without any real accuracy. So what did they do? They did what any self-respecting college junior would do in a science class, they pulled out their cell phones and took pictures of it. This would never have occurred to me.

But they didn't stop there. They realized that if they used the slo-mo video feature on their cell phones they could slow the motion down so that they could actually see the elasticity of some of the ball as they hit the ground as well as the exact height of the rebound. Isn't that amazing and wonderful?     

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