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# Catapulting into Project Based Learning

palaich
18 de Oct de 2015
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### Catapulting into Project Based Learning

1. Catapulting into Project Based Learning Applications to High School Physics Sarah Palaich TeachNow August 2015 Cohort
2. PBL in Physics • Physics is inherently problem based, and project based • Having projects students can work on in groups will dramatically help increase comprehension levels. • Projects -> discussion -> comprehension • The catapult project discussed here includes: collaborative design, video capture and creation, peer to peer physics explanations, design competition, and self/peer review and reflection.
3. Step 1: Design 1. Students will be split into groups randomly (I strongly believe in making students work with peers who aren’t their best friends). 2. The first task is to design the catapult from resources available in the classroom. Resources can include rubber bands, plastic spoons, popsicle sticks, but any other materials available in the classroom can be used. 3. The pennies being catapulted must clear a one foot barrier.
4. Step 2: Test and Reﬁne 1. Students have the chance to test their catapults during class time, preferably outdoors. They can come up with design improvements or redesign their catapults during this time. 2. Students learn that failure is part of the process and gain a better understanding of the physics at work.
5. Step 3: Record Video 1. Students decide how to record their catapult in motion from a still frame of reference (no hand held video) using their mobile devices. 2. They know that they’ll be asked to analyze the video, so it’s up to them to come up with the optimal placement of their mobile devices for this purpose.
6. Step 4: Analyze Video Students analyze the motion of the penny in the videos they’ve taken using freeze frames where they measure using rulers/Photoshop the distance of the penny from the ground and the catapult.
7. Step 5: Expand Video 1. Students decide how they want to explain the equations of horizontal and vertical motion, which make up projectile motion, in their video. They can annotate their recordings of their catapult or add new sections of video. 2. Students are tasked with being able to create clear and concise explanations that demonstrate their own comprehension of the materials. They are given a rubric that both their peers and the teacher will use to evaluate their videos.
8. Step 6: Critique Videos Each group is given two videos to critique. Students will use a predetermined rubric for evaluation and will create a small video for each group they evaluate explaining what they thought. Rubrics and video responses will be returned to the teacher and then the original group that created the video being evaluated.
9. Step 7: Competition! Students compete against the other groups to see which catapult has the longest range (x-distance travelled). The prize for winning might be something like 5 bonus points toward their final grade on the activity. Image from: http://lhs.loswego.k12.or.us/z-alts/Conceptual%20Physics/Pictures/Pictures %2007-08/Catapults/2nd%20Period%20Catapults.JPG
10. Step 8: Reﬂection Students will individually write up an evaluation of the project which includes: A. Summary of the physics of projectile motion B. Evaluation of the group work (shared responsibility?) C. Evaluation of individual performance in the group D. Evaluation of their catapult including possible improvements. E. Suggestions for making the activity better F. Areas they would have appreciated more guidance
11. In summary 1. Students create a catapult, record the catapult in action, annotate their video, share with and critique their peers and reflect on the activity. 2. The materials used to build the catapults can be anything from popsicle sticks to more advanced materials. This can be adjusted based on school resources and age of students. 3. This activity is designed for high school physics and would work well in either a regular physics class or an AP Physics class since the subject matter is covered in both. The depth of the analysis would clearly vary depending on which level did the activity.
12. The result Students gain skills: A. Working with their peers and problem-solving B. Understand how physics works in the real world C. Learn that design includes failure before success D. Learn the physics concepts well enough to teach their peers E. Have fun while learning physics, leading to a deeper appreciation of science or at least not a hatred of it
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