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Learning Physics To Teach Others
PH.3 The student will investigate and understand how to demonstrate scientific reasoning and logic. Key concepts include
a) analysis of scientific sources to develop and refine research hypotheses;
b) analysis of how science explains and predicts relationships;
c) evaluation of evidence for scientific theories;
d) examination of how new discoveries result in modification of existing theories or establishment of new paradigms; and
e) construction and defense of a scientific viewpoint (the nature of science).
PH.4 The student will investigate and understand how applications of physics affect the world. Key concepts include
a) examples from the real world; and
b) exploration of the roles and contributions of science and technology.
Other physics SOLs depending on the topic chosen by the students
The unifying concepts and processes in this standard are a subset of the many unifying ideas in science and technology. Some of the criteria used in the selection and organization of this standard are
· The concepts and processes provide connections between and among traditional scientific disciplines.
· The concepts and processes are fundamental and comprehensive.
· The concepts and processes are understandable and usable by people who will implement science programs.
· The concepts and processes can be expressed and experienced in a developmentally appropriate manner during K-12 science education.
Public discussions of the explanations proposed by students is a form of peer review of investigations, and peer review is an important aspect of science. Talking with peers about science experiences helps students develop meaning and understanding. Their conversations clarify the concepts and processes of science, helping students make sense of the content of science. Teachers of science should engage students in conversations that focus on questions, such as "How do we know?" "How certain are you of those results?" "Is there a better way to do the investigation?" "If you had to explain this to someone who knew nothing about the project, how would you do it?" "Is there an alternative scientific explanation for the one we proposed?" "Should we do the investigation over?" "Do we need more evidence?" "What are our sources of experimental error?" "How do you account for an explanation that is different from ours?"
Questions like these make it possible for students to analyze data, develop a richer knowledge base, reason using science concepts, make connections between evidence and explanations, and recognize alternative explanations. Ideas should be examined and discussed in class so that other students can benefit from the feedback. Teachers of science can use the ideas of students in their class, ideas from other classes, and ideas from texts, databases, or other sources--but scientific ideas and methods should be discussed in the fashion just described.
RECOGNIZE AND ANALYZE ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS AND MODELS. This aspect of the standard emphasizes the critical abilities of analyzing an argument by reviewing current scientific understanding, weighing the evidence, and examining the logic so as to decide which explanations and models are best. In other words, although there may be several plausible explanations, they do not all have equal weight. Students should be able to use scientific criteria to find the preferred explanations.
COMMUNICATE AND DEFEND A SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENT. Students in school science programs should develop the abilities associated with accurate and effective communication. These include writing and following procedures, expressing concepts, reviewing information, summarizing data, using language appropriately, developing diagrams and charts, explaining statistical analysis, speaking clearly and logically, constructing a reasoned argument, and responding appropriately to critical comments. [See Teaching Standard B in Chapter 3]
UNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY
· Scientists usually inquire about how physical, living, or designed systems function. Conceptual principles and knowledge guide scientific inquiries. Historical and current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation of investigations and the evaluation of proposed explanations made by other scientists. [See Unifying Concepts and Processes]
· Results of scientific inquiry--new knowledge and methods--emerge from different types of investigations and public communication among scientists. In communicating and defending the results of scientific inquiry, arguments must be logical and demonstrate connections between natural phenomena, investigations, and the historical body of scientific knowledge. In addition, the methods and procedures that scientists used to obtain evidence must be clearly reported to enhance opportunities for further investigation.
Other specific standards based on the topic chosen by the student.
The concept of this lab/project is for students to pick a topic of interest to them, research the topic in depth and prepare to teach a group of students younger than themselves. The topics chosen are those the students may be familiar with and those that they will be learning about only briefly.
· Depends on specific plan for each student group.
The students will research physics concepts in detail and plan a way to teach the material to other students. Students must be able to communicate the material in a variety of ways. Students will improve their abilities to discuss scientific concepts in common language.
Learning Physics to Teach Others
This quarter you and your group members will have two individual projects that will build on one another. The first is a concept document in which you will document how you would present your chosen subject to a group of middle school students. The second will be actually present the material to the class as detailed in your concept document. The topics should be chosen from the following list:
This is a 2 to 3 page document that explains in detail how you would present the concept you picked last quarter. Your presentation must included a description of the concept, the date of discovery or first study as well as the first person to do the study, what they studied and how the concept impacts our lives today. Interesting facts and other historical information may be included. The concept document has the following parts:
A project conference will occur once during the development period. This will occur after the concept document has been turned in and graded. This conference will last no more than 10 minutes. During the conference the teams will get feedback on their presentation concept.
The following is the breakdown of grades for this project. Projects as a whole are worth 25 percent of your quarterly grade.
Concept Document Grading
Here is how the concept document will be graded:
The first rubric is the one that will be used to evaluate the Concept Document.
Here is how the presentation will be graded:
The second rubric is the one that will be used for the evaluation of the Presentation.
Rubric for Concept Document
Rubric for Presentation
Teacher Tips Regarding Lab
Teachers should question student groups about demonstrations dealing with explosions. I have had to make specific rules with regard to any type of cannon involving aerosols and fire.
Allow students to be creative. Encourage students to look on the Internet for demonstrations and hands on activities.
Sources & References
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