Students started collecting data to make a mathematical model for the period of a pendulum. This is the first lab that was framed more generally as make a model, rather than as to find a relationship between two variables, so we started with some discussion about what variables could matter. Today was one of those days where I felt a bit extraneous; students are getting pretty good at designing experiments and deciding how much data is “enough”, so I wasn’t fielding many questions.
Chemistry: Mystery Tubes
With the start of a new tri, I restarted the course today with a new group of students. This time, I decided to start with the mystery tubes. Students practiced making observations, then forming and testing hypotheses to figure out what is going on inside the tube. We wrapped up with a brief discussion comparing the tubes to learning chemistry and I introduced the idea of chemistry as a series of models that make good predictions, rather than a set of facts.