Day 6: Dueling Buggies & Currents

AP Physics: Dueling Buggies

We finished discussing the whiteboards students prepped yesterday, then students started working on the dueling buggies practical, where they must predict the position where a pair of buggies will collide given their starting position. My favorite moment was when a student was explaining his approach to his group, and I realized he’d come up with relative velocity. One student asked if he could cheat and just graph the lines and find the intersection, so we talked about the fact that using tools from class on a problem in class is never cheating 🙂 A lot of groups asked me if they were taking the “easiest” approach, so I want to plan some time to talk about what that means when we test their answers on Thursday.

Earth Science: Currents

Students designed experiments to look at how water temperature or salinity drive currents. Students embraced designing their own experiments and it was a lot of fun listening to them discuss how density and other concepts from middle school connect to the lab. Before the lab, I asked them about what makes a good experiment. My students listed things like a procedure, that they’re often asked to turn in, and pieces like a hypothesis that are steps of the “classic” scientific method. I want to keep revisiting this during the trimester to move them towards deeper characteristics of a good experiment.

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