Category Archives: Science

Saving Grandpa’s Life: The Value of Science Education

My father, the wonderful and caring person whom my students can blame for much of my sense of humor, is in the hospital. (He’s doing well and should be released in a few days.) While my fourteen-year-old daughter Margaret didn’t … Continue reading

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How a Fuse Works

My physics classes are studying electricity.  One of the demos I do for electricity is to show how a fuse works by exploding a strand of wire. +19-5

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Can I Take This Class Again Next Year?

Yesterday was the last day of school.  As I said “Good bye.  Thanks for a great year and have an awesome possum summer!” several of my students said that they wanted to take the class again next year.  One student … Continue reading

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The Fun of Research & Development

I’m finally getting around to grading the 5-second timer labs my students did earlier this quarter.  One of my students’ timers was a ceramic bowl with an amount of men’s cologne that burned for 5 seconds. Unbeknownst to me until … Continue reading

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Certainty and Uncertainty

One of the things most high school students don’t learn about in their science classes is quantitative error analysis.  (The closest they usually get to the topic is significant figures.) This year, I started off by teaching my students to … Continue reading

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Learning by Screwing Up

One of the signs on my wall states, “You can’t learn effectively without the freedom to make mistakes.”  It’s a new school year, and my new batch of students is working on learning this lesson. +5-7

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Diet Coke & Mentos Final Exam: Physics Version

I gave a chemistry final exam involving Diet CokeTM & MentosTM back in 2006.  I’ve done it as a lab experiment a couple of times since then, but not as a final—until this year, when I did a physics version. … Continue reading

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Shocking My Students

Electricity & Magnetism is a fun topic, especially for teachers who enjoy watching teenagers act like themselves. +9-4

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Demonstrations and Experiments

On 3/25/2012 11:03 PM, Drew Melby posted to the ChemEd-L discussion list “I’ve never felt the need to ‘entertain’ students by making things ‘memorable’. Chemistry is a serious business, not a magic show” +5-4

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Vacuum Cleaner Hovercraft

To demonstrate the power of hydraulics, some of my students and I built a hovercraft out of plywood and a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. +8-6

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Posted in Science | 4 Comments