Yesterday, I tried an approach that I realized was somewhat helpful to my students, but could have been so much more.
The video clip is off the self-styled “Professor Splash”. His shtick is diving into kiddie pools from record-breaking heights. The video is excellent because it is a great way to get kids to solve force problems that require the use of kinematics. Here is the full video below:
I had students work this problem as a three-act math problem .
I asked students what they wanted to know (of course it ended up being, how hard did he hit the water.) As usual we compiled a list of all the things we needed to know. But something felt unsatisfying. What I realized is that the students were somewhat curious, but the “need to know” was not as urgent as I would have liked.
Enter a new idea…
At my evening class that I teach to teaching credential students, we had a guest speaker, Ramsey Musallam, with whom I work. Basically what I took away from his guest visit is that the key to empowering students is to make them insatiably curious. I want to try to adapt my 3-act problems to spark more curiousity