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Welcome to Ms. Pappas' Wiki Page!

Spring 2013

Fellows: Jessica Scholnic and Riley Meehan

Semester Outline:

This semester, we plan to build on the science and design foundations from last semester by using LEGO Mindstorms technology to complete robotics challenges in cooperation with classrooms around the world.  See https://lego.k12engineering.com/ for online community.

Week 1: Human Robot

Week 2: Silly Walks

Week 3: Introduce online community, evaluate and present silly walks.

The remaining challenges will be revealed as they are revealed on k12engineering -- part of the community aspect of the unit is that all students find out about the challenges at the same time.

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Fall 2012

Fellows: Riley Meehan and Jessica Scolnic

Semester Outline:

Week 1: Intro Lesson: Tinfoil boats with penny loading

Introduce students to designing and making things in a scientific context.  Class used a set amount of tin foil and tape to build a boat that floated and held as many pennies as possible.  Activity went well, students were all engaged, had a class-wide discussion about what worked well and what did not; including role of volume, shape of boat.  Did not discuss forces, kept it more open, just tried to get science ideas flowing.

Week 2: Intro to Earthquakes: Open-ended science discussion

STOMPers led more of a traditional lesson about P-waves/S-waves, plate tectonics etc.  Did wave demonstrations with slinky and rope.  Demos would have been better done on the floor as opposed to in mid air.  Purpose of this lesson was to engage students in thinking like scientists, not necessarily getting them to say all correct answers but just think critically about science concepts.  All students participated in full-class discussion and small group discussions, as well as "journal time." No hands-on activity today.

Week 3-5: Develop an Engineering Scientific Model

Week 3: Planning

Week 4: Building

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Week 7: Introduction to Electricity--Squishy Circuits

Opened class with a discussion about electricity, conductors and insulators.  Talked about circuits, what a "closed-circuit" means and looks like.  Did a demo of a circuit with play-doh and an LED.  Also demo-ed a circuit with water vs distilled water-what is the difference? What makes certain materials conductive? Students then had ~30 minutes to experiment freely with Squishy Circuits-lighting lights, powering motors.

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Week 8-9: Final Project: Build an Earthquake Sensing Circuit

This two week project involved students using squishy circuits to build, in essence, a motion-sensing circuit that would alert them when an earthquake was happening-- ie: when the shake table was on.  There turned out to be really two approaches--- either students began with a closed circuit and the simulator disconnected it (the "alert" being the light turning off, the sound stopping, etc) or students began with an open circuit, and the simulator closed it (so the light/sound turned on.)  

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Spring 2012

Fellows: Alyssa Kody and Daniel Pavitt

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