Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Scientific Method

When I saw a Lego space shuttle being sent into the upper atmosphere, I thought it was really cool. I like to share interesting findings with my students since it gets them excited and it gets their imaginations running.
Today I decided to show the clip of the Lego ship going to space to my students. Before we watched it though, I asked them if they remembered The Scientific Method (They did) and I asked them if they remembered the experiment we did in class (They remembered that too).

Then I told them that we were going to watch something, and I was going to ask them a question after the video was done.

When the video was finished, I reviewed The Scientific Method, and I told them if what we just saw was the experiment, what would the question have been. I gave them the example of the experiment we did in class and worked backwards.

There were three girls who did not understand right away and I had to take them aside and explain it to them further. All in all though, their answers were interesting:
  • How can we fly the balloon up high without a human going with it?
  • How can we make a balloon fly high while holding things?
  • Can the Lego plane fly?
  • How high can you go with a balloon?
  • How can you see space without going there?
  • How far [high] can the airplane go?
  • How far did the balloon go?
  • Can a balloon go out of the atmosphere?
  • How far can the plane fly?
  • どこまで飛んでいたんですか? [How far did the airplane fly?]
  • Why did you throw the things?
  • Are we looking at space now?
  • How can you trick people with the picture?
Looking at these questions, I can see there are definitely a few who did not understand what I was asking even though they thought they did.
I think it is interesting that one student thought the video was fake. He said he thought it was because he could see the strings. The student did not understand what the strings were for.

I like to ask my students these kinds of abstract questions to get them to think in multiple directions.

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