How do you explain the teachings of Sir Isaac Newton from the 1600s?
For Hotchkiss K-8 physical science teacher Carlyn Luna, she used her Arch Coal grant money to purchase equipment that would provide instant data on motion.
The equipment was made by Vernier. It included a radar gun or motion sensor, a screen that showed the data collected and the ability to transmit that data via WiFi to a student's own device, such as an iPhone.
Luna's project for her eighth grade students was entitled "Real Time Forces." It was designed to help the students understand Newton's three laws through laboratory experiments. Small teams of students built mini roller coasters. Then they selected various marbles differing in size, mass and material. How long it took the marble to travel the roller coaster's course was timed. Each trial included five runs. Then each student was to submit a typed lab report with recorded data on mass, size, air resistance and gravity,
The experiments would answer the essential question of how motion is measured and described.
Building the roller coaster taught the students in her eighth grade physical science class about Newton's first law of inertia.
"The idea is that they are learning Newton's Three Laws through this hands-won experiment by building the coaster, and now testing how mass affects the roller coaster," Luna said. Would a roller coaster go faster with or without passengers?
Luna is the only science teacher for seventh and eighth grade classes at Hotchkiss K-8.
"I came from the Front Range. This is my first year here. The level of technology we have here is a lot lower just because the district is a lot smaller and they don't have as much money to buy things like this. Butit's a huge thing for kids. It's so wonderful for them. They get so excited on anything electronic. It's a great motivational tool," Luna said.
Regarding Arch Coal providing the grants, Luna said, "It's a great thing they do for the community."blog comments powered by Disqus