Re: Activity 2.2

Subject: Re: Activity 2.2
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 22:55:33 -0800

Sounds like your class really learned a lot!  Great job!  jkc

On 12/13/96 15:54:48 you wrote:
>I apologize for this being so long, but it's a story that must be told.  I
>am in the middle of Activity 2.2 (pages 34-35) of the Teacher's Guide and
>want to give you a progress report. I have had two of the greatest days
>with this lesson!!! This is the end of my igneous unit. So far we looked at
>igneous minerals and then at the rocks they formed. Then we looked at the
>two major types of volcanoes (shield and explosive) and discussed the
>reasons why they occur. As a part of this we watched last year's Nova
>"Hawaii, Born of Fire" (excellent flick!!!) which led us to becoming
>"Planetary Geologists."
>Yesterday we created the cinder cones using different varieties of sand. I
>used a VERY coarse sand (Sanabel Island Shell/sand), small mineral chips,
>coarse aquarium sand, VERY fine Carribean white, and Hawaiian Black with
>the curse removed. In addition to measuring the angle of the slope I also
>had the kids measure the height and find the circumference by drawing a
>line around the outside of the cinder cone. Then they poured the sand back
>into the beaker and either measured the diameter with a ruler or simply
>counted the lines on the graph paper. I had them pour the sand on to graph
>paper that had each centimeter accented with .2 divisions in between. In
>addition to doing this we digitally photographed "the best" cone of each
>type from the top and side with a Connectrix(?) 8 bit black and white
>camera and saved to disk. The kids loved it!!
>Today we discussed the angles and why so many people came up with so many
>different slopes. We had a great discussion of error! Then I asked them
>what they thought the steepest slope they could comfortably walk up would
>be (remember this?). They all fell into the same trap we did saying 35 to
>70 degrees (I teach 8th grade). Then I broke out the 2 X 10 plank and
>ladder and we tested our ability to measure angles. With one person doing
>the walking, two spotting and one holding the ladder, everything went
>smoothly. (Many people looked askance at me for trying this. I told the
>principal and warned the nurse in advance.)
>Now for the neat part! After it was over, I photographed the ladder/plank
>at its maximum slope and put the pict file into the NIH program, and we
>measured the angle using the software. It was incredible! The maximum angle
>was only 32 degrees! They thought for sure it was going to be 65 or 70! We
>then went back and did the same thing with the photos taken the day before
>of the various slopes, heights, and circumferences. In one class ALL of the
>slopes came out within 2 degrees of one another! Because they had done the
>activity on graph paper, we had a ready scale to calibrate the software to
>measure the circumference and height. They were impressed!
>This lesson was one of the best examples of integrating technology into a
>science lesson that I have ever seen. Thank you Passport to Knowledge for
>giving me the initial idea.

Janet K. Cook, Science Instructor, Night Program

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