Harvey Mudd College
Integrative Experience 142 (formerly 197)
Seminar in Math and Science Education
PHS Classroom Ideas
(Compiled by Belinda Thom and Darryl Yong)
Previously Implemented Projects
Note: A sufficient amount of time should elapse before any of the projects listed here could be resued.
- Spring 2008
- Spring 2007
- Spring 2006
- Hot air balloons
- Boats made from clay to hold most number of pennies
- Vortex cannon and smoke rings
- Disassemble stuff and put it back together (radio, alarm clock, calculator, disposable camera)
- Build a radio
- Non-Euclidean geometry
- Making ice cream using rock salt
- Fun with liquid nitrogen
- Spring 2005
- Building roller coasters out of popsicle sticks
- Mouse-trap cars
- Nim games and winning strategies
- Parabolic light collectors
- Geodesic dome built out of newspapers
- Building Catapults and Flinging Fruit
- Card Games: Know Your Odds
- Picobot programming
- Building bridges and testing their strengths
- Understanding fractals
- Constructing radios from simple, everyday things
- Electric car building
- E & M and speaker building
- Light -- lasers, speed of light, properties of cameras
- Programming TI 86 calculators
- Game theory -- the Monty Hall paradox, dominating strategies, ...
- Take apart and reassemble disposable cameras
- Use Lego Mindstorms to design cranes and pulleys
- Combinatorics and counting
- Web scavenger hunt
- Make slime
- Create model rockets with trig
- Perspective in art
- Probability and Statistics (Saeta and Donnelly)
- Lego Robots (hill climber competition) (Dodds)
- Game winning strategies (Yong)
- Bubbles (Yong)
Possibilities for new projects
- make a tabletop biosphere http://blog.wired.com/geekdad/2008/04/tabletop-biosph.html
- Floating and falling flows http://www.teachengineering.com/view_activity.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_flow/cub_flow_activity1.xml
- Use breadboards and components or some kind of kit (e.g., Radio Shack)
to build a simple circuit,
e.g., timing circuit and build to more
complex items, e.g., a radio
how a microprocessor works -- various logic
gates and components
building a mechanical adder/multiplier, etc.
Can be creative as to the building material, e.g., tinkertoys
- The human pendulum
- Parallax experiment with candles
- How to make a speaker (using plastic cup, business card, wire, magnet)
- Hands-on engineering tasks, e.g., strongest bridge, or a mousetrap car
- Randomness and statistics -- Tom Donnelly and Steve Adolph ran an activity for the Spring 2002 Nova Scholar candidates
- Stanford Science bus http://www.stanford.edu/group/sciencebus/
- NASA/MSU-Bozeman CERES Projects
- Hubble deep-field academy
- Galaxy classification
- Expanding pupils
- Logic puzzles -- Raymond Smullyan's work
- Making comets
measuring comets -- will they hit us?
- Are sunspots really on the sun?
- Robots from junk "junkyard wars" variant -- make Braitenberg vehicles from real motors and parts
- Image processing for measurement (or for other purposes)
- Science snacks
Laser Jello -- refraction, etc.
Motor Effect -- building a DC motor...
- Whose skeleton is in your closet?
- Pliable proteins
- Sampling carbon dioxide -- SafeClimate.net
- DNA extraction lab
- Analyzing sound data and/or using an oscilloscope for something...
- Engineering: "hearing the light"
- Lots of engineering activities from "Building Big"
- Bridge contest from West Point
- Chemistry of hair care
- Sciencenet links (nice examples of lesson write-ups)
Snowman (carbon) dating
* forensics of coins -- see isotopes of pennies
- The Mozart effect -- psychological experiments that could be of interest
e.g., compare Mozart's effect with that of other musicians...
- Tracking satellites
- Meter stick as a scale
Using one form of measurement to detect others...
- Aluminum foil boat -- challenge to build it to hold as much cargo as possible
combine with puzzle on water displacement
combine with surface tension (how many pennies can be added to a full glass of water?)
- nice bridge challenge including costs and time-to-build
- Grow rock candy (attempted in 2001-2002, but not successfully)
General web sources of lesson plans