The January 2010 issue of Physics Today's web watch section mentioned the Sun|trek web site which contains a number of resource for learning about the Sun and it's effect on the Earth. The material is varied and the comment about being "devoted to teaching schoolchildren" is a bit vague on the age group, but the format includes a large number of images and other materials that make it engaging, certainly for middle school and possibly for older elementary students (depending on the lesson). Of course, some of the material is clearly target
Tonight I attended a community meeting where the main topic of new business was a presentation by Thomas Greene, formerly a teacher at Fort Hamilton High School here in Bay Ridge and now an adjunct professor at Kingsborough Community College, part of the CUNY system.
This has been one of my pet peeves for a while, and my kids can already point out the things I'm going to whine about as we drive along the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) coming home from Queens. There are several of these video billboards along the road. I have always found it ironic that there are laws dealing with "distracted driving" when the driver does something to distract himself, but nothing about allowing third-parties to deliberately try to distract the driver. I mean, what else does any billboard do but try to draw attention to itself.
Okay, that's a mouthful. I first read about this a month ago and put it on my list of things to look into. What I was hoping for was something that might be applicable for participation by middle school students. NALTA is a cosmic-ray detection experiment which requires fairly simple equipment which is placed on the school roof and is largely (completely?) maintenance free.
I've been advocating the use of WeatherBug data in normal classroom exercise for a while. I'm not sure that it's caught on, so I decided to start putting together some sample exercises. This section is that, the examples. As example, they are "fully worked" meaning I ask questions and then provide answers. Of course, in many cases, all you have to do to avoid having students just copy my answers is change the date from which I took the data. If I take temperature data from September 30th, then do an exercise for November 1st. Same problems, different data
The process of calculating an average is not hard, but it can be tedious. So, in math class, the children are often given a set of made-up numbers that make the process easier. In this exercise, you don't get a break; we're going to use real data from the WeatherBug at P.S. 102 for December 1, 2009. Here are the hourly temperatures: