2017-2018 Collaboration Laboratory
Melissa Zagorski and Michael Lopez
1) Describe the context of your school, neighborhood, or classroom. Lake View High School is in the north Lakeview area. Lakeview is an affluent area with big single family homes in the immediate neighborhood. The school’s population is predominantly Spanish speaking and lower income who travel from outside the area. I teach 140 students a day.
2) Big Idea: Energy
3) Inquiry: How does energy move from one place to another.
4) Academic Content(s): Energy takes many forms; it can be mechanical, chemical, thermal, potential and kinetic. The students will investigate how it changes from one form to another by making a Jolly Ball wall and other ball machines and kinematic structures.
5) Artistic Discipline(s): Sculpture, design.
6) Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation) NGSS PS 3-2: Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative positions of particles (objects). SEP: Developing and using models. CC: Energy and Matter
NGSS HS PS 3-3 Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy. SEP: Constructing explanations and designing solutions. CC: 1. Energy and matter. 2. Cause and effect. 3. Engineering, technology, and applications of science on society and the natural world.
7) Please describe what you did and what you made for this project:
We asked students to collaboratively design Rube Goldberg-like contraptions using available materials such as display boards, marbles, paper, mousetraps, and anything else they felt they could use to complete the task.
Classes were divided into groups, shown videos of physics-laden displays that others have constructed and asked to construct something similar collaboratively.
8.) What did you learn about yourself, your partner(s), and the students? How might what you learned impact your teaching practice? I was shocked that many students didn’t want to participate, they felt it would be too much work, it would require too much thinking, I am definitely doing this next year for the reasons they give and others! The students were also very grade oriented, they wanted to know what they had to do to get an A, then they would fulfill the letter of the law and not the spirit of the idea, because of this I will tell them what they need to do to get a C and to get a higher grade they will have to figure out something better or amazing!
It turned out to be a bigger project than I anticipated and with help from Mike and Marc we came up with ways they could use one foot square pieces of cardboard to do one element, then after completing several elements they put them together like a puzzle on the main board.
They got very involved with the doing and not so much with the physics so next time they will have to put the physics concepts, formulas and equations directly on the element board.
9.) How did the collaboration challenge your understanding of teaching, learning, and art-making? Always lots of fun and requires higher level thinking, but also takes a lot of time and I always feel under pressure to do more content and skills.