Laboratory twelve centered on the simplest of electrical circuits, electrical conductivity, and Ohm's law.
On the order of half of the students have no prior contact with the experiment known in science education simply as batteries and bulbs. Given one cell, a single length of wire, and a flashlight bulb, make the bulb light. Myleen watched her partner light the bulb. When I asked if she could light the bulb, she said that she could light the bulb. Her own first attempt, however, resulted in a short circuit and a hot wire. I was reminded once again that seeing is never learning, learning only happens when one is doing.
Serleen checks the conductivity of copper using a basic two cell circuit with a flash light bulb. Other materials include zinc, steel, wood, glass, lead, and aluminum. The bulk of the materials are from the local hardware store.
Nadine and Anchyleen look on as materials are tested. A lead fishing weight lays on the paper.
While Antely closes the circuit with a telegraph type switch, Alisi reads the voltmeter. Mason looks on, he was recording data.
For the single bulb the voltage is about 2.3 volts, the current is 0.48 volts. The relationship is not linear. Using two cells for one, two, and three bulbs, there are temperature differences for the bulbs that affect the resistivity.
And then everything changed. For the first time since the loss of Gnumeric a spreadsheet was displaying a box and whisker plot. To back up to the beginning, MS 150 Statistics was built around spreadsheets. Students in the course were not statistics majors and the overwhelming majority were not in a scientific field. Most would wind up working on office desktops for which they would not be an administrator. Downloading R would not be an option and R would be steep learning curve for some for whom computers are an unfamiliar technology.
Spreadsheet based statistics, for all the faults and potential for error, would be at the center of the course. The use of Ubuntu in the classroom meant using LibreOffice.org or Gnumeric. Gnumeric provided the capability of including box and whisker plots. A change in computer laboratory technology to Microsoft Windows five years later saw the use of Gnumeric on Windows - until Gnumeric stopped supporting Windows. A further change of my work top to OSX f…
This term marked the first term in which I have utilized an on line, student accessible grade book and course support package. The web site I used, Engrade.com, is a market leader and free for faculty and students. I ended the term by asking the students to write up their reactions to, comments about, and recommendations for future use of Engrade.com. Seventy-seven students were surveyed in my MS 150 Statistics and SC 130 Physical science course. The students have been using Engrade since the second week of class this spring term.
The comments that the seventy-seven students made fell into ten broad categories. The students found engrade to be informative, felt that all faculty should use engrade, facilitated communication between students and faculty, was easy to use, helped students track missing work, encouraged students to work harder, made on line work submission easier, facilitated inter-student communication, was of benefit to shy students, and provided well liked on line qui…