Heat conductivity of materials

Laboratory six intentionally uses the most trivial and basic materials in terms of equipment, only the thermometers would be problematic in a local elementary or secondary school. In the first half of the laboratory the students measure the temperature rise in a cup of room temperature water connected to a cup with boiling water.
 Madlene and Irving, the inverted cup is on the hot water cup

In the second half of the laboratory the students work collectively to hash out a chart design to use to report their results. Every term the cool water cups start at slightly different temperatures, making a straight-forward column chart of the maximum temperatures an inaccurate reflection of overall temperature rise.

 Midion and Syd-Lee use a plate to shutdown convective heat loss

This term, as in prior terms, two cups started from a different temperature but ended at the same temperature. This data is always the data that generates the most discussion. The scientifically stronger students fairly quickly latch onto the problem that the common maximum temperature will lead to columns of equal height, which does not accurately reflect the greater temperature rise for the water that started at a lower temperature.
Venessa and Melojane read their thermometer

In the 8:00 section I did have to point out this difficulty when the class fairly quickly settled on a column chart of maximum temperatures. In the 11:00 section two students saw this issue early on the class discussion.

Krystal, Deltalei, Keicy

During the class discussion portion of the laboratory the students will invariably turn to me and ask "Is this right?" I try to minimize my presence by moving to the extreme back of the laboratory and using reflected questioning to keep from providing a single right answer. Remaining quiet is possibly the most difficult task for an instructor, especially if the solution is not necessarily the optimal solution. 

Mae, Cecelia, Brigida. Cecelia and her partners would provide some of the best insights in the morning session.

During the class discussion I might occasionally suggest to someone that they get up and sketch their idea, but my main task is to remain quiet. I have found that the dynamics of student led discussions here can require that one simply sit quietly while no one does or says anything for as long as five minutes. 

Jessica and Erleen

In a classroom, as any teacher has experienced, even 30 seconds of silence can seem long and I would guess that many teachers would feel the need to jump in at some point. I have learned to simply sit and enjoy the quiet. I suspect that the ability of a class to sit and do nothing with nothing happening may indeed be uniquely Micronesian. Yet at the end of the period someone will invariably have thought of an idea that moves the group forward.

Jessica sketches a chart concept

To an external observer, nothing might be happening during those long pauses, but in reality there is a lot of mind-time on task occurring. The ensuing discussion always reveals that thought has occurred. 

When I have students thinking about science, talking about science, even gently arguing about the best way to present their science, then learning is getting accomplished.

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