Showing posts from June, 2012

Applied Trigonometry

Of the 29 students in MS 101 Algebra & Trigonometry, 19 were able to correctly calculate 300 sin (45°) and 300 cos(45°). The most common error was making the calculation without specifying degrees. One of the tools used by the class presumes radian inputs by default.

When then asked to calculate the SVG coordinates for the above points, only eight students were successful. All eight had been among the 19 who answered the trigonometry calculation correctly. The result of that calculation is necessary to determining the coordinates above.

The students can make a basic trigonometric calculation but only a few could go on and correctly apply that result to a applied problem in SVG coordinates.

The trigonometric calculation would be a typical student learning outcome in trigonometry, "Students will be able to calculate basic trigonometric values." The SVG coordinates is an actual application of the knowledge, a situation in which the learning is useful and authentic.

Math curriculum alignment meeting

Math alignment meeting hosted by Pohnpei Islands Central School 6/22/2012. 
COM-FSM Chair Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Snyther Biza recapped the first meeting of the alignment group at which the group learned that the curricula differed between PICS and Madolehnihmw High School. 
PICS then presented a mapping of their text books to MS 094 Technical math MS 096, MS 99, and MS 100 College Algebra. PICS has over 1000 students. The skill set of the students in any one class can vary considerably, class sizes tend to be large, and the PICS faculty tackle heavy loads due to be understaffed in relation to the number of students being served.

The TNI students at PICS do not take Algebra II, but the TNI chair wants the students to take Algebra II [to help prepare the students for going on to programs at the college].
In general students at PICS take prealgebra their freshmen year, algebra I their sophomore year. At the end of the sophomore year the students pick a major - acad…

Heat conduction and Finding Binky

Temperature was introduced by taking the temperatures of an ice water mix, boiling water, melting coconut oil, a cup of coffee, the room, and I.

Later in the day the temperature in the sun was also recorded.

Ketruth watches for the maximum temperature rise.

In the afternoon the students experimented with the conduction of heat energy.

Beverleen and Judy waiting patiently for heat energy to conduct.


Data was then gathered from each group and recorded on the board.

Binky! for activity 071. In the summer there is insufficient time for me to hide myself, so I hide Binky in the the early hours of the morning.

6:58 in the morning on the 20th of June. The swamp was full of beautiful orb spider webs.

Binky's location summer 2012 - amid a sea of grass out in the bog.

A second GPS at Binky's location.

May-vi points Beverleen in the direction of Binky based on the coordinates.

Melyda heads in the directio of Binky.

Rosalina studies the GPS while Judy reads the hand-out.

Tommy and J…

Force and pulleys

After a morning session covering Newton's three laws of momentum and force, in the afternoon I replaced the Hooke's law laboratory with a pulley laboratory.

I began with a review of energy and momentum.

I did note the complication that the marbles possess rotational momentum as well as the momentum of linear motion.

I used my RipStik in class to illustrate the three laws. In the afternoon I set up pulleys. Each group had a pulley. The first group had a single pulley with a single load line. The second group had two pulleys and two load lines. The third group had a double pulley up top and single below for three load lines. The fourth group had four load lines.

An image of a student notebook with data. The set-up took a solid 45 minutes, almost an hour. The mason's line I opted to use in class was slick and harder to work with than the string I had used the night before. String is probably preferable.

There are a limited number of the 250 gram spring scales, and all are ov…

Acceleration, energy, and momentum

For the introduction of accelerated motion in SC 130 Physical Science I utilized the longer 90 minute summer periods and did the RipStikacceleration in the parking lot.

I placed chalk marks every 200 cm for the first 800 cm using an 800 cm tape measure.

Then I spaced the marks every 400 meters for the second 800 cm.

This seemed to work reasonably well, although I finished the run with as much speed as I am comfortable generating. I had to burn speed on an uphill carving turn. I carried the stopwatch in my right hand, passing off my keys and camera to the students.

I used a diagonal run to take advantage of the natural slope. I also pumped the board.

The data was recorded on the white board and graphed. A rough graph showed a strong positive curvature to the acceleration data on a time versus distance graph.

The right board includes parts of the pre-RipStik run introduction to accelerated motion. The marbles last week had slowed down significantly on the table, leading to negative curv…