Showing posts from February, 2013

Latitude and Longitude Hide and Seek

On Monday, through a question and answer session, I determined what the students knew or thought they knew about latitude and longitude. I used a globe and asked about various lines - the equator, the prime meridian. I then did a brief outdoor demonstration of turning on a GPS and changing screens. Just enough to determine that they had some vague notions about latitude and longitude.

On Wednesday I hid at N 06° 54.604, E 158° 09.308'. The students picked up GPS units from Yolina this term.

My camera GPS recorded my location as N 06° 54.606, E 158° 09.317', the other Etrex units were in closer agreement to the Etrex Venture HC I used for the initial geolocation.

Senioreen checks to see if her GPS latitude and longitude agree with the handout. The lesson is really a discovery learning session where the students begin to learn to use a GPS and begin to get a physical familiarity with latitude and longitude.

Maria-Asunsion checks her GPS readings.

The class listens as I use the da…

Heat conduction

The week started off with a heat and temperature video done in 1980 by Ontario TV in Canada that still does a nice job of covering the difference between heat and temperature for an ESL audience. The video tape is apparently no longer available, but the video lives on in YouTube space, at least episode 20 and 21. A search for the other videos we watch (16 to 21 inclusive) can be done to find the rest.

Wednesday I covered movement of heat in liquids (convection), movement of heat in solids (conduction), and movement of heat as electromagnetic radiation. I then did a series of demonstrations of temperatures, including my own. As usual the room temperature was 28 Celsius.

Senioreen watches for temperature rise in laboratory six
Laboratory six had the students exploring conductivity of heat and then presenting chart choices to the class.

Larry being authoritative. 
Maria-Asuncion presents her group's chart choice
Sepe Valton Palsis presented with her usual style and flair
Roselino and …

Pwunso gymnosperm and economic botany field trip

The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class visited the Pohnpei state botanic garden at Pwunso to see the gymnosperms and angiosperms. To my delight and surprise one of the clove trees was in riotous bloom and full of cloves.

Possibly the prolonged sunny weather of January-February encouraged the bloom? Or the trees have simply aged enough? Initially I climbed one tree to try to obtain cloves.

While I was up the tree, the class started to arrive. Cheryll, Mae, and Liona-Leigh.

My students, being more observant, noticed that cloves were all around on the ground. I probably should have looked there first myself, but climbing the tree seemed like so much more fun. Besides, in all the years I have visited Pwunso, there have never been cloves on the ground.

Melsina, TJ, Markina, and Virginia view the cinnamon trees. I presumed the gate would be locked, but I did not use the "counter-clockwise" walk I have proposed using when the gate is locked. Starting with the cloves feels more natural tha…

Japanese Agriculture Station at Pwunso, Kolonia, Pohnpei

" the 1930s the finest research work was being done at the Ponape station, largely through the efforts of one man, the distinguished agronomist Hoshino Shutaro (possibly also known as Hoshino Moritaro), who came to the island in 1927 and set about making Ponape the center of Japanese agricultural research in Micronesia. A tireless researcher who traveled widely, Hoshino scoured the world's tropics for plants, including medicinal varieties, judged to he potentially useful in Micronesia. Through his efforts the Ponape experiment station became one of the foremost world centers for the study of tropical agriculture.1

"There the visiting American journalist Willard Price found him in the mid-1930s, "bluff, hearty, and rubber booted," presiding over a small agricultural kingdom on which he grew cloves and nutmeg from the Celebes, rubber trees from Malaya, vanilla, pepper, and cinnamon from Java, cashew nuts from India, and a multitude of other thriving ground p…

Newton's laws from a momentum perspective, force, and pulleys

On Monday I again tried using a hanging mass at the end of a rope to attempt to accelerate my RipStik as a way of demonstrating both the conversion of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy and the effect of a force, F = mg, to produce an acceleration of a RipStik and rider.

Three 2 kg masses were hung rather precariously on a 50 g mass hangar.

 I used a 2 kg hand weight has a handle for the construction twine - not an ideal cordage. A more significant rope has been purchased for next term, fifty some feet. Maybe I can use the length of the classroom or an outdoor location. porch. I managed to prop myself up on my RipStik against the north wall, holding the handle in one hand and my stop watch in the other.

The basic layout and energy calculations are seen above. The drop height was 0.6 meters, gravity was taken as 9.8 m/s², and the mass was six kilogram for a gravitational potential energy of 35 Joules. After being pulled, I used a tape measure on the floor to measure my po…


Some terms laboratory 042 goes well, other terms the laboratory seems to fall flat. This term both sections did well and the closing presentations were generally well done. Although I did not hew closely to the text book, I did use my usual introduction of the marbles. I suspect I provide more structure and guidance on how to measure velocities than in the past. The laboratory is done in an exploratory, constructivist vein.

Sepe Valton Palsis and Jamori RikRik make calculations for marble velocities.

I first asked the students to predict the result prior to any marble collisions. Then I released one marble on a shallow ramp. The marble rolled down and collided with a line of five marbles of roughly equivalent mass.

Darla, Eksina, and Jessica Curley.

Five to seven marbles sit touching each other on the flat portion of a marble track. The marble track is made of two plastic rulers with grooves to guide the marbles. One to four marbles are released from an elevated end of the track. I de…