Showing posts from January, 2015

RipStik Deceleration

Acceleration is introduced by riding a RipStik up a slope while decelerating, turning around at the top of the slope, and then accelerating back downslope. Posts along the covered walkway provide timing points. Prior to going outside on Monday I sketched a graph on the board of what a time versus distance graph should look like if I rode with decreasing speed and then turn around and ride with increasing speed. The result is a roughly parabolic prediction. Note that negative velocity on a graph was also covered on Monday.

time (s)split dist (cm)distance (cm)velocity (cm/s)acceleration (cm/s²)

Running2.13305611262.93-45.29Avg Acc3.69307918196.79-42.39-446.723161234104.29-30.53-3910-316918-96.34-61.17-4511.82-307611-168.68-39.75-4413.07-305306

Lycophyte and monilophyte hike

As I have been doing for the past few terms, the class made an immediate departure for the field. A brief stop at the transformer near the library provided a chance to cover Nostoc, mosses on the Ponapea ledermanniana provided a quick look at bryophyta. From there the class walked west to the trail.
Bryan Wichep and Miki Vivian Fritz out among the Lycopodiella cernua and Dicranopteris linearis, although in the photo one mostly sees polystachion grass and Merremia peltata.

Lerina Nena, Miki, and Lilina

At the top of descent the number of ferns has expanded. Davallia solida var. solida is on a tree just before this location. Around this area are now found Nephrolepis, Cyclosorus maemonensis, Microsorum scolopendria, Asplenium nidus, Sphaeropteris nigricans, Haploteris elongata, Huperzia phlegmaria, and Adiantum tenerum.

Lilina on the slope where an Asplenium species locally known at mahrekenleng is found. Tentatively either Asplenium polyodon or possibly A. pellucidum.

Possibly Cephalom…

Introductions and banana patch cleaning

Since the loss of the designated ethnobotanical garden area at the entrance to the college in the spring of 2014, I have shifted to using the plants across the full campus. I was able to move some plants to a new area to the south of the gym. Coupled with other plants that have grown out on campus, the campus is now effectively an ethnobotanical garden.

The first day of class I had brought along Ocimum tenuiflorum, Premna obtusifolia (topwuk), and a Premna obtusifolia variant locally distinguished as oahr. I had intended the Ocimum tenuiflorum as an easy plant for students to identify. When only one student could provide the local name, I realized that the class would be unusually weak in terms of local knowledge. As I result I prepared a campus flora handout in OpenDocument format with cross-reference between the Latin name and local names in four local languages.

The students can be seen clutching their flora sheets while standing under Senna alata.

Esmirelda Elias considers the baf…

Rolling kick balls and linear relationships

I began the unit on linear velocity using the RipStik to generate a time versus distance relationship.

After I gather the data, the class copies the data. Although having a student ride the RipStik could shift the demonstration to a participation exercise, no student has had the ability to ride stably to date.

Laboratory two built off of the graphs I put on the board on Wednesday. The class sought to validate the predictions I had made on the white board.

A view down the walkway. In the afternoon I shifted the slower balls to the east where the slight slope offsets the frictional velocity losses.

The highest speed ball was an air ball.

Vancyleen recording data.

In the afternoon the launch point was moved to the east as seen above to get a steady slow speed ball roll.

As the speed increased, I backed the pitcher up the sidewalk to the west. Due to the geometry of the sidewalk and slight slope, this worked rather well, better than launching all balls from the exact same spot.

Social Media and Stimulant Survey

A convenience sample survey of social media and stimulant preferences was given to 69 students in three sections of MS 150 Statistics at the College of Micronesia-FSM.

FaceBook continued its dominant position among students surveyed, with 65 of 69 students having a membership in FaceBook. Two of the four non-FaceBook using students noted that they were not members of any social media web site. The other two listed membership in Google Plus.

In the spring 2014 only one student was using Instagram, by spring 2015 this number had risen to 15. The rise of Instagram is in part a product of the increasing penetration of smart phones into the student population. Thirty-eight (57%) of sixty-seven students reported accessing social media primarily via their cell phone. The increasing rates of social media access via cell phone provide impetus for the use of learning management systems that are mobile friendly. The statistics course uses Schoology which has both Android and iOS apps. The studen…

Affective domain assessment of activities in ethnobotany course

The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class includes hikes into the forest, walks on campus, student presentations, field trips to off-campus locations, maintaining ethnobotanical collections, lectures, and hands-on activities. The course curriculum includes a dual focus both on the botanic diversity of local plants and on the ways in which these plants are used by Micronesians. The course does not have a botany course pre-requisite and is was designed to be a three credit non-lab science elective. Many of the students have no background in botany and some students have very limited knowledge of basic biologicial science concepts.

A single section of 24 students met Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour and half each day fall 2014.
At the end of the term the students were asked to rate six types of activities from one most liked to six most disliked: field trips, gardening with machetes, hands on activities such as thatching, hikes and walks on and around campus, lectures, presentations. In retrospe…

General Education Laboratory Science Common Assignment Assessment and Institutional Memory

Institutional memory is always a challenge at any institution. Despite the best laid plans, acres of file cabinets, and buildings stuffed with servers and RAID arrays, institutional memory still often comes down to some old codger who can tell the story. This old codger, however, has difficulty remembering the specific details of days, dates, and times. My blog is a proxy for my faulty memory, a place I can write stuff down and then find it again using Google and a search restricted to Thus my blog is really only notes to future self, a part of my personal memory, an extension of my mind.

Over the break I have been reading The Innovators and was reminded of the early tension between those who sought to create computers that would be functional equivalents of humans: intelligent agents, robots perhaps, which/who would function independently of people and those who sought a human/computer symbiosis where the computer extended the capabilities of humans. My…