Last Updated: 10/09/2013*
I think students learn best when they can see and feel a concept. Some concepts are easier to convert into physical activities. Geometry is a class that lends itself well to being adapted to the physical world. Students in other math classes also benefit from seeing the utilization of math concepts physically. Sometimes these physical uses are fun, other times they are just helping students connect concepts with the real world. Some examples I have used include a pre-Calculus lesson with a handmade spinner that can be used to “see” the flicker in fluorescent lighting. Students can apply the sine curve to electrical voltage. Also, pre-Calculus students build solar powered marshmallow cookers. This is a project that takes the students several weeks. They utilize a parabolic equation and must focus the sun’s rays on a single point to raise the temperature at the point to a specified amount. Pictures taken of the cookers then have the equations superimposed on their creations to compare the equations to the final product. When all is completed, the students enjoy eating s’mores.”
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