Recently several Learning Center teachers participated in a training with The Science House, an outreach program operated by NC State. “The Science House exists to: 1) Cultivate and diversify the pool of students pursuing degrees and careers in STEM fields, 2) Improve the quality of teaching and learning in STEM education and 3) Communicate innovative scientific and educational research to the public.”
What does that mean for our students? Our trained teachers are able to borrow equipment from The Science House that we would not normally be able to use, including laptop computers, data loggers and many probes to make different measurement science and math experiments. This is the type of technology that scientists use for “real” science experiments, so the use of these items gives our students the opportunity to handle the equipment and see how it works.
In these pictures, students in Chris Crayton’s math class are studying linear relationships using motion detectors. The data collected by the motion detectors is shown on a graph on the computer immediately, so the students can tell instantly how their movement changes their graph. For example, they discovered through experimentation that steady movement toward to away from the motion detector created a straight line on their graph. The students were asked to create graphs of different shapes by changing their movement, and to make calculations from their data and compare that to the calculations that the computer made for their graphs.
Please see http://www.science-house.org/ for more information about The Science House program.