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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Catapult Project Day 2

Today we finished off the catapult project by having each group fire their catapult from the top of a desk instead of flat along the floor. The students had to modify their original equation to factor in the height of the desk. Then they had to use their new equation to predict where a target should be placed on the floor. Part of their grade was based on how close they came to hitting a bullseye!!!

I had one group hit the bullseye dead centre. Most of the groups were within about 15 cm of the bullseye.

We ustreamed the final catapult firings so that anyone that wanted to watch was able to.

Thanks to Jared Nichol and Neil Stephenson for following along and chatting during the ustream. My students thought that was quite cool!!

I have also created an excel spreadsheet to help grade this project.

You can obtain the description of the actual project and the rubric from yesterday's post.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Catapult Project

Today my Pure Math 20 class carried out the catapult project. I have been waiting for this day for 2 weeks. Ever since I built the catapults I have been excited to see how the project would play out for a whole class. I broke my class of 30 students down into groups of 3, handed out the project to them and gave them some guiding words on collecting their data.

My first words of wisdom were practice, practice, practice the firing of the catapult before you ever collect data.

The students took my words of advice and did an awesome job of carrying out the project. Some groups even realized once they started trying to calculate the equation of the flight path of their marble that their data was not good enough. So, they redid the data collection!!! Wow, most students would have just given up.

We ran out of time to finish the project today. So tomorrow, the students will use their equations to predict where they should place a target on the floor. Then we will see how good their math calculations really are!!!! I plan to ustream the event tomorrow at approx. 10:30 a.m. mountain time. I will tweet the url for the ustream. You can follow me on twitter at kaminskiterry.

Here is a video of one group collecting data.

Check out more pictures here on flickr.

I have posted the detailed handout for the project.

I have also posted the scoring rubric I am using for the project.

I have to thank Sean Sweeney for sharing this project over at his blog. It is because of his sharing that my students are getting to enjoy a truly awesome mathematical experience. Thanks Sean.