Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Physics of Car Crashes

Here are three videos that have great potential in the classroom. 

Understanding Car Crashes: It's Basic Physics  Duration 22 minutes

"What happens to vehicles and their occupants in crashes is determined by science. "You can't argue with the laws of physics," says Griff Jones, award-winning high school physics teacher who goes behind the scenes at the Institute's Vehicle Research Center to explore the basic science behind car crashes. Using a series of vehicle maneuvers on a test track plus filmed results of vehicle crash tests, Jones explains in anything but lecture style the concept of inertia, the relationship between crash forces and inertia, momentum and impulse, and a lot more.Quote from Paul G. Hewitt, the developer of the "Conceptual Physics" curriculum and author of the best selling text book by the same name: "The video "Understanding Car Crashes: It's Basic Physics" and accompanying teacher's guide are wonderful. The pacing is excellent, the coverage fascinating, and most importantly, the physics is correct. It's a first rate teaching package. I give it five stars!"
Download the Teachers Guide... it has non-SI units)

Surviving a Car Crash"  Duration 44 minutes (also in parts on youtube, with different subtitles)
"Horizon meets the scientists working to make fatal car crashes a thing of the past. A remarkable fusion of mechanical engineering and biology promises to save countless lives across the world. The programme has exclusive access to the secretive world of the most advanced car crash tests. Horizon reveals how the latest advances in trauma medicine, psychology and even extreme sport are transforming your chances of surviving on the roads.The programme shows how researchers are creating a new virtual crash test dummy that could change how our cars are designed forever."

 Modern Marvels:  The Secret Life of the Crash Test Dummy  Duration: 44 minutes

"From a case of mistaken identity in the ‘Roswell Incident’ UFO sightings in the New Mexico desert, to the US military’s top secret research and development programmes of the 50s, to a series of highly sensitive experiments – on humans, on animals and finally on human corpses, The Secret Life Of The Crash Test Dummy charts the bizarre and sometimes gruesome secret life of this mechanical humanoid."

It probably should be viewed first before deciding if it is suitable for your class, some of the footage is difficult to watch. The use of cadavers to "calibrate" the modern crash test dummy would make a good issues investigation, as would the construction of safety standards that centre around the Hybrid III which models the 50th percentile male .

But if you want something quick, 47 seconds ..  Crumple zones, you can have too much of a good thing!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

CEGSA Conference Touches Down!

After the 2011 CEGSA conference missed an attempted landing in May, they are now into the final approach and looking to set down on the 13th of August at St Peters College.

My first slot is a 45 minute presentation on Internet Search entitled "To Google.... and beyond!".

Search is one of the most basic skills in Information Literacy and too often students and teachers are expected to know how to search the Internet effectively.

In my experience there is a lot that people don't know, and with just a little bit of knowledge can turn you into  a search pro - saving you time, improving your teaching and resources, and improving the quality of your students' work.

This is my hopeful overview to the right... I haven't as yet timed my presentation and some things may have to yield, but I am hoping to cover these points.

My second slot is a 1.5 hour workshop where I am teaching teachers how to use Google Sites to make their own websites to support their students learning. I have been using Sites for the past two years and I would rate Google Sites next to YouTube as the most effective technology tool I have used to enhance my students' learning.

Making a website with Sites is easy - you don't need to know html or anything too complex, if you got the hang of Microsoft Word then you have the basic skills you need.

I do ask that participants to make a Google Account or Gmail Account before the conference - that will expedite matters.

If you want to check out one of my sites, I have recently set one up to support the Physics community in SA.

If you are new to my blog feel free to have a look around, use the tag cloud to the right to find a topic of relevance. I hope to see you at the conference if you are South Australian.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Google News Archives - old news comes alive!

Most people are aware of the various search options, you can search the web, images, books, news and so on. Google News Archive is a way of search historical documents such as newspapers.

You can put in a relevant person or event (although the archives are mainly american-centric) and a timeline is generated. Click on the timeline to refine the search.

However for my money the best feature is the ability to browse newspapers such as the The Sydney Morning Herald or The Melbourne Age

 It could be used to compare the evolution of newspapers, look at the first accounts of pivotal historical events, gain an insight into life during a particular time - so many possibilities.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Search and Sites Conference Presentations - CANCELLED!

The conference below was cancelled and will be resheduled for later in the year. Perhaps timing, cost or teacher fatigue are the culprits.

The CEGSA (Computers in Education South Australia) Annual Conference will be on @St Peters College on the 13th and 14th of May. Here's the program and the abstracts I will be running two presentations on the Saturday. Registration is open until Friday - I hope to see you there!

 A 0.5 hour presentation on search/research "To Google... and beyond!"
A 1.5 hour workshop "Google Sites to support teaching and learning"

I am working away on two websites to support my participants. Feel free to drop me a line by the email form in the sidebar!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Middle School Chemistry investigating Atoms and Molecules

The Middle School Chemistry site is a brilliant resouce for all science teachers from the American Chemical Society.

This website is pure quality, from it's look, feel, consistency and printable resources. The focus is on Science by Doing. There are six main topics, each consist of 5-9 sub-topics. Each subtopic has it's own page where the introduction lays out the:
  • Key Concepts
  • Summary
  • Evaluation
  • Safety
  • Materials for Each Group

After the introduction the units consist of Engage, Explore, Explain and Extend sections. The webpages are all supported with downloadable pdfs of the webpages and student activities.

The Multimedia section includes graphics and videos to support your lessons.

Be sure to explore then bookmark/favourite/tag this site. Time spent exploring this site would be well worth it for any science teacher.


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