As each section of the lab had a number of questions to answer, I was able to help students further understand the material by leading them to the answers. Some of the students seemed to fully understand the material while others needed more hints to get to the answer. It was great to see the light bulb go on with some of the students when they finally understood how the lab related to the real world.
One point that I thought was kind of telling and encouraging was during one class' discussion on the diabetes-monitoring tattoos. I had asked a question about conventional blood sugar measurement technology of the simple form, "What does it do?" One boy answered that it measured blood sugar (glucose), and there was a girl in the classroom who tried to correct him by saying that in fact what I was asking was how the device actually measures blood sugar. She seemed pretty adamant about the importance of understanding the mechanism of the instrument.
I thought it was a good moment because it showed me that at least this one student was learning that our class is about asking deeper mechanistic type questions. (Maybe so that you could actually invent something on your own someday?) I am sure that some of their science teachers are good at promoting this kind of curiosity, but I can't help but think that the fact that Andrey and I have tried to teach in such a deeply questioning matter has influenced some of them to truly think rather than regurgitate on command.
On October 9, the students continued their owl pellet unit. At the beginning of the class, I tied the Harry Potter theme into a warm-up activity.
Since the students had been learning about different owls, I showed a picture of Hedwig, the owl character in Harry Potter, and asked the students questions about her. (i.e. What type of owl is Hedwig? Is Hedwig a boy or girl? What are the spots for? Why do the girls need to be camouflaged? How can you tell? Many of you dissected snowy owl pellets online yesterday. What do snowy owls eat?)
After the warm-up, we showed a video on barn owls and the dissection of barn owl pellets. The students were then asked to put themselves in groups. Each group was given an owl pellet. The students gathered preliminary information about their pellets such as their lengths and mass and drew pictures of their pellets.
The activity was successful. The students were excited about the upcoming lab where they got to dissect their pellets.
This activity was successful. The students were very excited about brainstorming magical tools. Many of the students who are not normally engaged in learning were raising their hands to answer questions. While the activity was fun for the students, they were still thinking critically about tools, brainstorming, and creating tables.
Computational fluid dynamics, blood flow modeling numerical methods, fluid dynamics, flow stability, turbulence.
Math, chemistry and biology.