We recently ran an Introduction to Problem Solving in Mechanics day for Year 12 students. The intention was for the day to be practical and interactive and to promote understanding of the mechanics part of the A level. I always try and use simple equipment for this, such as a tennis ball or rulers.
What we find ourselves using more than ever now are videos that have you asking questions – the students want to know what the answers are, which gives them an incentive to do the modelling required. Another advantage here is that, unlike textbook questions, you need to decide what information you need and you can use real life data. Dan Meyer talks about this technique in his Ted Talk.
Take a look at these videos:
- Dropping a rock down a hole
- Jump from the edge of space
- Modelling aircraft take-off
- Low Friction Atwood Machine
What questions would you ask? What information do you need? What assumptions do you need to make, and can you modify these to get a better answer?
If you would like some worksheets and resources to go alongside these videos, please contact me (Abigail Bown). If you find any videos that you think we can use in modelling, please let me know!
By Abigail Bown