Today, I had my students working with the Medical Cases and Physics cases meet with their professionals via internet video chats. I was so excited for them. I spent the beginning of class running around and setting up the two groups to get ready to chat. Students were nervous, what do I ask? What do we talk about?
Finally, it was time for my professionals to talk with the students. I was absolutely floored at the level of questioning and inquisitve approach the students took. Of course, they started off with the questions that I had given them to ask, but soon they were asking questions (based on the case) that they had formulated between research and the current conversation. AMAZING! I had never seen these kids more engaged – even students who generally struggle with physics were asking bright (and in depth) questions about topics like circular motion and nuclear physics (they won’t cover these formally until next year).
After talking with the students, many said they enjoyed talking to a professional. They felt that it was best to learn from someone who knew most about the field – and even saw this when the ‘engineering expert’ told them he was going to ask a friend who built off ramps their question, because even experts go to other experts.
Students really got to see what science is like in the real world! I can’t wait to see their enthusiasm take off as they learn more things throughout this project.