It’s interesting how students will find something interesting that I felt was not the best use of our time. For example, today, I took a group of students working on a project based on off ramps to the closest thing we have to an off ramp in our small city. There wasn’t much to consider, but still the students said it was helpful in visualizing what they were doing. A lot of students had off ramp and overpass mixed up. Also, we talked about banking curves and why they do…. “there’s way more to consider than just building a flat circle I guess”. 🙂
Also, I am finding this way of learning does motivate all students to some degree. It’s taking much longer for them to cover these basic concepts than it would normally take in a Physics classroom, but the learning is so much more meaningful to the students. I am lucky that I have time to teach it this way in class, but in a regular physics 30 class (which is where most of these concepts come from) I probably would feel pressed for time. I think I would need to take more time and construct projects that explore more concepts to make the learning efficient + meaningful + context-based. Also, I used projects from various sources but think that next time I would try to build my own projects to learn from – that way they would better match my curriculum and objectives to be considered.