Today, in physics 30, we did one of my favourite labs,
problem-based learning. Students are given access to a basic projectile set up based on inclined planes (covered last unit). We go over a brief explanation of how motion in two dimensions work and then set on the quest of calculating where to place the target in order to hit it.
heavily based on
I have ranted numerous times about the need for problem-based learning within our science courses, particularly with the past enlightening years working on my masters. However, I rarely get a glimpse into how deep this commitment truly is.
My favourite part of this lab is that I made it up in my pre-service teaching. At the time, I was told it would be too difficult for students to solve, but even with declining work ethic in our student population, I always notice that even the weak students are engaged in this project. It is exciting, and challenging, and fun!
Problem-based learning is not only for veteran teachers! I actually find that I developed some of my best material when I was in my first years of teaching – as idealistic and hopeful as I was… I wonder what else I can dig out of the vault…