want project ideas

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 2ndTimeAround, May 10, 2014.

  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    May 10, 2014

    I actually have leftover time this semester and I'm thinking about doing a big project for my lower-level learners during the last few days.

    I like multi-faceted projects, usually those that involve some sort of choice for the student, but not so much ambiguity that grading is a pain. In fact, grading has to be really minimal because I have zero workdays at the end of the year this year. And I am simply not going to be doing a lot in the evenings as the year winds down for my own children. usually one project will have a handful of small components.

    The last project I gave them was way too easy. It counted as a test grade and students were able to whip them out in an hour or two.

    Ideally this project would take lots of time to do well (I'd love for it to take 3 days in class - so 4-5 hours), not require internet (our school computers are not reliable and I won't make something easier for students that have smart phones than for students that don't), be super easy to grade, and offer choice.

    In my arsenal already:

    make a children's book explaining "big picture" topics.
    cartoon strip for a timeline
    How-to instructions for procedural topics.
    journal entries (my life as a water molecule, for example)
    advertisement or political ad for comparing/contrasting
    writing a poem or short story using vocab words
    making a poster with a set number of diagrams
    biographies on important scientists (this will require a means of research though)


    Do you have any suggestions of other things I can do? Again, I want to limit the need for technology with this particular class so making videos, powerpoints, etc. won't work.
     
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  3. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    May 10, 2014

  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    May 10, 2014

    Thank you. Those are just what I'm leaning toward!
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 10, 2014

    I'm doing an engineering unit at the end of our year. We've just finished with Astronomy so we're going to plan a "Mission to Mars"

    It will include building a "Mars Rover" out of everyday household supplies, powered by an eco-friendly rubber band.

    We will be a "Mars Lander" out of newspaper tubes that has to keep an egg safe when dropped from a height.

    I'll be fitting in catapults somehow because they really wanted to do that project but we just didn't get the time to this year. (probably a projectile launch function to launch a probe?)

    We'll be doing materials engineering with gack (borax and glue) to make something either more bouncy or more moldable depending on what we're doing with it.

    I actually will be using the computer lab and we have a Mission Control simulator that will allow us to launch the rocket as a class with each computer station having a different role. (won't work with your situation probably but I thought it was awesome)

    And at the end we'll celebrate on Mars with homemade dry ice root beer and maybe ice cream for root beer floats.

    This is all floating around in my head. I haven't yet decided how to make it work.
     
  6. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    May 11, 2014

  7. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    May 11, 2014

    As a 6th grade science teacher, I am LOVING this. (Actually all of the ideas, I just shortened the quote a little!) How are you planning to incorporate the gack into the Mission to Mars theme? Would you mind if I copied some of your ideas? We were already planning on doing a car type of project which I haven't hashed out yet, and a catapult was going to be our extra credit opportunity, but I hadn't thought of tying them together with a theme and including some extra fun projects like gack and root beer! Honestly I have no idea how the dry ice root beer would work though, I'd have to do some research on that one.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 11, 2014

    How about making board games? They could make them as a review of this year's learning. You could make them in small groups and then play each other's games.
     
  9. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 12, 2014

    Rockguykev, thank you so much for sharing your website -- I am so impressed not just by your projects but by the whole site! Thank you for the great inspiration for next year :)
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 12, 2014

    Heya! I was going to use the gak as part of a materials engineering mini-unit. They have to determine the best mixture of glue solution to borax solution to create the best gak. The best gak will actually be determined by how well it solves a problem. For instance, I might say we're using it to cover the probe that's being launched by the catapult, so it needs to have the best bounce power and be firm. Or another group might need to make the best mixture that will help fix a crack or a leak so it would need to be more runny and oozy, etc.

    As for the rootbeer, I just really wanted to make ice cream floats at the end of the year. You can't do carbonated beverages in space, but I figured, once you land you can make some. It's just dry ice, rootbeer extract, sugar, and water pretty much. The dry ice carbonates the rootbeer if you put it into the liquid.

    There is a yeast version of rootbeer that is more biology based, but since I'm Physical Science, I'm sticking with dry ice. I think it's easier and cooler too (you end up with witches cauldrons, lol)
     

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