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Viewing entries tagged Engineering

Hovercraft

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Saturday, 12 February 2011
in Images that speak for themselves

Teachable Moment: Besides being a fun project, this hovercraft is a great tool for teaching friction experiments.

Howtoons cartoon about how to build a hovercraft using old CDs.

References: http://www.howtoons.com/?page_id=2505

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Lessonopoly

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 11 February 2011
in Online Resources

Lessonopoly LogoTeachable Moment: Lessonopoly is a great collection of lesson plans and multimedia.

Welcome to Lessonopoly! We are an open educational resource aiming to make life a little easier for busy educators like you. Lessonopoly is a free software portal developed by Silicon Valley Education Foundation. This site was created with constant input from teachers to deliver a set of effective and easy to use tools, even for teachers who do not have time to learn new technologies. Lessonopoly empowers teachers to organize activities inside and outside the classroom, create and share lesson plans, and connect to other teachers by building online communities. The Silicon Valley Education Foundation works across the boundaries of all 33 school districts in Santa Clara County to ensure public schools have the resources and expertise they need to ensure our students succeed. Take a look around and let us know what you think! E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

References: http://lessonopoly.org/

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BetterLessons.org

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 11 February 2011
in Online Resources

Better Lesson LogoTeachable Moment: Great community of teachers sharing lesson plans etc. 

BetterLesson was founded by a group of teachers from Atlanta and Boston public schools to connect educators and help them create, organize, and share their curricula. We are focused on aggregating and scaling the most innovative content and practices from high-performing teachers across the country.

References: http://www.betterlesson.org/

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Occam's Razor

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 11 February 2011
in Great Explanations

Teachable Moment: Occam's razor has many applications but recently I used it as a coach for a First Lego League team.  The children were making increasingly complex Lego contraptions and in order to reign them in, I introduced the concept of Occam's razor which didn't dismiss their complex efforts but challenged them to think of simpler solutions.  After a while, all I had to do was simply say "is this consistent with Occam's razor" and they'd go back and find a better solution.

From Wikipedia: Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor[1]), often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae, translating to law of parsimony, law of economy or law of succinctness, is a principle which generally recommends selecting the competing hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions, when the hypotheses are equal in other respects.[2] For instance, they must both sufficiently explain available data in the first place.

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor

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nxtprograms.com

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 07 February 2011
in Online Resources

nxtprograms.com logoTeachable Moment: Mindstorms NXT is a great tool but figuring out projects and programs is very time consuming.  This web site has some fun projects that help students explore a broad range of NXT projects.

If you have a LEGO®MINDSTORMS®NXT robotics kit, then this site provides free building instructions and downloadable programs for lots of fun projects.

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NAIS Sustainability Web Resources

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 04 February 2011
in Online Resources

NAIS logoTeachable Moment: NAIS has pulled together a great collection of resources for teachers interested in sustainability.  Well worth poking around this web site and signing up for the Listserve.

Schools need to work toward environmental sustainability by becoming more green, reducing school and personal carbon footprints, promoting a commitment to life-long environmental responsibility, and incorporating environmental education into the curriculum

References: http://www.nais.org/go/green

RAFT - Resource Area For Teaching

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 02 February 2011
in Online Resources

RAFT ImageTeachable Moment: If you're a science teacher in the SF Bay Area, this is an amazing resource.

The Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) started with an idea. What if:

Every child could get excited about learning through collaborative "hands-on" activities?

Every educator could obtain low-cost materials and the training to use them in "hands-on" projects?

21st Century learning skills developed through "hands-on" education could become pervasive and improve educational outcomes?

Hits: 22949

Radar -> Sputnik -> Serendipity -> GPS

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 12 January 2011
in The Mother of Invention

Teachable Moment:This TED video discusses the invention of the GPS as a perfect example of open innovative systems where "chance favors the connected mind".  I also like it because it provides a good example of how innovation can be as simple as merely the inversion of our thinking... in this case, one group of scientists had discovered how to track a moving object in space from a fixed point on the ground... and another one pushed them to think about tracking a moving object on the ground from a fixed point in space.

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The NXT Classroom

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 11 January 2011
in Online Resources

Teachable Moment: This is the best one-stop place to find amazing resources for teaching using Mindstorms NXT. 

The NXT Classroom; a community dedicated to supporting teachers who are using the LEGO Mindstorm System in their classroom.

References: http://www.thenxtclassroom.com/

Hits: 15029