In Liquid and Air, Scientists Find Order Among the Chaos – NYTimes.com

Putting themselves in Roamer’s “shoes”: we ask students to see a math idea through Roamer’s eyes–this means they become a Euclidean point traveling through space. This enables them to get physical, geometric intuitions about formerly abstract mathematical ideas.

Why would the intuitions this provides be important? Here’s an example from the NYT Article on predicting current flows in the ocean

To find the structures, scientists must track flow, not by watching it go by but from the perspective of the droplets of water or molecules of air moving in it. “It’s like being a surfer,” Dr. Campbell said. “You want to catch the wave and move with the wave.”

New Category: Matter, Energy, Life on Earth

Matter Energy Life on Earth Logo

The Hands-On, Integrated, 5-Level, Active Learning Design, Less-is-More, Three-Year Science & Math Curriculum….

  • Level 1: 3 Year Overview: Theme and Project Flowchart
  • Level 2: Single Year Overviews: Theme and Project Flowcharts
  • Level 3: Single Quarter Project “Challenge-Trees”: Visual Learning Goals for One Quarter of One Year of the Matter*Energy*Life Cycle
  • Level 4: Single Quarter Syllabus: Detailed Project Credit-Checklists (Pass/Try Again) and Achievement-Based Grading Ladders for all Projects in One Semester.
  • Level 5: Project Handouts and Models of Excellence: All the materials students need to prepare for a given Project’s Pass/Try Again Exit Exam: sample: math-science challenge problems, lab report layout guidelines, quickstart guide to using the USB Shot microscope, etc…

presented in 3 cycles, for grades: K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th–WILL GO HERE….

Project Tree 1.1: Problem-Solving Tools

Use these Creative Learning tools to help your Robot beat the Project-Challenges!

Creativity is the “Problem-Solving Habit”!

Project Tree 1-1_TOOLS

Rulers: use the ruler here: |————-| to measure this diagram and find out how many Roamer steps it would take to get to the garage.

Protractors: use the protractor to find out: how many degrees in one circle? If Roamer turns ¼ of the way around a circle, how many degrees would he or she have turned?

Dry-Erase Drawing Boards & Roamer Pens: Drawing boards help you keep track of and quickly change your guesses; Roamer pens help you trace Roamers path so you can see what corrections you need to make when your first guess doesn’t work.

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Two Improvements to Math & Science Robotics Materials

** I’ve been trying out a new tool with the Kindergarten robotics class: magnetic programming symbols so

  • (a) they don’t have to worry about writing out the symbols when they create programs and
  • (b) they can keep their programs and give them names (“bring coffee to teacher”) etc. Working very well so far… (remember Lego study: if kids can keep their projects–rather than disassembling them after each session–they become addicted to building. If they have to destroy their work after each session, not much interest. Same for science and math: let kids KEEP their projects and they look forward to each new learning period)

1. Magnetic programming symbols: a new tool for kids to use with the Roamers– I pasted the programming symbols onto magnets and got a large metal dry erase board so that:

  • (a) younger children don’t have to worry about writing symbols when they “talk to their robot” (writing at this age just gets in the way of the thinking, but the magnets seem to remove that problem completely) and
  • (b) they can keep their programs and give them names (“bring coffee to mom”) etc. which allows them to put together a book of Roamer Jobs/Programs.

2. Put together a “tool box” (with a handle!) for children to carry their Roamer/Math & Science Olympics tools around with them from one Olympic Event to another. They love having and carrying tools.