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KEVIN PETERSEN

9-12 | Science & Tech | Simulations

Station KOPB in Oregon

My Classroom Innovation

My unit involves 9th grade students learning the main concepts involved in defining the difference between chemical and physical properties of matter, chemical and physical changes of matter, and how to do basic separations when we have mixtures or solutions of different types of matter.

After covering the topics in this unit I have the students then interactively learn about density using a digital simulation lab. Once they have completed this simulation we then move on to an engineering project to further explore and apply the concept of density. For the design project the students are tasked to design and build a simple watercraft from straws and plastic wrap. In order to build the watercraft the students must first design it on paper and then get the design approved by me before they are allowed to build and to test it. This watercraft is designed to float 25 pennies. In conclusion of this project we do an evaluation of the project

How Students were Engaged

Today's high school students have a tremendous amount of technology at their fingertips. My unit engages students using a variety of techniques, from digital multimedia video notes, to digital laboratory simulations, all the way to a hands on opportunity to apply engineering concepts to design and build a physical project and test it.

Through these techniques I have seen and increased interest level from all of my students because I am using computers, video, and hands on to engage them in the learning process.

I have also noticed an increased ability to be on task and an improved attention span while we cover certain topics. I feel this unit is truly meeting the students needs and encouraging their learning process.

PBS Program/Content Used

PBS Design Squad - Watercraft