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Examples of Teaching with Demonstrations


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M&M Model for Radioactive Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
A tasty in-class demonstration of radioactive decay using two colors of M&M's. Illustrates the quantitative concepts of probability and exponential decay. This activity is appropriate for small classes (<40 students).

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Historical Geology

Pressure Melting of Ice: While-U-Wait part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
In this demonstration, students get to witness pressure melting and regelation first-hand. A weight is suspended via a thin wire over an ice cube. Over the course of the course of the demonstration, the wire passess through the ice, leaving undamaged ice in its wake.

Subject: Physics, Geoscience:Hydrology

Crystallization from Melt Demonstration part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This demonstration uses melted phenyl salicylate to show how crystals nucleate and grow as the temperature of the liquid melt decreases.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology:Igneous Processes, Geoscience:Geology:Mineralogy:Crystal Chemistry

Water Contamination Demonstration part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary: Misplaced Matter and Water Pollution The drinking water pollution demonstration provides a very simple but dramatic way to get students to think about water contamination and drinking water standards, ...

Subject: Geoscience:Hydrology

Adhesion, Cohesion, and Surface Tension Demonstration part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This short (<5-10 minutes) pair of demonstrations uses glass slides with a very thin film of water to demonstrate the cohesive and adhesive forces of water molecules, and a needle floating on water to demonstrate surface tension.

Subject: Geoscience:Hydrology

Presenting the Geologic Timescale part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This project has students model the geologic timescale using distance as a metaphor for time. Students give presentions spaced at distances which represent how far apart in time the events occurred.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Historical Geology

Electromagnetic Induction Demonstration part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This simple demonstration shows the interaction between electricity and magnetism. Two coils of wire are held close to each other, but not touching. One is attached to a music source, such as a small radio or iPod, and the other is attached to an external speaker. Students can hear the music through the speaker even though there is no direct connection.

Subject: Physics:Electricity & Magnetism:Inductance

What's the best payment? part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
After predicting which of two earnings streams has the highest currrent value, students use a discounted values table to compare the two earnings streams, discovering that earlier earnings has higher value and that ...

Subject: Economics:Micro

Understanding money: Where is most of my money? part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This activity uses an Interactive Lecture Demonstration to help students understand the definition of money in a modern economy. Starting with the common misconception that money is coins and currency, the ...

Subject: Economics:Macro

Which U.S. President generated the highest budget deficits? part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Students compare budget deficits and surpluses generated between 1969 and 2008 measured in nominal terms and then as a percentage of GDP.

Subject: Economics:Macro policy