Think-Pair-Share Analysis of the Operation of a Metal Detector
This activity has benefited from input through a review and suggestion process.
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process as a part of an activity development workshop. Workshop participants were provided with a set of criteria against which they evaluated each others' activities. For information about the criteria used for this review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/compadre/devactivities/reviewcriteria.html.
This page first made public: Jul 29, 2007
This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
In a physics lecture, the class is presented with a simplified model of a metal detector. The class is asked to discuss the operation in groups of two or three students. Once the groups come to a conclusion, the class is presented with a list of possible features of the explanation and asked to indicate the options their explanation supports. Two additional questions to clear up misconceptions are presented. The class is asked to correct their explanation after these questions. Once a consensus is reached a simulation demonstrates the correct explanation of the function of a metal detector.
This activity allows the students to use their knowledge of magnetism and Faraday's law to understand an interesting real-world device. The students work cooperatively and the device's operation is ultimately demonstrated by a colorful simulation.
Context for Use
Time required: 20-50 minutes
Special equipment: Computer and Projector
Pre-requisite knowledge: Magnetism, Faraday's Law, and magnetic materials.
Description and Teaching Materials
Metal Detector Principles (Microsoft Word 236kB Jul29 07)