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Examples of Teaching with Demonstrations


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Understanding the Motion of a Harmonic Oscillator part of Examples
This inteactive lecture and series of demonstrations develops the concepts and vocabulary of oscillatory motion as it relates to the motion of a mass on a spring.

Subject: Physics:Oscillations & Waves

Demonstration of radioactive decay using pennies part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
A demonstration (with full class participation) to illustrate radioactive decay by flipping coins. Shows students visually the concepts of exponential decay, half-life and randomness. Works best in large classes -- the more people, the better.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geochemistry:Radioisotopes, Geoscience:Geology:Historical Geology

Using Popcorn to Simulate Radioactive Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Popping popcorn in your class is an excellent way to illustrate both the spontaneity and irreversible change associated with radioactive decay. It helps students to understand the unpredictability of decay.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Historical Geology, Geochemistry:Radioisotopes

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

Exploring Radiometric Dating with Dice part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
An activity in which students use dice to explore radioactive decay and dating and make simple calculations.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geochemistry:Radioisotopes, Mathematics

The nature of volcanism as controlled by viscosity part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This activity is fun to include in a classroom. This activity has the students design demonstrations using ketchup and peanut butter to document how viscosity differences between rhyolite and basalt control various ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology:Igneous Processes, Volcanology

Vectors: Lifting a Bowling Ball part of MnSCU Partnership:PKAL-MnSCU Activities
Compare lifting a bowling ball directly (one small person) to lifting a bowling ball at an angle with two people holding the ends of a rope and the ball hooked to the middle of the rope.

Subject: Physics:General Physics:Vector Algebra

Sonar Demonstration -- Human Sound Wave part of Cutting Edge:Oceanography:Activities
Sonar technology allowed scientists to produce high-resolution maps of the sea floor for the first time. This sonar demonstration uses a Human Sound Wave to image the "sea floor" in a lecture hall. In ...

Subject: Physics, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Geology and Geophysics, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics

Thermohaline Circulation Demonstration part of Cutting Edge:Oceanography:Activities
This activity helps the students to visualize the effects of temperature and salinity on water density, and the resulting thermohaline circulation. Important processes visualized in this demonstration are ...

We Buy Anything: an in-class activity demonstrating the Fed's response to the financial crisis of 2008 part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Starting Point: Economics in Two-Year Colleges:Activities
This role-playing activity engages students and underscores how quickly and dramatically the Federal Reserve System responded to the financial crisis of 2008.

Subject: Economics:Macro policy, Economics