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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

Contructing a projectile launcher and free falling target part of Examples
This activity describes the construction and use of a pneumatic cannon and free falling target used to teach the concepts of projectile motion in introductory physics.

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics:Gravity, Physics:Electricity & Magnetism:DC Circuits, Physics:General Physics:Equipment, Physics:Education Practices:Instructional Material Design, Technology, Physics:Classical Mechanics:Motion in Two Dimensions, Projectile Motion, Physics:Education Foundations:Teacher Content Knowledge, Physics:Education Practices:Active Learning

An electrostatics puzzler part of Examples
An interactive lecture demonstration intended to help students use physics reasoning to predict the outcome of a puzzling electrostatics demonstration.

Subject: Physics, :Electricity & Magnetism, Electricity & Magnetism:Electrostatics, Physics:Education Foundations:Alternative Conceptions, Physics:Education Practices:Active Learning

A simple motor/generator demonstration for use in interactive lecture part of Examples
This activity describes a simple clear demonstration of electric generators (Faraday's Law) and electric motors (Lorentz Force). This demonstration can be used as an interactive lecture demonstration.

Subject: Physics:Electricity & Magnetism:Magnetic Fields and Forces, Electromagnetic Induction, Physics:Electricity & Magnetism

Resolving Force Vectors: Interactive Demonstration part of Examples
This is an Interactive Lecture Demonstration for resolving force vectors using the suspended block demonstration (1J30.10).

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics

Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns part of Examples
An ILD to help demonstrate the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns using an experiment.

Membranes and Cell Structure part of Examples
A one page assignment that uses online tutorials to give students a first exposure to the components of a cell and membrane.

Subject: Biology

Why is Chlorophyll Green? part of Examples
This is an out of class exercise that allows students to explore biological molecules that contain heme like molecules with metals bound in them. The properties of these molecules give them different colors and functions, but all are related evolutionarily.

Subject: Biology

Obesity Epidemic part of Examples
A one page activity that takes students to several websites related to the obesity epidemic. First they can calculate BMI, then learn about national trends in the rate of obesity and finally use a tutorial on insulin and diabetes.

Subject: Health Sciences

The US economy during your lifetime part of Examples
Students predict the best graphical representation of US real GDP/capita during the last twenty years, choosing from graphs showing: cyclical decline, cyclical change with no net change, cyclical increase, or erratic wide fluctuations. Using actual US data, students graph real GDP/capita to find out the actual pattern: a rising series with periodic dips, not a flat series, a falling series, or a highly erratic series as students often predict. Students then reflect on why this pattern is often misunderstood and why it may not fully describe the well-being of the US population.

Subject: Economics:Macro