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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

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

Convection Demonstration part of Examples
Summary This demonstration uses ** How to set up the demonstration How to do the demonstration Ideas for discussing the convection demonstration in class References and resources

Subject: Education

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

Seasons part of Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend the Earth's position in space, the Earth's rotation axis and seasons.

Subject: Geoscience:Lunar and Planetary Science, Physics:Astronomy:Solar System

Plate Kinematics part of Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend the dynamics of plate kinematics.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics

Tree Ring Model part of Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend the natural variations of tree-ring width and their uses for determining past climatic ...

Subject: Biology:Ecology

Electromagnetic Induction Demonstration part of 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