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Examples of Teaching with Demonstrations


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Earthquake Demonstration part of Examples
This demonstration uses an "earthquake machine" constructed from bricks, sand paper, and a winch, to simulate the buildup of elastic strain energy prior to a seismic event and the release of that energy during an earthquake.

Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology:Microstructures, Deformation Mechanisms, Fabrics

Subduction Zone Earthquakes part of Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend several characteristics of subduction zone earthquakes.

Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics:Seismology

Igneous Rocks Model part of Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students use samples of four igneous rocks (gabbro, basalt, granite, and rhyolite) to observe differences in texture, color and grain size and make inferences ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology:Igneous Rocks

Fog Chamber part of Examples
Show how clouds and fog are created with a very simple physical model. Materials needed are: A large 1 gallon jar, latex glove, a little water, and matches.

Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Meteorology:Clouds and precipitation

Phases of the Moon part of Examples
This exercise has students use a simple physical model of the Earth, sun, and moon to understand why the moon changes phases from the perspective of Earthly observers.

Subject: Geoscience:Lunar and Planetary Science

Slinky and Waves part of Examples
Use a Slinky to show:P and S waves, Wave reflection, and Standing waves in interactive lecture demonstration.

Subject: Physics:Oscillations & Waves:Wave Motion, Geoscience:Oceanography:Physical , Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology:Rheology/Behavior of Materials

Helping Students Discover Total Internal Reflection part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students learn the basic relationship of Snell's Law, practice applying it to a situation, then are given another situation where it "doesn't work."??? This situation turns out to be one in which total internal reflection occurs. Students are then shown what happens with classroom apparatus.

Subject: Physics:Optics

Introduction to Torques: A Question of Balance, Featuring the Sledge Hammer of the Sierra Madre part of Examples
Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to illustrate the nature of torques and on the balancing of torques in static equilibrium.

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics

Elastic and Inelastic Collisions: The Case of the Happy and Sad Balls part of Examples
Interactive Lecture Demonstration to illustrate that impulses are larger in elastic collisions than in inelastic collisions if other factors are the same.

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics

Understanding the Work Energy Theorem: In the lab or as lecture demonstration part of Examples
This series of questions before instruction, in-class peer instruction as students come to understanding, and visualization of an important mathematical relationship allow students to iterate and improve their understanding of work incrementally.

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics:Work and Energy