Friday, November 2, 2007

Bubble Gum Physics

As you know, Wednesday was Halloween. And I covered an 8th grade science class.

The teacher left them a lab assignment. "Bubble gum physics." The object was... Well, I think the ultimate object was to learn about speed (measuring it and figuring out how to find it) and all the calculations that go into it. What they actually did, though, was to chew gum.

Gum is not allowed in school. So, using gum in a class experiment was a treat. It's just that it would probably have been a better treat if the assignment wasn't overseen by a substitute teacher!

Well, all thinks considered, it went pretty well. I actually spent the day reminding them how to round numbers and how to take averages. And I had to make sure that they didn't take more than one piece of gum. Unfortunately, at that I failed. How do I know? I was given 380 pieces of gum. By the end of the day, I had four. 35 students per period, 5 periods... The math just doesn't work out, kind of like most of the math they were trying to do.

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