Finally: A Chance to Merge Math & Physics

Because my students took the statewide End Of Course Test (EOCT) earlier this week, my school allows me to give a final project instead of an exam. This was a big break for me because my kids are tested out and I have no desire to write a 50 question comprehensive multiple guess test that can be graded within mere minutes of it being turned in so that I can close out my gradebook on the insane end-of-semester schedule we all have.

I’ve included the project below for you to enjoy steal. [Galileo’s Ramp (Word, 622kb)]

I start the kids off with understanding position-time and velocity-time graphs

Here’s a little snip:

Later, we move into understanding how quadratic functions can be transformed

There’s more in the full version (I guess that’s kinda obvious). Hit the link above.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to @occam98, @fnoschese, and @jsb16 for brainstorming with me via Twitter the other night. Y’all were amazing. I opened with, “give me some phenomena that fit a quadratic function.” Also, I would never have finished writing this project tonight if I hadn’t had a horrible day at work. Something about a lousy day makes me want to do better the next.

This project gets students to understand position-time and velocity-time graphs in a rudimentary way, gets them thinking about the quadratic equations that describe those graphs, and helps them begin to understand how to collect data accurately.