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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

In Arthur's Shadow, looking for freebies

Dynamic Earth and Arthur's Seat
Categories: s1 and s2, Geography General
Had a nice day today, starting off in school and finishing in Edinburgh. Had to teach linear regression to Advanced Higher period 1 before a bit of a mad rush to the train station to get to Dynamic Earth. The reason for this was to take the opportunity to apply for a free seismometer for the school. Will have to sit down with Physics and others to draft a reason why we should be given one now, but given we already use Physics' help for showing different types of waves then I'm sure we could put something together. It was great to see some of the activities being proposed for use with the seismometer, firstly because some of them really whetted the appetite for putting together a proposal, but mostly because they could be adapted for lo-tech active experiments in the class. For example, there was a motorised earthquake table and this was shaking jelly cubes at different paces. When I saw this, it looked like something we could adapt to our own very basic shakers that s2 used this year to construct earthquake proof designs. I also saw audacity being used to show sound waves and how these could illustrate earthquake intensity with proximity to the surface. A really easy experiment with two mics, two audacity trails and then varying the distance of a handclap from the microphones. If the audio trail is spaced enough, the variation can be picked out quite clearly, and the beauty of this is that physics could use it to look at how sound travels too. It was also nice to meet colleagues old and new, and Val Adam and I had a chat about how she has been using Glow and about a potential collaboration when we are up and running. I have to say a large part of the enjoyment came from the journey. I don't often travel by train, but the journey to Edinburgh is long enough to sit back and clear the head a bit, and it was a beautiful day in the Capital, making the quite long wait for the train back less of a bind.
Two days to go (who's counting?) ;-) Tomorrow, the weather looks good, so I think we'll get s2 outdoors and doing a wee bit of local environmental quality surveys, while s1 could have a look at the intro to 'Favela Rising', posted by gazz on the sln forum (many thanks), followed by the now customary 'City of Men' clips. If I manage to find a decent image (maybe through piclits) it would be a nice idea to get some descriptive terms up on the board before we watch these and see if our perceptions change through the lesson.


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