Today was a great day in my physics classes for two reasons.
1. I introduced Steve Dickie's bouncy ball challenge to my students. They were almost as amazed as I was which I think is an excellent start considering we are dealing with the age of apathy in high school students. Lots of great comments and ideas already from my students and I really only took about 10 minutes at the beginning of the hour for this. They are excited about doing the project.
2. I did the second day of the Ramp n'Roll activity with my students. Yesterday I gave them a bunch of ramps and starting conditions and had them predict and record the graphs. Today they did the much more challenging task of taking the graphs and trying to set up the ramps to mimic the data. There was a great deal of teeth gnashing and screams of frustration at first. Then after a few not-so-subtle hints that the velocity vs. time and the acceleration vs. time graphs were not just there for show, students began catching on to the activity. The look on their faces when their graphs matched those on the page were priceless. They were elated. They felt smart. They felt like they accomplished something. They stayed after the bell to finish that last one. They asked if they could do it for homework! They asked! And of course, I said, "Sure!"
What a fantastic day, and what fantastic students I have!