Week’s end

The first week of the spring semester is over, and there’s lots to think about.  My senior seminar class started up Tuesday, and I think it went ok.  We spent Tuesday-Thursday (we don’t meet on Fridays) immersed in a couple of “design sprints” (thanks to Andrew for that phrase, which I had never heard before), a short discussion on what it is to be a maker, and the set up of class blogs.

The design sprints included a Daily Create-inspired video project.  The prompt:

Today is the first day of your last semester at Collegiate.  Tell us what will make this semester radically different.

Our second design sprint involved the making of sketchbook/notebooks using cardstock, paper, sharpies, brass binders, embroidery thread, and a host of other supplies.

Also, I’m not quite sure how the exercise went over.   Everyone participated, and without an tutorials they all created something.  My favorite was “Notebookception”–a notebook within a notebook within a notebook.  I’ll have to do some debriefing Monday.

The deeper I get in this maker/hacker rabbit hole, the more problematic my ignorance of electronics becomes, so I’m sitting in on Physics II: Electronics.  Day one opened with a review of some Physics I notes.  Personal electronics labs similar to the one below were handed out.

Radio Shack electronics learning lab

Radio Shack electronics learning lab

The week ended with finding the resistance of circuits and the current and voltage across each resistance.  I even have a homework assignment.

physics homework

physics homework

Participating in this class has been an especially interesting experience.  First, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such unbridled enthusiasm in a classroom.  The majority (if not all) of the students are seniors.  They have a special interest in the topic.  They want to be in that class.  I think that accounts for a lot of the enthusiasm.

Secondly, some of the class is lecture, but the format is really more of a work-at-your-own-pace/independent learning environment.  Although the class is confined to the upper school schedule, the students have some flexibility within that 45-90 minute period (the length of class periods vary depending on what day of the week it is).

I’m looking forward to watching how students teach each other as they embark on their own projects.

One of the best things I heard was, “Mr. P____, can you please tell my coach that I can’t make it to practice this afternoon, because I have to work on this [labs in his electronics kit].”

Ok.  I have homework to do.

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One thought on “Week’s end

  1. AWESOME! Was just talking about something similar yesterday, that I’d love to sit in on a metal shop or electrician’s course and play around to learn some new skills. Keep learning, don’t electrocute yourself, and make sure to congratulate that kid who wanted a pass for his coach 🙂

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