Reflection: Relevance Using The Conservation of Momentum to Decipher Fact from Fiction - Section 3: Using Technology to Investigate Momentum


One of the major focuses of this lesson was to compare to scenarios and communicate the likelihood of an event using mathematical reasoning (SP6). I want my students to take ownership over their learning outcomes and to share the authority within our classroom.

Within this lesson, students are encouraged to create a visual model of an analysis of eyewitness accounts of an event (SP1). Students express ideas like "If both witnesses saw the same event, wouldn't the accounts be identical? " and "If the witnesses were there, wouldn't they have video on their cell-phones?" Students also ask questions like, "How can we be sure that either account is the truth?".  Many of the opinions that students express within this lesson relate to the way students connect to news found on social media. 

As a matter of practice, I ask students to write data in tables or in mind maps so that they can clearly understand their thought process when they review their notes at a later date. I created this lesson because I want to students to see real-world applications using the concepts they learn and apply in an academic setting.  

I also created this lesson because I believe that students preconceptions about physics being an isolated academic endeavor can sometimes hinder their ability to effectively learn physics. I think that one of the best parts of this lesson are the visuals students create as they adopt the persona of investigative journalists because students enthusiasm for material and carefulness about observations really shines through.

  Making Connections Between Physics and Everyday Events
  Relevance: Making Connections Between Physics and Everyday Events
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Using The Conservation of Momentum to Decipher Fact from Fiction

Unit 6: Momentum
Lesson 9 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to apply mathematical models to re-create eyewitness testimony of a collision between two students.

Big Idea: The conservation of momentum can be applied to a scenario in order to determine the probability of an eyewitness account being true.

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