Group 4 project
Tuesday 22 May 2018
On Monday we did our group 4 project. The aim was to have an enjoyable day out to and do enough science to tick off the IB requirement. Students were put into groups of mixed sciences then transported by space ship (bus) to a distant planet (a nearby coastal area). There they had about 4 hours to classify all life forms within a given area. On returning to campus they made posters, films and presentations which they presented in the evening. The idea was not to use previous knowledge of classification but to invent a new one based on observation.
It is interesting that almost all the groups put plants and animals in different groups. What is the evidence that a seaweed is not in the same group as a sea anemone, or that a barnacle is an animal but looks like a rock. A sponge doesn't move but it is more closely related to a crab than kelp. It's really difficult to abandon previous knowledge and think in a new way.
So where is the physics? My students were thinking the same thing so measured heights, timed tides and calculated velocities, that wasn't really the idea but they learnt a bit about why average velocity is a fairly meaningless quantity. The idea, well mine at least, was that physics students would bring a different way of thinking to the problem, maybe classifying purely on the basis of colour, or size.
So, did we satisfy our aim? Yes.