In my years at High Tech High, have worked on a number of student projects. A brief description of each one is below. Click the accompanying image to see student work from each!

 

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Anamorphic Sidewalk Art: Spring 2012

Using technology provuded by a Qualcomm Wireless Reach grant, students designed and created three dimensional street art.At the design stage students made use of technology in order that they could be sure that their design would work. By using Google Sketchup and Adobe Photoshop they made a mock-up of how design would look when completed. All the computer work was done on laptop computers and students were able to work on their designs outside of the class time, freeing up time during the school day to transfer the designs to the ground.

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Gothic Window Project: Fall 2011

In this project students designed stained glass windows based around the shape of the gothic arch. Using wireless laptops provuded by a Qualcomm Wireless Reach grant, students researhed the design and shape of church windows, and then used Geometer's Sketchpadto make their own design. They used arcs and straignt lines to create designs, and PhotoShop to color the designs.

 

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Absolute Zero - A Physics A to Z: Fall 2009

During the Fall semester of 2009 my students created a guide to the physics we had been studying and learning. Each students researched and wrote about a particular aspect of physics that we collected into a book. We covered topics in Newtonian physics (Forces, Work and Energy). in modern optics (Lasers, Holography and Fiber Optics) and in modern physics (Quantum Mechanics and Cosmology). Many students studied energy generation (such as wind-power, solar power and nuclear processes). The book was published through blurb.com and you can see the book online by visiting PhysicsA2z.com

 

projects

 

 

Principles in Physics Demonstrations: Fall 2008

All students were required to produce interactive demonstrations to illustrate one science concept in physics. Concepts included electricity & magnetism, reflection, optical fibers, radio transmission, Bernoulli's principle and others. All groups had 2 or 3 members and groups had 6 weeks to prepare the project for Exhibition night.

The web-page for this project shows the matrix of required deliverables each group had to complete as check-points before the final grade was given. The final grade was partly based on how well these intermediate deliverables were achieved.

 

 

 

Sci-Fi Pods: Spring 2008

Working in groups of three students created science fiction games that taught science concepts to the players. In order to progress from one level to the next players need to read an online manual covering topics such as nuclear fusion, thermodynamics or gravity. All science concepts relate to the game and a quiz must be taken and passed before you reach the next level. students also made transportation modules in model form, which were digitized and imported into the game.

The computers on which the games run were housed in science-fiction themed "PODS" which were distributed around the High Tech High building. The building of these PODS was a major part of the project and required a great deal of planning.

The science was all related to Energy and transportation, and Students received a Chemistry credit for the semester.

 

 

Movie Pods: Fall 2007

In this project students created movies which touched on various science concepts. Rather than have the movies explicitly teach science concepts, the students made interactive Flash based tutorials that play at selected times in the movies. These tutorials also had a small number of multiple choice questions to test how well the science was learned. To display the movies each team had the use of a computer, and built their own installations to attract attention to their project. These installations ("PODS") were placed at various locations around the school for all students to interact with.

This semester students studied sound and light - both from a Physics and a recording perspective. They learned all about the electromagnetic spectrum, wave motion, interference, lenses, compression, Fourier analysis and more.

Each group also had to learn two additional science concepts and teach them to the rest of the class. The Final examination also covered topics such as cell death, telephony, sexual health and reproduction, ballistics and thermodynamics.

 

 

 

Window Boxes: Spring 2007

Working with Jeff Robin the art teacher and David Berggren the engineering teacher, we came up with a project to showcase mathematics and physics concepts in a 20inch square box. These boxes were placed in various window locations throughout the school.

Students worked in pairs to produce working demonstrations of concepts such as centripetal force, resonance, and pressure. Other boxes showed how specific devices such an the differential, the laser and magnetic levitation (maglev) trains worked.

Each concept had to be carefully researched, and built to stand up to school kids playing with them every day. They were carefully designed and painted to create the maximum aesthetic appeal. Finally, each pair of students created a book on the entire project and sat a final examination which tested how well they understood everybody else's science.

 

 

Physics in action: Fall 2006

 

 

Quantum Mechanics demonstrations: Spring 2007

In the spring of 2007 I taught a quantum mechanics course for seniors. We were learning about the structure of the atom, and how in the early part of the 20th Century, many experiments suggested that Newtonian physics could not explain how things behave on the very small scale.

In this project we were using Macromedia Flash to explain some of the concepts we were learning in class, such as the photoelectric effect, deBoglie waves, and quantized energy levels.

The syllabus for this course, as well as the astrophysics class I taught in Fall 0f 2006 can be found here

 

 

 

Casino Project: Fall 2006

The first project I completed at high tech high was the casino project. Students studied probability and analyzed simple games to determine the expected return and how this can be used to set price and give the casino an edge on its tables.

After making detailed studies of particular situations in real casino games, students created their own games, made their own playing surfaces and set the price for their game. On casino day we set up the gaming tables in the commons and played for gloagy-bucks.

The project covered standards 18.0 and 19.0 from the California Algebra II guidelines, and took 2 weeks to complete. The full list of resources can be found on my mathematics resources page