## Saturday, May 13, 2006

### Calculus Project

Here are a few of the finished (and almost finished) projects from my math class. The kids surprised me and themselves with their creativity. The "rocket" boy still claims he is not creative. I have to admit that I didn't know what to expect when I assigned the "turn them into something" aspect of the project (that I got from a summer workshop), and I'm pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Note the tornado picture and the guy flying through the air. What you don't see is the cow flying through the air on the other side. Mine is the green and purple one. Someone suggested that it looks like the wicked witch's hat, so that's what I'll turn it into (especially appropriate since I'm listening to the "Wicked" book on CD to and from work).

1. Anonymous9:50 AM

Can you say a little bit more about the project that you had the kids do? What was the assignment/parameters, etc? Is the idea posted anywhere online? It seems like something that I might want to do with my kids next year. (They look really great!) (I assume that it has something to do with rotation around an axis or finding area under a curve??)

2. Anonymous3:13 PM

Thanks. I have it all hand written out, so I can't send it (yet?), but if you're really interested, I could muster up the energy to formalize it and pass it on.

Basically each student was given a base (say y = x^3, y=0, x=1) and a cross section that comes out of that base (say a square, or an isosceles right triangle with a leg on the base). They were to construct a 3-dimensional model of this. I MAJORLY hand-held them through the process (good or bad) and basically told them to use the 0.2 cm thick foam from Michael's or Hobby Lobby. They did it all in class, and I provided the hot glue gun. It took about 6 (more?) class periods but maybe could be pared down with refinements next year now that I know what the issues are. I've also heard of people assigning it out of class, but I figured after the AP exams, this would be less stressful.

One of the surprising difficulties for them was all the scaling issues. I also have a reflection form for them to fill out at the end, and they have to self grade.

3. Anonymous4:31 PM

I would love to get some of the specifics from you at some point. But I understand the lack of energy at this point in the year! How about if I ask for it again a little later in the summer?

Thanks for sharing!!!

4. Yes, I would also like more details.

How is the self-finals-prep progressing?

5. Anonymous9:16 PM

One suggestion that might work for your project notes....does your school have a scanner (or maybe you have one at home)? You could just scan in your notes without having to formalize too much--although it would be awesome to know what edits/changes you would make to enhance it and avoid some pitfalls.

-kh

6. Anonymous10:37 PM

Hey all. Okay, I'm motivated to type up the project .... but of course it's all at school, so it'll have to wait until Monday.

Heidi, you would not BELIEVE the whining that occurred when I handed out the assignment last Thursday (due Monday). Squack, squack, squack. You'd think I was asking them to write a math textbook instead of just looking over their notes and actually study. It's kind of funny in retrospect (if it weren't so sad). I'll see what they turn in on Monday of what I asked (a studying schedule, some old tests, a list of topics they've learned, some homework assignments, and a list of sections covered in the book).