In my Precalculus class, I did end up using the activity mentioned here. I decided to have 2 different pictures for my 2 different periods, the ISS and another cool one of a bridge. I had them spend some time wondering and such, and then I had them write one of their comments on a sticky note and we posted them in the hallway around the pictures.
Some of their comments were goofy, but I did hear some intelligent ones. If I do this again, I'll give them more time and mention at the outset that once they start thinking more and more about the pictures, they may develop more intricate wonderings. As it is, I don't think I gave them enough time or direction to get to the potentially cool thinking.
Here are some sample responses for the ISS picture:
* The ISS is a place where astronauts of different nationalities collaborate and study in space together.
* The ISS was engineered using math.
* On the ISS, astronauts suffer severe weight and muscle loss.
* Has anyone died in attempting to live out in space?
* I know that astronauts line in the ISS.
* Do you have to stay in your jumpsuit throughout your stay at the ISS?
* There are clouds.
* How many mathematicians were involved in creating the ISS?
* How much energy is required to run the ISS?
* How often do they see the sunrise or sunset?
* How exactly was this assembled?
* Does the ISS orbit Earth in a circle or ellipse?
* What happens if someone dies while they are in the ISS?
* Will they build more?
Okay, now that I read them again, there are some cool questions and wonderings. I guess if I did this again, I may on the SECOND pass have the class explore their thinking on some of the questions and get MORE questions from them.
Here are some sample responses for the BRIDGE picture:
* What is the bridge's purpose being under water?
* Does the highway ever flood? What happens then?
* What prevents water from overflowing onto the road?
* How much math was used to make this bridge to keep back the water?
* Underpass slants down towards middle of bridge. Water needs to be level to stay in one place, but bridge looks higher than grass and trees.
* How did they hold the water back when building the bridge?
* Why is the white structure almond-shaped? Why not rectangular?
* Did the builders drain the water in order to build this?
* Is there animal and water life safety nets under water in a safe distance from the bridge?
* How did the idea of the bridge start and what was the first step to build it?