Sunday, October 19, 2008

PTSOS1 Afterlinks 08

Here are some afterthoughts and links related to the first PTSOS New Teacher Workshop in Sacramento, held at Rio Americano High School Saturday, October 18. Most PTSOSers know about,, the PTSOS Yahoo Group, and, but we blasted through some other resources as well. We cover a lot of ground at PTSOS New Teacher Workshops, so here's a list of some of the specifics that might have sneaked past you.

Steve Keith demoed Vernier Software's student-friendly Logger Pro for physics data-plotting. Steve's also a fan of Arizona State University's Modeling Workshop. And he gets pretty good mileage out of Interactive Physics. I'm impressed with the potential of IP, but I'm disappointed that they no longer support the Macintosh platform.

I mentioned ripping video from YouTube on the Mac OS X platform. In the ever-changing world of Internet applications, sometimes it's best to simply use your Google-fu. I'm currently using TubeTV (with QuickTime plug-in, Perian, installed). But it looks like there are other things out there, such as YouTube Grabber and TubeSock. If you try them, let us know how it goes.

We looked at some video clips from Physics Cinema Classics. Specifically, the "Cannonball"-related clips. I haven't been able to relocate those on YouTube (they may have been removed per copyright issues), but here's a nice substitute (in keeping with Steve Keith's advice to work cars into the curriculum). With QuickTime (free for Macs and PCs), you can step through the video, frame by frame.

In addition to the Tumble Buggy (with Keith Industries' custom battery slug), Drilled Balls, rare dart guns, and Geyser Tubes included in your Goodie Bags, we saw ideas for using a Newton's Cradle, Visual Accelerometers (and the old-school liquid accelerometer), Introductory Dynamics System, Rotating Platform. Steve demoed Falling Rhythm.

We also talked about skepticism and critical thinking. I've got a page of mini-lessons in this area. Here's a nice resource on spoon bending. It includes video of the world record spoon bending from The Amazing Meeting 6 this past summer in Las Vegas. There's an excellent episode of Nova devoted to this topics as well: James Randi's Secrets of the Psychics.

The existence of Released Test Questions from California's Physics Content Standards Test was news to some. I'll print a set for PTSOS2 participants. By then, there should be 15 more questions in the set.

Oh, and we strongly recommend attending local NCNAAPT meetings and joining the American Association of Physics Teachers (The Physics Teacher, AAPT's journal, is worth the annual dues).

1 comment:

Glen Botha said...

Thanks for the great workshop Dean. A couple questions. How do you attach the drilled balls to the darts? I'm thinking superglue but maybe I missed something.

As for saving video files, at least for PC users, if you are using the latest realplayer, it allows you to download any streaming video and save it for playback later. It's made savings youtube and other video so easy.

I also found the cannonball drop from sailboat video on in their mechanical universe video on demand section. it's free to register and you can stream the video to play in the class. It's part of the inertia video - one of the early numbers.