Observations and Mysteries - HTML Export (this link is in the gdoc, too)
Observations and Mysteries - Movie Export (for devices that cannot run the HTML export—this link is in the gdoc, too)
Answer Key (Google Docs file)
In my years of science lectures, colloquia, and conferences, I don't need that many fingers to count academics who communicate as effectively as Linsey Marr. And just because I'm biased, it doesn't mean it isn't true. Am I proud to the point of bursting? Pretty close.
Judge for yourself:
Oh, and you'll get practical information on how best to handle the pandemic as it stands in February, 2021.
Somewhere along the line I added four Scientist Valentines to my personal collection and failed to add them to the Flickr album. Why? I don't know. But I'm here to make it right. With ample lead time for Valentine's Day 2022. In any case, the collection expands from 24 to 28.
Scientist Valentines aficionados will have no trouble spotting the new items (two female; two male). I have a favorite, but I'm not saying.
Here is the second qualitative electrostatics lab redesigned and video clip enhanced for use in Distance Learning. The first was "A Pithy Matter" shown in a separate post.
For "Electroscopia," we swap out the pith balls for a can-form electroscope. These were sold with cardboard inserts with angle markings to make them more electrometer-ish. In practice, removing the insert allowed students working on opposite sides of the electroscope to see the pointer without obstruction.
The activity works through a series of observations involving charge typing, induction, and the differences between conductors and insulators. It closes with some questions students should be able to answer with the benefit of evidence.
There are appearances of the Fun Fly Stick, a latex balloon, and my head in this activity. Not to be missed!
Here's a taste.
In practice, students "ask for help" to summon the instructor to their breakout room. Once there, students request an Object or a Charge and identify their room number. The instructor shares their screen while showing the appropriate clip, then leaves the breakout room as students interpret the observations.
Sure, there's some kind of force involved in the rubbed plastic/pith ball interactions. But do we really need to consider it a whole new force? Isn't it just some form of gravity or magnetism? Let's experiment.This qualitative exploration of electrostatics features: electrostatic attraction and repulsion, a triboelectric sequence (but we don't use the T-word here), an electrophorus (with pronunciation guidance), and two rounds of Pith Ball Ping Pong. What's not to like?
A Pithy Matter - Observations (HTML export as linked within the GoogleDocs document). This is a sequence of video clips showing interactions between cloth-rubbed plastic and pith balls, with special appearances by an electrophorus (ft. slow-motion electrophorus ping). Here's the movie export of the observations for use on devices that struggle with the HTML export—link also included in gdoc).
A Pithy Matter - Special Observations (HTML export for use by the instructor). They will seem silly to experts with content knowledge, but they are actually critical for the purpose of this activity.
This activity was designed for use with video conferencing (e.g., Zoom). Students need to check in with the instructor to see the "Special Observations". It's a redesign of what was an in-class lab. I consider it a mark of success that I am able to use the same lab quiz (ported to Socrative for online use, of course) to assess student performance on the activity.
The roughest edge for students in this activity is recognizing that the brick is far and away the "most gravitational" object in the apparatus and how it can be used in this lab. The instructions make an attempt to steer, but still... Once they get past that, most groups catch on to the value of the bar magnet. Most; not all.
In Distance Learning, I'm everyone's lab partner in addition to being the instructor.