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Oren Shriki.ppt - Wikispaces by yurtgc548


									Inquiry and Project Based
 From Theory to Practice

        Dr. Oren Shriki

The Israel Arts and Science Academy
   The Israel Arts and Science Academy
            (IASA ): Basic Facts
• A boarding school open to excellent students of Israeli
• ~210 students in grades 10-12
  (45% girls, 55% boys) / (5-7% Arabs)
• 4 major departments:
  Science / Music / Visual Arts / Humanities
IBL and PBL at the Israel Arts and Science
            Academy (IASA)
 IBL (Inquiry Based Learning) and PBL (Project Based Learning)
 play a major role in our school’s educational
• Many lessons are inquiry based and the
  students are very active in the learning
• Project week: No formal classes for a 9-
  day period between semesters;
• All 11th-grade students conduct a one-
  year project;
• About a third of the students conduct a
  two-year project (with formal credit).
Inquiry Based Learning:
From Theory to Practice
       IBL Using Group Activities
IBL can be used for teaching theoretical issues as
well as for practicing the application of theoretical
Described below is a method that I use from time
to time to alter lessons to be more inquiry based.

The main ingredients:
• Students work on two activities in groups of ~4
• The first activity focuses on theoretical issues.
• The second activity focuses on application of the
  developed theoretical ideas to a context-rich
  Choosing the Students in each Group
It is often good to start with random groups (I use Excel
    to do that).
Then, the following issues should be taken into account:
• Balancing weak and strong students in each group
• Having a student with leadership and responsibility in
    each group
• Boys vs. girls
• Friends and “Enemies”

Tip: Each group can be assigned a name (e.g., “Newton’s
   group”) in order to create solidarity.
      Assigning Roles to Students
Some students in each group can be assigned particular

• “Manager” – responsible for planning and standing in

• “Documenter” – responsible for documenting the

• “Skeptic” (“Devil’s advocate”) – responsible for
  criticizing the approaches used by the group and for
  suggesting alternative methods.
Working in
            Ballistic Motion
To demonstrate the method let us focus on a
concrete example from mechanics: ballistic

     Activity 1: Developing the theory
     A body is thrown at an angle of  0 and a
     speed of v 0 with respect to the ground.





      Activity 1: Developing the theory
     • Find an expression for the horizontal position as a
       function of time, x(t).
     • Find an expression for the vertical position as a
       function of time, y(t).
     • Find an expression for the trajectory, y(x).
     • What is the maximal height the body will rich?
     • At what launching angle the range is maximal?
     • …

      Activity 1: Developing the theory
     General guidelines:

     Take care to write detailed explanations of the
     solutions and of the relevant considerations.

     During your discussions please relate to the following
     • What was difficult in the problem?
     • If we had a mistake what caused it?
     • What insights or guidelines helped us?
     • Why did we choose this specific approach?
     • Are there more elegant ways to reach the solution?
     • In what ways can we check the solution?
Activity 2: A Context Rich Problem
The task:
 A mountain climber is stuck on an iceberg since his axe
  has slipped from his hand. The iceberg looks like an
  inclined plane with an angle of 30o. The climber sees a
  group of people at the bottom of the slope. He
  estimates that the group is at a height of 800m below
  him and 250m to his right. He decides to pass them a
  message in a box that can slip on ice.

How should the climber launch the box so that it will
  reach the group? Is there a unique solution to the
  problem? Offer a solution to the problem.
Activity 2: A Context Rich Problem
The solution should include:

A description of the problem:
  An appropriate drawing with the relevant parameters
  and the unknown quantity

A description of the solution:
  A representation of the problem as a series of sub-
  problems. In each sub-problem, the relevant physical
  principle and the solution of the resulting equations.

A verification of the solution.
Activity 2: A Context Rich Problem
General guidelines:
As before.
               Bonus Questions
1st bonus question:
 Assuming that the group of people if distributed on a
  circular area with a diameter of 25 meters, estimate
  the required accuracy in the initial velocity.
2nd bonus question:
 a. What will be the speed of the box when it hits the
  group of people?
  b. What launching angle will result in the minimal hit
3rd bonus question:
  Assuming constant friction between the box and the
   ice, draw a force diagram and write down the
   equations of motion. What are the difficulties in
   solving these equations?
  Some Comments Regarding Activity 2
• There are no explicit steps that guide the solution – the
  students are required to decompose the problem
  themselves into several well-defined steps.

• There is no drawing to explain
  the geometry of the problem –                      V0

  generating an appropriate                               h=800m
  drawing is not an easy task for
  the students, and help from the
  teacher is often needed.                d=250

• Bonus questions and challenges can fill the time
  for groups who finished early.
          Presenting the Results
Presenting their approach and results to their peers using
  a short (time-limited) presentation is an important
  exercise for the students.
             Aims of the Activity

•   Developing a systematic approach to problem solving.
•   Developing meta-cognitive skills in problem solving.
•   Developing creative abilities.
•   Developing skills for group work and discussion.
•   Developing presentation skills (written and oral).
•   Reinforcing the knowledge of the subject matter and
    its applications.

The recommended method of evaluation is using
  a rubric.

Relevant dimensions for the rubric:
• Knowledge of the subject matter
• Systematic work
• Meta-cognitive processes
• Group work
• Presentation (written and oral)
            Take Home Messages
• Such group activities are appropriate only for certain
  topics in the syllabus.

• It is useful to combine guided development of
  theoretical material with applications to context rich
   (“From theory to practice”)

• It is not hard to turn a standard frontal lesson into such
  an inquiry based activity.

• The work in groups develops meta-cognitive skills,
  required for problem solving.
        Option for Concluding Activity:
            Knowledge Integration

In science, after a theory is developed and practiced
    comes the integration part.
It is recommended to add another group activity around
    knowledge integration.
For instance:
• Identify the main concepts, define them and create a
    ‘concept map’.
• Analyze a major formula: What is the meaning of the
    various components (variables, mathematical
    operators)? What happens in limiting cases? In which
    contexts can it be used?
Project Based Learning:
From Theory to Practice
                 Examples of Projects
        A Model of a Roller Coaster
• Motivation: Amusement park physics.

• Aims of the project:
   – Constructing a small scale model of a roller coaster
   – Measuring the motion of a car along the trajectory
   – Constructing a theoretical model and comparing theory to
                  Examples of Projects
           A Model of a Roller Coaster
• After checking various alternatives, the students built
  the following model:

• Later they even added a loop.
• The position of the car was measured using a system
  that allows for tracking motion in 3D (V-Scope).
                  Examples of Projects
           A Model of a Roller Coaster
• We developed a detailed                N
  theoretical model and          f
  simulated it on a computer.        v

• The theory fit very well the
  experimental results.
                    Examples of Projects
How Schizophrenic Patients Perceive Visual
• Motivation: The student was very interested in the wide
  subject of schizophrenia, and we decided to focus on a
  concrete issue.

• Main research questions:
   – What types of perceptual abnormalities are most common among
     schizophrenic patients?
   – What neurobiological processes underlie these perceptual
     alterations and what can we infer from them about disease
   – How can these perceptual abnormalities be used in developing a set
     of psychophysical tools for aiding the diagnosis of schizophrenia?
                   Examples of Projects
How Schizophrenic Patients Perceive Visual
• The student learned about schizophrenia from several resources.

• We constructed a set of visual
  illusions and tested how
  schizophrenic patients
  perceive them compared
   to control subjects.

• The experiments were performed in a mental health hospital.

• The results were very interesting and she won prizes in Israel and
  in Intel ISEF.
Choosing Topics and Research Questions

In most cases the supervisor should suggest several topics
   to the students.

•   Search for ideas in scientific journals
•   Consult with investigators
•   Continue past projects which were left unfinished
•   Look for ideas at the Intel ISEF 
•   …

Tip: Choose topics in which you feel confident, but not
   necessarily where you know the answer.
        Assigning Projects to Students

• Students should be offered a range of topics and
  research questions at various levels of difficulty.

• The level of difficulty of the project should match the
  abilities of the student.

• A good research program should have an initial part
  which guarantees some success as well as more
  advanced parts, in which the way is not paved.

• It is important to assign students with subjects that
  interest them. The internal motivation of the students is
  crucial for the success of the project .
     Building an Experimental Setup

In experimental projects, the task of building a setup
   may pose many difficulties, but it is part of the

• Be modest and verify in advance that the designed
  setup is feasible
• Let the student be involved in the design and in the
• Consult with people who built similar setups
• Try to get second-hand equipment from research
  groups in universities
The task of the supervisor is to create an environment
  which will foster the development of the student and let
  him realize his potential.

• The project is not meant to be an easy trip, and the
  student should be aware of that.
• The student can learn many new skills through his work.
  The supervisor should create the right opportunities.
• The student should have a level of independence, even
  in the price of going in wrong directions and loosing
  What to do when the research gets stuck?

• First – it is OK. That’s part of science (even a large
  Let the student know that the most important aspect
  is the process and not the end result.

• Consult with experts (such as professors in

• At some point, take a decision and turn to a more
  feasible research question.
                  Time Resources

This is the biggest problem!

• Set with the student a regular meeting every once in a
  while (preferably every week)

• Have some periods of continuous work (task shifting is a
  major obstacle). These periods significantly boost the

Writing a manuscript that describes the research and
  the results forces the student to integrate
  everything he learned during the project.

• Students should document their progress on a
  regular basis, and not just at the end

• Give the students a set of guidelines for
  documenting and go with them over what they
  write. This forms a major part of their education.

The recommended method of evaluation is using a rubric (like
  in the IBL case).

Examples of relevant dimensions for the rubric:
• Knowledge of the subject matter in general
• Knowledge of the particular details related to the project
• Contribution to the construction of the setup and for
  carrying the experiment
• Systematic work
• Independence and original initiatives
• Presentation (written and oral)
• Persistence and enthusiasm
               Take Home Messages
• Much thought should be dedicated to finding
  appropriate topics and research questions

• The supervisor should be involved in the research but
  not perform it instead of the student

• It should be taken into account that in real research
  there are unexpected obstacles. The key is to be flexible
  and open minded. Never despair!

• The process is more important than the end result

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