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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Force Vectors and Youtube for Educational Purposes

Vectors are fair game in Alg 2/Trig as Law of Sines/Cosines application problems, and we get one measly day to spend on it. Not an issue for kids who are taking Physics concurrently, but we don't get many of those since Alg2/Trig is sophomores and juniors. With 42 minutes I couldn't come up with a manageable way to use those static spring loaded pull scale things the physics teachers have.

Without some kind of physical demo, at least, this lesson is beyond meaningless. You want me to draw arrows? Why? So we push desks around. Pushing desks around is pretty good.

But what else is good is watching an airplane flying in a direction other than the one it's pointing. To crazily incongruent music. This one, I think, is the best one, but it wouldn't let me embed it. So here is another decent one:

Do not at all remember if I thought up this idea or got it from somewhere, so if it was yours, email me and I'll happily give you credit. Best guess, this prompted me to go searching around youtube.


  1. went over very well in my classes.

    I think it's great that it's in Japanese. Provides all kinds of fun, but it's gripping enough to watch intently anyway.

  2. Clarification: it "went over" very well because it fostered a lot of interest, was easily understandable, and we could go back through the video and try to guess what the announcers were asking... all in melodramatic voices. Maybe it's just that I'm a camp counselor, but melodramatic voices make any class great.

  3. The footage in the first video might be a bit cooler but the second video's incongruous music is much funkier.

  4. Did I mean "incongruous?" I guess I did. SIGH. WORDS. WHY ARE YOU SO COMPLICATED.

  5. I had them move all the desks out to the corners and do a gladiator-style multi-person tug-of-war. Fun times.

  6. @ Kate - I totally didn't even notice. In fact, I couldn't figure out what you were complaining about until I reread the post and my comment like 3 times.

  7. Absolutely staggering video and what a great way to introduce vectors/forces/use of trig to a maths class. Can't wait to teach it! Thanks for the link and the ideas.

  8. This is a great one for showing vectors in opposite directions. It is from Mythbusters - love that show!


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