Thursday, February 21, 2008

Our Unschooling Day!

This is the video E9 shot of one of the runs with his Kodak Easy Share camera- he was disappointed this morning when he loaded up the video to Picasa and he couldn't edit the darkness out.

So, yesterday as I was preparing for our FIAR review and playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos with J2, I could hear a lot of commotion around our door car ramp. The kids had begun sending cars down and playing. Normally, I would have corraled everyone and gotten them settled down for school, but then I heard some more chatter about testing various cars and measuring distances. I thought I'd see what would happen if I left them alone. The next thing I knew, I was asked if they could graph some results and I said sure as long as they used normal paper rather than the poster size (like we did for the popcorn). E9 then asked if they could graph it on the computer. Go for it I thought.

Eventually, R7 is getting tape and recording the car names and placing them down in their landing spots for measurement later. Did I mention they were taking video of the car runs? That was actually my first hint that I should let them be.

At lunch time, they told me all the details about their experiment. They had drawn some simple conclusions based on one good run. So, of course I had to seize the teachable moment to tell them what a good scientist would do...more trials of course! In the end, they decided on doing five trials of each run for each car.

Not only did they record data on the downhill run, but they also recorded which of these cars could go around the most in the Matchbox loop set we have.

When Dan got home he helped them tweak the data on the computer to be made into the graph- a reminder of how to get Excel to make the graph from the entered data.

Below are the results! I think I earned bragging rights on this unschooling moment at my house. All in all a some good science was going on! This is what homeschooling is all about!!

This is the bar graph that shows the results of their tests. They took the average of the data and you can see how they worked with their data if you click on the graph below. Apparently, the car that came with the ramp (labeled car 2 - ramp car) was the best performer overall.

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1 comment:

Alana - The Mommy said...

YaY! I love it when they apply things they learned in previous activities. The popcorn popping activity was pretty unschool too friend. may be working for you...Hee hee!