My Physics Class on the Ropes Course

My school is fortunate enough to have a ropes course on campus. Not only had I never done it, but most of my students hadn’t done it before, and for Physics students that’s a tragedy. So I decided to do it, not as a physics lesson, but as a team-building activity. We’ll definitely look at the physics later on, but to start, I care more that they learn a few other lessons. Here are some pictures of one challenge, which is definitely Physics-heavy.

IMG_20140903_105018463 IMG_20140903_110020166 IMG_20140903_110813355_HDR IMG_20140903_110821607

BFPM, anyone? Here are the things I typed down that I wanted them to take away from today’s “lesson”.

  • You can learn so much by trial and error, but if you aren’t willing to make mistakes, you’ll never learn.
  • It is more rewarding, I think because you learn more, to learn without someone telling you how to do it.
  • I specifically asked not to do the course with you guys. What do you think would have happened if I had been working on it with you? What does that mean about the classroom?
  • Talking about opposing forces: be as specific as possible. Take time to analyze.
  • Use your partners/teammates. “A cord of three stands is not easily broken.”

We already did the Marshmallow Challenge. I hope these things are working to build the type of classroom culture that is best for learning physics using a Modelling curriculum.


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