Program Description:

One would never attempt to accomplish anything without first considering the tools
necessary to accomplish the task. One goal of this course is to introduce the student
to sophisticated mental tools that are necessary to enhance learning. The skills in
the use of these tools will be developed in the context of both math and science.

The approach is to seamlessly integrate math and science. In this context the
concept of number will move away from being thought of as an abstraction of
quantity to a more universal role, that of a description of relationships between
quantities. In addition, the students will learn to describe phenomena using these
four representational systems: linguistic, algebraic, diagrammatic and graphic.

Students will engage with scientific experiments using, data collection sensors,
computer simulations, video cameras, and smartphone applications.

This program is designed around 5 topics, spanning 10 classes:

Topic One:  Application of Representational Systems in Geometry
Topic Two: Describing and Analyzing Motion: First and Second Zeroth Laws
Topic Three:  Newton’s laws of motion: Dynamics
Topic Four:  Developing the laws of energy and momentum.
Topic Five:  Examining the law of Universal Gravitation.

Location:

UBC

Mathematics Building - Room 203

Participants' Age & Class Capacity: 

The course is open to students who are in Grades 6 to 8. All classes will have a maximum capacity of 24 students. Within the capacity, there will always be a maximum 12:1 ratio of students to teachers. Classes will be 2 hours long.

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."
Richard Feynman

Did You Know:

Richard Feynman was one of the most inspirational and well-known scientists of the 20th century. In 1965, he shared a Physics Nobel Prize for his discoveries of quantum electrodynamics. He was well-known for his unbounded curiosity, a great sense of humour, and enduring passion for arts and music. In 1986, he was able to figure out the cause of the Challenger disaster. Feynman once said, “The first principle (of science) is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.” It is a common belief that scientists are the people who know all the answers. However, in reality scientists are the people who keep asking questions, making mistakes, and trying again. These are the people, who enjoy figuring things out while trying not to fool themselves. Science is driven by humans’ curiosity about the world, their courage to ask questions and not to be afraid of making mistakes, and their perseverance in finding the answers. Sharing this human adventure will give students the opportunity to discover the physical laws that govern motion and interactions of objects big and small, close and far away, heavy and light.

About the Instructor

The course instructor is Rob MacDuff. He is a certified math and science teacher with a master’s degree in physics and a doctorate in mathematics education.  In the process of doing research into mathematics and physics education he has taught all grade levels from kindergarten to graduate school, including at technical institutes.  He participated in developing the Modeling Instruction (MI) in Physics program at Arizona State University.  He was the prime developer of Cognitive Instruction in Modeling Mathematics (CIMM) and more recently, Cognitive Instruction of Modeling Physics (CIMP) which are considered an advance on MI. These programs not only teach the subject matter but also the mental tools for acquiring the content.  His real passion is in developing a theory of cognition as it applies to knowledge construction.