Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Best of Mole-o-Ween 2014

In my most recent post - I have been falling down on the blogging job - I shared my Mole Day project, a Powtoon I made for this year's Mole-o-ween.  Later that week, my students presented their Mole Day projects with me and their classmates.  This was the first year I required the projects to be digitally delivered and, overall, it was a great success.  Tonight I have finally finished grading them, so I will share the best of the best.

In the project, students have to choose a common object and make three measurements on it.  I suggest mass, volume, and length, but they can really use anything as long as they have 3 measurements.  Then they have to calculate what those measurements would be if they had a mole of the object.  How much does a mole of pencils weigh?  How long is a mole of pencils if they are stacked end to end?  How much space does a mole of pencils take up?  Then they have to compare one of these molar quantities to some other known quantity so we get an idea of how big a mole is.  They earn extra credit if they incorporate the theme. 

There were many projects that used Google Slides, like this one:

There were many Prezis, but I liked this one a bunch because the students gave a lot of thought to its design and they made some of the artwork themselves (apples, in costumes, indeed!).  There was only one Animoto video.  There were several cute Powtoons, but I liked this one a lot because it looks like someone is explaining the math to someone else.

I liked the digital version of the project as much as the old fashioned "make a poster" way.  Plus, I could grade them at home without schlepping home a pile of posters.  Whether digital or old-fashioned, what I love best about the project is that the students seem to love to do this math.  One time a student even asked me, "Do other classes get to do this project?"  What starts out feeling daunting becomes a really cool project and a better understanding of scientific notation.  What could be better than that?

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