Circular Motion
Get Out! Designing a Highway Exit
    Rachel Mancha, Brackett HS, USA
October 31, 2018

Is there a simple, introductory activity, that I can use to introduce my students to the PBL model? So they have an idea of how it would go before they attempt it with an actual assignment?
    Great question.

The ones on the website really focus on specific physics content. If you are looking for a problem that focuses more on the methodology and on the physics itself, then I would suggest a simple experiment.

I would write up an assignment that asks students to hypothesize which design variables that they can measure would make a paper airplane fly farther. Before they start, they should write down about three variables that they can measure and predict would have an impact on flight distance.

Then Iíd ask them to take a sheet of paper and make a paper airplane, and find how far it can go. They might only do it once, so I would support them in real time to understand they need to throw it more than once (e.g. throw it 10x, record distance, find the average distance and maybe even the standard deviation).

Last they take another sheet, change one variable at a time, make a new plane and check effect on distance.

Thatís my two cents. Do feel free to share any activity you produce with us!

Nathaniel Lasry

    Patrick Mordhorst, Blanchet High School, USA
February 05, 2016

I was curious to know what the specific student roles were within the groups. I would speculate there is a drafter, a calculator, a then two experimentors.
Is this what has been applied in the past?
    Some like to experiment with different roles. Others like to leave things happen organically. You're free to explore the one you prefer.