Go for the Gold in your classroom with these ready-made lessons from NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation (NSF)
You’ve trained for years to get to this moment. All of the long days, late nights and sacrifices you’ve made are ready to pay off. Your dream is about to come true… (Brrrrrring) goes the morning bell!
Okay, although the life of a teacher doesn’t come with all of the glamour and hype than that of an olympic athlete, the level of preparation and long-term satisfaction may, actually, be greater. The Olympics has long been an event that we, as educators, can use to engage our students to think big and dream. You may even have a future olympian in your class. Most likely, those students aren’t thinking about velocity, friction, or kinetic energy when they participate in outdoor sports. This is where you come in.
The Olympics offers a wealth of opportunity to connect science and math concepts, and the team at NBC Learn, along with the National Science Foundation, have created a wonderful collection of resources to bring these concepts alive in your classroom. At the NBC Learn site, you’ll find a series of 10 videos, with topics ranging from the physics of figure skating to engineering the halfpipe course, each with [printable] transcripts and lesson plans. As time is your most precious commodity, the team at the NSF has done just about all of the work for you, by producing these comprehensive, ready-to-use lesson plans for each video. Targeted at the middle-school level, but adaptable for grades 4-12, you’ll find details on how to integrate each lesson with other curricular areas, including History, Physical Education, and yes, even the all-important Common Core ELA.
With these lesson plans being so, literally, ready-to-use, it could be easy to overlook how you can still add some creativity of your own, and to embrace some of the technology you may already be using. To help you make your teaching dream come true, here are some ideas (with resources) to help you “Teq” these lessons further:
- Build a Virtual Classroom with Edmodo – Bring teamwork and collaboration to a new level with this free and secure social learning environment.
- Research with Instagrok – Instagrok is a dynamic researching website that gives students access to unlimited resources and allows for self directed learning.
- Design Multimedia Posters with Glogster Edu – Create informational multimedia posters using a “pinboard” style format, where you can include links, documents, videos, and pictures to enhance presentations.
- Engage students in mathematics with FluidMath – Discover new ways to solve old problems with this dynamic educational software designed specifically for interactive whiteboards and tablets.
- 3D Design – Use SketchUp to design a halfpipe course or 3D bobsled, then take advantage of your SMART Board’s Mixed Reality Tools to manipulate the objects.
There’s no question that the folks at NBC Learn and the NSF deserve the gold medal for this event in learning. Be sure to check out some of these resources and let us know how the experience was for your students. If you’re looking for even more, NBC Learn also has a section titled Science of the Olympic Winter Games, which contains another series of video lessons from past Olympics.