Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lights! Camera! Science?

In the article, "Lights! Camera! Science?" Donna Ross, Randy Yerrick, and Philip Molebash discuss the benefits of incorporating the use of technology during science lessons. The biggest benefit that technology can offer is a second chance for students to observe their experiments. For example, the authors described a class who were experimenting with making their own bottle rockets. After completion, they were able to shoot them off and observe how high and fast their rockets went. After their initial observations, the students were suppose to make adjustments on their rockets in order to improve the height and speed.
I found this interesting because I remember doing this exact experiment in my seventh grade science class as well. The problem that we found was that we didn't have enough time to observe the height and speed of the rocket after launching it off because of our position and the time limitations. In this article, the authors described how the students in this class, solved the problem by setting up a tri-pod and filming the rockets being launched. After they experimented with them, they were able to take the video tapes inside and view the launching in slow motion. Doing the experiment this way, allowed them to successfully pin point what they needed to do to increase their rockets' height and speed.
The authors continued to explain how different classrooms used videos and laptops to aid them in their scientific experiments. Using technology as a tool in the classroom greatly increases the amount of exploration. Students are able to document their experiments initially and then can later look at their results through their video tapes. This is an excellent way for students to gain the most from their scientific experiments.

1. Is it worth it to use up more time by filming science projects? Yes, because the students are able to gain more from the exercise by filming their experiments.

2. Will students become too dependent on technology to finish their assignments? No, the use of technology will only further enhance their learning capabilities.


  1. i also remember doing the same rocket project when i was in middle school. and timing it and calculating the exact time was hard. taping the launch would of been a great idea. of course it all depends if the teacher or the school have a video camera to be able to tape it and if they have a TV in the room. but love the idea of them taping it and taking it a step further.

  2. I've seen classes do assignment similar to this affect andrecord them, I think it brings a whole other element to the project and can further confirm the students work and/or alter it. It's funny that both you and Norma mentioned you did this project, I never did; know I'm thinking I missed out :( Well I think recording lessons is a great tool not only for you students but for the teacher as well. Recoding lessons gives you (the teacher) the ability to go back and review your own work and possibly see what worked and what might not have worked allowing you to modify the lesson in the future. I'm all for purchasing a classroom video recorder becuase i think they could be used in so many different ways that they will get therefair share of use. Good job!

  3. If I can remember correctly, I think I did this experiment as well!Science was always the class where you were able to go outside the classroom and experiment with your projects. I think the idea of videotaping is awesome and a great way for student's to review their experiment as well as giving them an opportunity to work with technology. With experiments you don't always get the best seat in the house and therefore sometimes ending up missing the experiment. With the use of technology and videotaping, you can show the experiment in the classroom so that everyone can visually see it once again. Thanks for sharing that article!