During our planning conversations last year, we talked about adding more lab-based assessments. This year, we added a Buggy Lab quiz, which is a paper and pencil quiz AND we brought back the Constant Velocity Challenge. Most of the team did the Dueling Buggies, which we did when I first started teaching Physics at SHC. After I attended the Modeling Instruction workshop in 2017, I started implementing Race to Tie, which is the same concept, but they’re not trying to collide.
The first year I did it, I think the Ss collected data and then we did the test on the same day. It seemed too crazy, so I thought maybe we can separate it. The students collect and analyze their data one day, and then do the actual test on another day. They were able to finish their write-ups, and I think it’s going swimmingly.
Then, the heat wave hit. It was so incredibly hot in the classroom! As I walked through the halls, I see the teachers and students just dripping in sweat. Block 1 came through, and everyone is focused (because we talked about how this is their test)….and all the buggies have gone haywire. The buggies that were purposefully made slow are now fast, and the buggies with brand new batteries were even faster or slower. Basically, NONE of the buggies were the same velocity.
Still debating on how to grade fairly. I may just add a Reflection piece so that the students get graded fairly on the accuracy of their calculations without punishing them for the buggies going nuts.