Home > Uncategorized > Self-Introduction and a Physics Experiment

Self-Introduction and a Physics Experiment

Hi everyone! I am going to use this first post as an opportunity to introduce myself a little bit. I was quite involved in science when I was in middle school and high school, especially in physics. Physics is fun (I know some of you will object this!) and I found it very useful in my everyday life. Even though I have become an engineer now, the love of physics is still in my heart. I will perhaps in the future have some more postings about physics (sorry about that if you don’t like it >.<) since that was my cup of tea a few years ago. 🙂

I want to bring up this small fun experiment about determining if an egg is raw or boiled. You may read the detailed explanation (it is just a short one-page, don’t worry) here: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/eggboiledraw.html. The underlying concept is the idea of moment of inertia which was normally taught in high school. Thanks be to the Almighty who has made physics works as it does and to our dear scientists who have figured out and formulated how everything works. It is now up to us to use the laws according to our creativity to do or invent anything of goodness. I have, in fact, tried this experiment to determine if the egg on my dining table was a boiled egg. And it stopped spinning when I touched it! And when I cracked the egg, bingo! It was indeed a boiled egg! YEA, THAT WORKED!

Physics teachers in schools and universities should give more real life examples of application of physics laws. There are numerous of them, we just don’t know yet. It will be more fun if the students know more real life examples of how things work and science will not be so daunting towards the laymen anymore.

Cheers!

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  1. January 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I found your last comment to be very provacative (mainly because I agree so much).

    As a society, it seems like more and more of the future is to be found in science/technology and, with it, math. However, if you go to any given college campus you’ll find science, tech, and math majors to be in the minority; so many people, it seems, want to major in the liberal arts, humanities, or even fine arts. Of course, I don’t want to downplay the importance of these latter fields too much, but I definitely feel as if the future lies on, and hinges upon, science, technology, and math more than it does. say, dance or political science.

    I know that I am certainly not alone in this idea.

    That being said, American society must find a way to convince its young populace to put greater emphasis on the hard scientific fields. One way to do that, as you mentioned, was to put more of a “real-life” slant on things in science courses–something that displays their real-world importance. As you also said, science needs to be made fun for there to be any reasonable interest in them. They also need to be made understandable to the laymen so that even those of us who do not wish to pursue a career in the scientific fields can still contribute to the community.

    Again, I strongly agree with your last comment and I’m certainly very glad you’re pusuing engineering.

  2. January 29, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I think it’s fair to say that many kids grow up in our society with a math and science phobia. Without being able to really appreciate what each number or variable truly represents, the work presented to children can easily become tedious. I absolutely agree that the best way to help them overcome this notion is to use practical and real world examples that allow people to really understand and apply what they’re learning.

    Personally, my favorite part of every science class in grade school were the labs. Dissecting frogs, igniting potassium, and even something as simple as a baking soda and vinegar volcano were not only an engaging break from the normal classroom setting but they allowed us to actively apply the knowledge we learned in class. When kids are more engaged in this manner I think it’s much more likely for them to be interested in studying something science related in the future.

  3. Mitsuhisa Orz
    January 30, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I always wished that my teacher explained science like magic school bus. But hey, reality is harsh.
    By the way do you believe in ghosts? Well, I do. So do you think the law of physics is applied to ghosts and Jesus?

    Well, anyway I love physics and especially with the macro scale in universe such as black hole and sun. The imagination which the mathematics and theory ca create is beyond what I see everyday.
    Another favorite part about physic is that it can be applied to sports. Soccer, basket ball and even swimming is about using your body to the most correct physics.
    So with your idea of teaching physics fun, I suggests to somehow mix physical education and physics. Like to explain how curve ball works, or the mathematics of golf.
    What do you think??

  4. January 30, 2012 at 3:31 am

    I think that the general field of science has the most variety and relates to every other subject virtually on the planet. It is also, ironically, the most difficult subject for students to understand. The point of doing more “hands on” activities is to simplify the complicated world of science via a visual stimuli. When students can see, touch, and hear things related to the subject matter, it automatically becomes less daunting and seems more approachable to students. Or at least to me.

    So while I agree with everything mentioned above, I think it’s interesting to consider whether or not all of our classes provide us with material that we can touch, see, and hear. For example, much of what I read in my psychology textbook was very interesting and personal to me, but there was no hands on experience involved. In math class, we do problem after problem, but I still found it difficult to connect with certain subjects. It varies from class to class, and of course from person to person, but it seems to me like science is an exception in that students demand more hands on work, while in other subjects, a textbook may suffice.

  5. January 30, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Coming from someone who was never particularly fond of science classes, I completely agree that real life examples of science applications make the subject much less daunting. There was nothing worse that walking into my high school biology class and listening to my teacher drone on and on about the process of photosynthesis. And, while I never took physics, I can imagine that the subject could quickly become dull to some people if they have no relatabilitiy to it.

    On a positive note, I feel like this class is really going to open up the chance to have more real life examples of science, but more abstract ones as well. While I was skimming through the topics discussed on this blog last semester, I found that 99% of them were things I had never consider part of “science”. Based on the letters of reflection I have also looked over, I’m confident by the end of the semester I won’t consider the subject so awful anymore.

  6. anthonypribadi
    January 30, 2012 at 4:59 am

    It’s always been a nice feeling to see people agreeing/supporting your thoughts and that is exactly what I am feeling now. However, I just want to say that sometimes it’s not entirely teacher’s fault if the students are not inspired or don’t understand some subjects. And science (to be specific, physics) is not a very easy subject. Students need someone with more knowledge and experience to help teaching and explaining new concept after new concept. And that someone is a teacher with passion in the field he/she is teaching. And yes, experimental or hands-on stuffs on top of theoretical explanations will foster students’ knowledge even further and help to instill some concepts that appears attractive to them. (This is according to my own experience and some other friends’)

    And yeah, surely, Mitsu brought a very nice idea of the connection between science and sports which is so real. In fact, I have read an article about science being applied in soccer. How the curling shot works is one example. The scientists even researched a soccer player’s performances (such as heartbeat, amount of oxygen consumed, etc) while he is doing some physical exercises (such as running, sprinting, weight exercising, etc). The result of these will be to give input to the player on how to improve his personal fitness and strength. Professional soccer players even may have special soccer shoes created only for their own use since human’s foot’s shape differs from one another and soccer demands its player to be very precise in every touch he makes on the field. Another sport that relies so much on science application will be billiard (at least that is what I have in my mind as for now). It’s everything about momentum law, friction, spin, inertia, and their other friends.

    As of the ghosts and Jesus, I don’t think I am qualified enough to give any legitimate answer on that. I personally believe on the existence of those beings though, and I would say ghosts and other form of spirits do not obey law of physics. One evidence is that they are not physically constrained. And they can’t be seen with naked eyes, of course, unless they reveal themselves or you have some kind of special ability (sixth sense?). That would be my say about it.

  7. January 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I believe this post is extremely insightful and has much truth to it. Real life applications are important when it comes to understanding the hands on part of science. Physics especially, which deals with stuff such as distance, velocity and rate should be explained visually.

    My teacher in high school began every discussion with little toy cars. He had a whole collection of toys to help begin the lectures and prompt our understanding. Starting out, I did not realize how much this truly expanded my knowledge. Over time though, I began thinking in his visual examples and saw my grades sky-rocket.

    Science was always that subject I wanted to get rid of. It was those 45 minutes each day that I would rather do anything else with. Physics, surprisingly, was the only science course that stood out to me. I owe that phenomenon to my great teacher who truly involved me in every part of the class experience.

  8. January 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I completely agree with this post. While learning formulas, laws, theories, and whatever else is needed to explain a scientific concept is important, I think that once an experiment or other visual examples are shown, the concept is much easier to understand in ‘real life terms.’ The fact that science is one of the few subjects that we can explain and physically see is amazing, and schools should see that value. I was really interested in science up till high school, but there was more of a focus on the scientific history and explanation than on visual examples, and for the first time I could see myself slowly moving away from science related subjects.
    By giving a visual aid to explain something, it not only helps a student to understand what is being taught but it also shows a different perspective on how it’s not just a subject in school, but something that allows us to explain what’s going on in the world around us.

  9. February 9, 2012 at 3:56 am

    I also completely agree with this post! Science is the future and has
    been the future for quite sometime, but the way most teachers in middle school and high school address science is through scientific formulas and intimidating vocabulary phrases that typically stunts interest rather than generates it among students. I don’t mean to critique the science teachers out there, I only mean to interrogate the way society has portrayed science as a boring, complex, and lengthy study that requires complete concentration and precision in order to achieve accurate results. Instead of viewing science as an enlightening and exciting study, I have grown to regard it with dread and un-enthusiasim. Instead of writing mundane notes copied verbatim from the textbook or powerpoint, visual aid would help promote a students comprehension about what is being taught and how that topic can apply to the world around us and not just the world of science. By personalizing science and presenting real-life problems and scenarios to students, it will help encourage them to connect science to their modern day lives and ultimately find an easier way to connect science to their day to day routine. Science is a challenging and foreign concept to many citizens, yet if the right teachers personalize science through visual aides and relatable examples, students might appreciate how applicable science is to their daily lives and ultimately begin to view it as a positive and approachable subject rather than a complicated battle between chemicals, gas, and equations.

  10. February 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I also completely agree with this post! Science is the future, and has
    been the future for sometime, but the way most teachers in middle school and high school address science is through boring lectures and intimidating vocabulary that typically stunts interest rather than generate it among students. I don’t mean to critique the science teachers out there, only the way that society has portrayed science as a boring, complex, and lengthy study that requires complete concentration and precision in order to achieve accurate results. Instead of viewing science as an enlightening and exciting study, I have grown to associate it with disdain and disinterest.
    Science is a complicated study that takes time to master and understand, but I believe students can enjoy science with the help of visual aides to help explain a science topic better and also help illustrate how science is part of their every day life. In high school, I was fortunate enough to have an AP biology teacher who was extremely outgoing and engaging in her lectures, and her tangible enthusiasm actually encouraged me to study and explore science rather than avoid it. By making science more personal and providing visual examples/aides, I believe students will find science more engaging and hopefully enjoy attending class instead of staring at the clock and counting down the minutes until class is over.

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