FLOSScience Directory

There are a number of projects I'm working on under the FLOSScience label. They are listed below. I should mention that I have a hard time working on one project at a time. I find that I jump around quite a lot, and even when I'm working on one project I jump around within the project, rather than work from the beginning to the end. Each project listed below is a work in progress and will probably always remain so.
  • Probeware on a Budget - My ongoing project to develop inquiry based activities integrating technology in a very affordable fashion. Many of these activites can be done with only a computer and a microphone. Currently these activities focus mostly on sound, light, and motion.
  • GIS and Google Earth - Even the free versions of these are powerful tools for teaching environmental or earth sciences.
  • Arduino to Teach Electronics - While not strictly science, it can be lumped under pre-engineering. I've been moving into using the Arduino micro controller to teach introductory electronics.
  • Physics of Sports - I received a grant from the Toshiba America Foundation for the Physics of Sports. My students will be doing projects this fall analyzing different aspects of different sports. It will culminate in them creating short videos in documentary style presenting their findings. I'll share as we go along.
  • High Speed Imagery - As a part of the Physics of Sports grant I purchased a camera capable of capturing 500 frames/second. Here's a growing collection of high speed videos.
  • Clever Hacks - Stop using things the way they were intended. You need to get a little creative if you want to stretch your budget and push your students.
  • Graphing Calculator Skills - Here's a growing collection of videos I'm creating to help teach my students how to use their TI-83/84 graphing calculators.
  • Physics Lectures - I hate wasting time in class to lecture. So I've started lecturing as a podcast. Here's a quick blog post where I outline why I'm doing this.
  • Science Video Roundup - There is lots of great content out there just waiting to be found. Here's a list of some cool science videos you might find useful.
  • Video the Killer App for Education - This is my notes from a presentation given to the Metro-Detroit Science Teachers Association. I will be adding to it as I learn cool new ways to incorporate video in my classes.
  • Wiimote Whiteboard - My collected wisdom and knowledge related to crafting a $100 interactive whiteboard.
  • Video Analysis of Motion - I'm kind of an advocate for the use of video analysis in class. It has gotten very cheap and very easy and it can be very powerful.
  • Google Tools in Education - This one is not science specific, but could be useful to science educators. It is a collection of information I put together for a workshop I ran for Wayne RESA in my role as a Google Certified Teacher.
  • iPad as Teaching Tool - I recently got an iPad and I've been putting it through it's paces to see how I can use it to improve my teaching and change the way I learn. I'll be documenting what I learn and how I use it.

- Free/Libre Open Source, usually this is applied to software, but why not science instruction. Free in this case does not have to mean "no cost". What it means here is that you are free to use everything I have here in any way you want, within certain limitations. I simply ask that you attribute my work and anything you create including my work will also be FLOS. In this way we all add to a community of teaching and learning. In fact, if you want to join in my page here just let me know. I very rarely turn away collaborators.

My Teaching Philosophy
: I don't believe students learn best from scripted lab exercises. One of these day's I'll dig out some references (if you're really interested I'd look at the NSTA's info on inquiry). So, my activities are often open ended and seeming lacking in details. I don't generally provide a set of questions intended to be answered by all the students as they build meaning along the way. Why? Because most students don't build meaning in the same way. Most of the questions that go along with scripted labs can be answered by simply reading the textbook for the class. All we do, in this case, is ask the students to perform a lab to demonstrate what they already know rather than do a lab to learn the material. This philosophy evolved over time, so some of may earlier material doesn't line up with it. Over time I will be remedying this.