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benpaddlejones@live.com.au View Profile WWW Email
« on: January 13, 2009, 03:02:10 AM »

Wiimote Physics Teachers

Phun is a free game like 2D physics sandbox where you can play with physics like never before. The playful synergy of science and art is novel, and makes Phun as educational as it is entertaining.

I will play with more but looks very good.

http://www.phunland.com/wiki/Home
edit: added URL, my stupid!


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« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 12:12:26 PM by benpaddlejones » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 12:07:21 PM »

Do you have a link?

My high-school science teacher used a lot of little "games" to demonstrate different aspects of our physical world. For example he had a little air hockey table that he used to demonstrate transference of energy. By lowering the friction with use of the air hockey, he had different pucks of differing weights and would send them at each other with different speeds. I learned a lot from him very quickly because of his approach. It seems to me that a lot of the basic system of teaching with technology has been covered extensively on these forums (I'm assuming because of benpaddlejones amazing visions and direction), but a lot of the specific applications of teaching in the science room has not been covered.

I'd like to help change that somehow. Using the wiimote in a science class is amazing because of its low cost. Using the wiianalyzer program would be fantastic for collisions and roller coasters, or pendulums... anything with acceleration (or negative acceleration for that matter). But also with the wiimote whiteboard. It's interactive and can show in ways explanations or unimaginative minds could never do.

I wrote a few "games" for one of my science teachers back in middle school. They all did one very specific action, and demonstrated whatever that aspect was fairly well. For example, I can't remember the scientific name of it, but we were studying the balance of need for predators VS their prey. That neither can survive without the other. I think the example given in class was something about rabbits multiplying at a crazy amount in Australia because it had been introduced to the environment and there wasn't any predators that could easily kill them. So the rabbits became plague quality... they were just everywhere destroying the eco system. They finally introduced some predator that killed them off.

Anyway, the point is that I wrote a game to demonstrate that. You had little ghosts that multiplied at an amazing rate. The number of ghosts was displayed on a graph so you could see how quickly it got out of control. Then your goal was to press a button that introduced a predator, and you'd see if you could keep the balance between the predators and the ghosts. If there were too few ghosts, the predators would die. If there were too few predators, the ghosts would rampage across the land and kill the computer because of lag. Tongue It was simple, but he still uses it today. My little sister took his class and used that program I wrote for him seven years ago.

Using an interactive surface like the wiimote whiteboard would be a fantastic way to let kids have hands on experience at a low cost. Almost any scenario could be created digitally for experimentation. It's like having a science center in your classroom.

====

Well, I'm on a roll. I think this is my third rant today. I just really want to help kids learn... it's my passion and I wish it were more widespread.
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 12:33:20 AM »

Hello,

I'm a physics teacher and I have used this program as well.  It's great for doing any kind of 2d kinematic/dynamic problems as well as conservation of momentum/energy problems.

Another good resource is the PhET website (http://phet.colorado.edu/index.php).  Many of their simulations can be easily used with the wiimote (I've used a couple myself) and helps show students some of the physics theories and formulas in action.
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