Our next set of investigations in Great Experiments is focused on Galileo. When I was prepping for the class this summer, I read Galileo for the first time, and one of my first thoughts (besides, “Wow! This is amazing! Why haven’t I read this before?”) was how much it was like a Veritasium video. That also seemed like a gentler way in for the kids, so we started with this one:
Actually, we started with the Khan Academy one to get a sense of how and why the video would be formatted in this man-on-the-street way. After these two videos, we had a few volunteers read a good section of this part of Two New Sciences aloud (with lots of pausing to discuss what it meant).
When we’d had enough of that for one sitting (and when we’d made some strong connections back to the Veritasium video), we stopped and read a secondary source (the page that linked me to that one, here) to ourselves.
Then we talked about what they had read—what was confusing and what they understood—and started our plans for recreating the ramp experiment. They talked at their tables, came up and looked at a setup for it, and decided on some ideas for taking data on Tuesday.
One group was discussing making a water clock (I really hope they do!). Others immediately went to video analysis and thought about the details of how to make that work. We will spend our next class taking data and working through all the problems with getting good results. I think it will be frustrating and fun. And hopefully we will start looking for patterns by the end of that day.