Monday, September 26, 2011

September 19-23

This past week, my students researched Rube Goldberg and then designed and drew their own Rube Goldberg machines in the form of a blueprint. The creativity that went into these blueprints seemed to be only at one extreme or the other - some were the most creative ideas I've ever seen from 8th graders while others were as bland as low sodium Ritz crackers. I thought this assignment would be fun and boost students' desire to be creative in science class, but for many this was not the case. I wonder if this assignment was less effective because it was NOT a group project. When the students worked in groups on their bridges and made their news report videos they all were so creative. This time around many students could not even begin their Rube Goldberg machine because they said they didn't know where to start. Maybe this mini project was too open ended, but I did provide a series of guidelines and criteria that they had to meet. So, I'm stumped as to why there was such a gap in creativity. Perhaps the Prezi's they will be working on next week will show less of a gap.

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