At the end of the last session, the students noted the need for more time to put finishing touches on their work. We agreed to starting the 7th and final meeting with a 75-90 minute work period. When we gathered, we held a quick class meeting to set the stage for the day…and then they were off!
After 90 minutes, the class convened and offered some help to the group working on the Rube Goldberg machine. Soon enough, it was time for presentations.
Beyond the excellent work that the students did throughout the class, they offered some thoughtful feedback on the class. I asked a few simple questions for their consideration. The questions and some sample responses are below:
What skills did you develop in this course?
- In this course I developed skills such as the ability to think more outside of the box and the ability to think about a problem more in depth.
- I learned how to solve and attempt to solve problems, how to view situations with new perspectives, and work as a teammate in small groups. I learned how it’s important to be flexible and be willing to adapt to changes that occur throughout the process of solving problems and working with other people.
- I felt like I developed problem solving skills when working with a group. I also thought I developed skills in planning and utilizing time so it is best used. I also developed skills when working with a group to create a plan that everyone agreed with.
- I developed planning and problem-solving skills. In the course, it was important to have a plan in order to stay on track. We needed problem-solving in our group in order to think through what project to do and how to do it. I also improved at working in groups and doing self-reflection.I enhanced my skills of teamwork, problem solving, and building models.
- I learned to find the flaws in an experiment before doing it.
Would you recommend this course to another student? Please explain.
- Yes, I would recommend this course to another student because I feel that it is valuable in order to help develop problem solving skills and a problem solving mindset.
- Yes, I would. I think that I would recommend this course to anyone who is curious about anything, because even if you may not be able to conduct experiments as dramatic as Myth Busters actually do, you will learn a lot from it in many different ways. It’s a very engaging and interesting course that will teach you about yourself as a worker and group member.
- I would recommend this course to another student if they had an idea of a myth that they would like to bust. If they didn’t have a myth they wanted to bust, I would not recommend it. This is because they likely wouldn’t feel passionate enough about that myth to complete it for 7 whole weeks.
- Not really, too much sitting around doing team building than actually myth busting.
- I would recommend this course to another student as long as he or she is interested in testing a realistic myth (not just blowing things up) and willing to do work (as team and individual). Personally, I thought the class was pretty fun.
- I honestly would not recommend this course to other students. I thought that it wasn’t made as fun and interesting as it could be and the course description did not match up with the course itself
- Yes because it is a class where your experiment can be almost anything you want it to be within standards set by the teacher.
What could be done to improve this course?
- I think that this course could be improved by taking a little time away from the planing phase and using that time in order to prepare our presentations and do some more experimenting.
- For my group, personally, we felt like we were scrambling for time to finish our project because the last three to four weeks of the course crept up on us quickly. I don’t think that is a result of anything other than our own indecisiveness and confusion, but maybe one extra week at the beginning of the course to begin work could have been helpful. The course as a whole hardly needs any improvement! It was well-structured and thought out.
- I would say one thing that could be done to improve this course is making the class times shorter. I felt that it was hard to sit through an entire class while paying attention. Overall though, I enjoyed this course.
- We could have actually done myth busting earlier and more often
- Tie in / explain the mini building challenges we did more. They were a challenge, but I did not see the point of them other than team-building strategies, which could have been achieved in other ways. It would have been good to get an explanation of the best strategy for each challenge we did.
- I think that the busy work that is given to us at the beginning of classes should be taken away.
- To improve this course you could get more resources for use. For our projects we could use anything we had at home/school or things that were very cheap such as watermelons.
- Either give students more time to conduct their myth or make the course so we solve a different myth every class. Also all the peer reflections make the class less exciting.
What was your favorite aspect of this course?
- My favorite aspect of this course was that I had the opportunity and means to try new and exciting things and to learn more about the complex and interesting world of myths that we live in.
- I liked how we could create the structure and outcome of this course ourselves, according to what experiment or myth we chose to conquer. It was structured enough that we knew what to do and when to do it, but it was created on our own ideas and what we wanted to accomplish.
- I liked getting to do the group work on our myth, such as scaling the wood of the door down first with math equations and then in real life.
My favorite aspect of this course would be the actual doing the myth (building and launching rockets)
- My favorite aspect of this course was building things.
I think this was a great first attempt at the full course (as opposed to the pilot). Yes, there are things to work on for the spring. However, when I see student feedback like the one below, I know we’re on the right track:
My favorite aspect of this course was that we got to chose the myth that we did. Looking back on it, I may have done a different myth, but I think it was important to be interested in the problem and by creating the problem students can make sure they are interested in it.