In place of the usual Friday joke, I wanted to share with you a few ways that science professors are spicing up their regular lab experiments to get in the holiday spirit. Here are some ideas using simple chemistry or physics to get the desired spooky effect.
One favorite is the Pumpkin Pendulum:
Conservation of Energy: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed from one form to another.
A pendulum with a pumpkin as a bob is used to demonstrate the conservation of energy. The pumpkin is supported from the ceiling with a rope. A volunteer stands with back against the wall. The pumpkin is brought back to the volunteer’s nose and then released. The trick is to remain motionless with your eyes open as the pumpkin first swings away and then returns.
With your back against the wall, hold the pumpkin so that it just touches the tip of your nose. Now with your eyes wide open, release the pumpkin and wait for it to return.
You can find this and more Halloween-themed labs such as the Pumpkin Pendulum and Green Slime at the following links:
As part of WebAssign’s increased focus on becoming more customer-centric, we have created an outstanding team of Visioneers. This group is comprised of experts in the field of chemistry, physics, math, and user experience and design who will work to direct the focus of our product so our customers get the best experience possible. We are very excited to have them as part of the WebAssign team and will be introducing them over the next few weeks.
This week’s spotlight is on Matt Kohlmyer, our Physics Visioneer:
Matt Kohlmyer has had extensive experience in physics education, both in teaching introductory physics and in research on students’ learning and problem solving. At both NC State University and Georgia Tech he was involved in implementing, teaching, and developing materials for the innovative Matter & Interactions curriculum (developed by R. Chabay and B. Sherwood). He has also had experience with innovative pedagogy including the studio-based SCALE-UP environment and clicker usage in large lecture classes. In his spare time, Matt enjoys trips to the beach and is an avid hockey fan. We are thrilled to welcome Matt to our WebAssign team!
The Gradebook is a key WebAssign feature that we hope you will find useful, especially when it comes time for monitoring and distributing end of year grades. The GradeBook has many options, and we hope the directions below will help you with the initial set up. Additionally, stay tuned for part 2 of this series for more tips on using the GradeBook.
The best way to set up the WebAssign GradeBook is to use the GradeBook Wizard. At the top of the page, click Grades > GradeBook. If needed, select the class you want to set up. You will be taken to the GradeBook Wizard to help you get started.
Once the Wizard has started you have two options: Use WebAssign’s GradeBook, or upload your own GradeBook. Although you can always go back to the GradeBook settings and change them, read each option carefully and select the one that will work best for you.
Note on this page you can choose to automatically update your GradeBook every day at a specific time. We recommend this option so you do not have to manually update the GradeBook; otherwise students will not see their most up-to-date grades. Even if you set this option you can go into your GradeBook and manually update it whenever you like.
The wizard will walk you through a number of choices including the weights of each grade, type of grading scale, and what you wish your students to be able to view. Once you are pleased with everything make sure you select “save these settings” to apply the GradeBook to your course.
There is also the option to upload your own GradeBook. Most instructors will select to do this through Excel. If you have selected this option you can download samples of templates showing how to format the files to be uploaded. You can then select to either copy and paste your GradeBook, upload a file (such as an Excel file), or to simply upload your GradeBook at a later time.
As always, if you need additional help please refer to our instructor manual at http://www.webassign.net/manual/instructor_guide/c_i_using_gradebook.htm and feel free to contact our support staff at either email@example.com or 1-800-955-8275.
Fruity math jokes for a Friday!
Q: What’s yellow and equivalent to the Axiom of Choice.
A: Zorn’s Lemon.
Q: What’s purple and commutes?
A: An abelian grape.
Q: What’s yellow, linear, normed and complete?
A: A Bananach space.