Next month a new BLOSSOMS video by MIT's Math Professor Gil Strang will be posted, “The Quadratic Equation: It's Hip to be Squared.” This will mark the 1st in a series of at least 10 new math videos that will be closely coupled to state-mandated math content but are done in the "BLOSSOMS way," emphasizing critical thinking skills and active learning. Over coming months we plan four additional series of ten BLOSSOMS videos closely aligned with the required curriculum, in each of the sciences (biology, physics and chemistry) and in engineering. Please send us your suggestions for the subject matter for videos in these series here.
Most students describe a chemical reaction as an event where an explosion, color change, or gas is formed. In a new BLOSSOMS lesson by Dr. Kathy Vandiver, “Recognizing Chemical Reactions”, the main learning objective is the recognition that all chemical reactions create new molecules and that in a chemical reaction the original atoms get rearranged, bonding together in different ways. Students will have an opportunity to experience an exciting chemical reaction that is produced inside a re-sealable plastic bag. They will also identify new products made by the chemical reaction and will actively model the atoms’ chemical reaction using manipulatives. Watch lesson.
The MIT BLOSSOMS project in Saudi Arabia, sponsored by Saudi Aramco and the Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Science & Technology Center (Scitech), has recently contributed four new video lessons to the BLOSSOMS website: “Sorting Algorithms” by Amer Jouz; “Plastics and Covalent Chemical Bonds” by Hana Theban; “Static and Kinetic Friction Forces: Similarities and Differences” by Osama Asad Abu Al Shwareb; and “Amazing Problems: Arithmetic and Geometric Sequences” by Abbas Al-Hamada. These lessons are currently available in Arabic, but will soon be available with English subtitles. In all, the Saudi partners will produce 20 BLOSSOMS lessons before the joint project ends on May 31, 2012.
MIT’s Sea Perch is an innovative underwater robotics program that trains teachers - who then train their students - to build an ROV, or remotely operated vehicle. Sea Perch offers a simple, interactive platform that allows students to learn about myriad subjects. By designing and building their own remotely operated vehicle (ROV), students can learn about engineering. By conducting water sampling and observing habitat, they learn about biology. They learn about physics through buoyancy and electrical wiring; and they learn about history and so much more by studying the evolution of ocean exploration. The simplicity of the Sea Perch program and its adaptability to a variety of ages and educational settings has enabled the program to grow from a Massachusetts based program, to one that is now national in scope and expanding internationally.