FUN-ominal Physics

Thanks to the creativity and innovative thinking of Frelingheysen Education Association members Susan Hocking, Jill Incalcaterra, Judy Pender, Peter Arena, and Susan Zeeck, sixth grade students at Frelinghuysen Elementary School will join a long list of other Frelingheysen students who have participated in five (5) previous NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education grants awarded to Hocking, Incalcaterra, and Pender.

Fun-ominal Physics emphasizes unconventional learning experiences to renew students? interest in math and science. It places special emphasis on creating gender equality in the learning process by providing a cooperative rather than a competitive learning environment by integrating subject areas in which females are highly successful, i.e., reading and writing.

Toys, playground equipment, and amusement park rides provide an abundance of thrills and chills that will entice reluctant learners to engage in math and science activities.

A year-long range of activities, financed through this $7,326 grant, begins with the selection of a toy and discovery lessons to learn about kinetic and potential energy, centripetal force, and Newton?s first and third laws of motion.

Weekly 80-minute "FUN" sessions will include demonstrations, directed discussions, mixed gender student teams engaging in discovery lessons, and student team presentations of their findings. The lessons will be extended to other subject areas including home safety, careers, physical education, and language arts. The language arts connection is specifically included to allow female students to share their expertise in reading and writing by joining a fictional sixth grade science detective as he uses his scientific knowledge to solve a puzzle or problem.

Student teams will relate playground experiences to study physics concepts such as gravity, levers, pendulums, and inclined planes. They will employ experiments, lab reports, charts, tables, and drawings to make observations.

A culminating project will include constructing models of an Amusement Park Portfolio dedicated to designing, building, and operating an amusement park to which parents and community members will be invited.

For further information, contact:

Susan Hocking
(908) 852-5508