Imagine a typically busy day at the Jersey shore. You and your family have immersed yourselves in sun, sand and water, and might be ready for a change of pace by mid-afternoon.
Hopefully you will encounter a presenter from scienceonthebeach.com doing a free, on-the-beach, half-hour-long program of interactive physical science demonstrations.
scienceonthebeach.com is designed to engage, entertain and inform by linking physical science concepts with the out-of-the-classroom, unique beach experience.
scienceonthebeach.com provides young beachgoers and their families with an extra component and complement to their day of fun at the beach at Long Branch, NJ.
Your feedback is valuable... please contact us with suggestions, corrections and comments.
How might scienceonthebeach.com add an educational and fun geocaching activity to the interactive map at longbranchbeach.com linked below?
An overview of each of the scienceonthebeach.com demonstrations is available on this website by clicking the menu icon. The description of each demonstration is expected to provide an overview of the particular activity, suggest essential questions, and will ultimately include pictures and diagrams.
Guiding the interactive demonstrations that make up scienceonthebeach.com presentations are federal and state science and technology education standards for K-12, as well as contemporary teaching and learning strategies.
You are encouraged to browse these descriptions, whether you are previewing the descriptions before you and your family participate in the live demonstrations, or whether you are reflecting on the experience afterwards.
Please, anytime you are visiting the beach at Long Branch NJ this summer, look for scienceonthebeach.com interactive science demonstrations. Thank you!
Philip F. Falcone, Teacher / Designer / Demonstrator
Please communicate with us! Thanks for visiting the Long Branch NJ beach.
scienceonthebeach.com presents a free, on-the-beach, half-hour-long program of interactive demonstrations designed to engage, entertain and inform by linking physical science concepts with the out-of-the-classroom, unique beach experience of being immersed in sun, sand and water.
Beginning in August 2009, scienceonthebeach.com has put its interactive demonstrations on the Long Branch NJ beach numerous times each beach season. The half-hour-long program takes place primarily on weekends with additional midweek presentations during busy beach weeks and also when Long Branch summer enrichment camp is scheduled for the beach. At the suggestion of the Long Branch Recreation Department, locations for the program are chosen to be on the periphery or outside of Pier Village, at any place on the Long Branch beach frequented by families with younger children who are the most likely audience for the program.
A few minutes of setting up scienceonthebeach.com demonstrations usually attracts some attention. After setting up, the presenter then walks around the immediate area, pointing out to parents with children where science demonstrations will begin in a few minutes. A group of from five to twenty mostly 2nd to 8th grade young people then gathers, along with their observing parents who usually accompany their kids. Often one or two older children are very engaged in the demonstrations from the start, and then actively encourage siblings and other younger children to participate so that everyone has the experience of trying each of the demonstrations. As the half hour of formal activity ends, a few participants invariably ask to continue experimenting with the gear, and/or have questions they want to ask or comments to share such as about their classroom science education experiences.
Assessing this project, the scienceonthebeach.com presentation seems to be a consistently popular addition to their day for the informally-gathered audiences of elementary up to middle school children and their parents. The interactive demonstration kit is portable and quick to set up and break down. The initial enthusiastic involvement of some (usually older) participants is contagious and spreads to most if not all attending, even the youngest, as each person is encouraged to take a turn with each interactive demonstration. There is effective sharing of the full range of everyone's knowledge and abilities to the best of their age-limited capabilities. Participant collaboration contributes significantly to facilitating the success of the program.
scienceonthebeach.com is grateful to have been green-lighted by the Long Branch NJ Recreation Department, Carl F. Jennings, Director of Recreation and Human Services, under the umbrella of their many activities in Long Branch supporting youth. scienceonthebeach.com is additionally grateful for encouragement from Long Branch Schools Board of Education and administration, City Council and Mayor, and Monmouth University.
An ongoing goal of scienceonthebeach.com is to work with the Long Branch Recreation Department to recruit, train and support part-time creators/innovators/designers and teachers/demonstrators from among the Long Branch beach staff (mostly Long Branch HS students and summer-returning college students) as well as any others interested in sharing science knowledge and experience with the wider community.
Participating in networks and partnerships with local and regional science museums and other education institutions and organizations is an ongoing goal for scienceonthebeach.com. Another goal is fundraising outreach to the private sector to cover expense of materials, pay student demonstrators, and initiate new projects.
The website scienceonthebeach.com will continually evolve as a resource for the program. The expectation is that like the interactive hands-on beach presentations and possible future exhibit installations, the website will reflect current education best practices along with universal family and community values. scienceonthebeach.com seeks to effectively complement and enhance the out-of-the-classroom, unique, and intrinsically educational beach experience of being immersed in sun, sand and water.
As a possible extension of the live demonstrations, scienceonthebeach.com is pursuing semi-permanent science-education-oriented and science-art-oriented installations modeled after those found outdoors at science museums, that could be strategically placed on the beach, possibly along the promenade or at sand level near beach entrances. Exhibits could utilize space around handicap ramps or adjacent to boardwalk pillars. Exhibits would be designed to be self-directed, so that when young, old and inbetween beachgoers encounter an exhibit they can easily add a few minutes of impromptu science-oriented learning fun to their beach-going experience. If the City were to approve this approach, museum and other institutional partnerships and private funding would be sought for design, construction and installation of the semi-permanent science and/or art installations.
The planned rebuilding of the next generation of the historic oceanfront pier in Long Branch NJ has been promised to include education and play components. Hopefully the experiences of scienceonthebeach.com will be useful in planning educational aspects of the Long Branch oceanfront pier.
Your feedback is valuable... please contact us with suggestions, corrections and comments.
The Vector Excel Computer Lab is presented as a final activity for the topic of vectors in a first high school physics course. Teaching vectors helps pre-assess and prepare students for so many topics in physics that involve reconciling one, two and sometimes three dimensions of actions and motion.
Suggested strategy for teaching vectors:
(1) You might introduce and reinforce particular vector KSAs by interspersing Physics Classroom tutorials and worksheets with your teaching. These are linked below, specifically addressing vector magnitude and direction, components, resolving, resultants, order of addition does not matter, and printable worksheets ("think sheets").
(2) As their first way to find the resultant of superimposed vectors, students might draw using ruler and protractor (graph paper is not necessary), applying the head-to-tail method. Students work to get magnitudes and directions of all vectors correct in the head-to-tail configuration, and then are able to plot and measure the resultant.
(3) After students demonstrate reasonable mastery of drawing using the head-to-tail method, they can find the resultant by resolving vectors into orthogonal components using a simple application of (and perhaps their first experience with) trigonometric functions.
(4) Finally, during one double-period lab, students move to a computer lab setup. Students are given the handout for the Vector Excel Computer Lab. As students follow the lab instructions to interact with Excel, they are exposed to the power of technology to assist in solving the problem of determining the resultant of multiple vectors.
Using Excel, students are able to:
- do calculations on a large scale that otherwise manually would be very tedious.
- quickly work through an iterative scientific method / engineering design process to get their desired outcome.
This Vector Excel Computer Lab is intended to offer small, limited experiences for each of the following KSAs:
- Excel and coding experience
- Accuracy/precision -- need to meticulously follow directions so that the Excel program works as intended
- Debugging -- scrutinize Excel entries to find errors if program does not work as intended
- Trigonometric functions -- familiarity that is adequate to resolve a vector into orthogonal components
- Modeling a step-by-step procedure that Excel can execute to accomplish the vector-combining process
- Cross-cutting (1) -- Applying technology to create a coded version of the head-to-tail drawing method and the resolving vectors method, both of which students had used previously to combine vectors and determine the resultant.
- Cross-cutting (2) -- The scientific method / engineering design process is utilized by students as they see the result of their work immediately visualized in the Excel chart, and thus can iteratively refine and perfect their work in a "trial > error > adjust > repeat" process. Cross-cutting takes place as a student initially debugs the spreadsheet. Then additional cross-cutting occurs when the student uses the debugged spreadsheet as a tool to solve a different (creative) problem: creating and continually refining a drawing of the initial letter of the student's name using vectors.
- Cross-cutting (3) -- Another instance of cross-cutting in this Vector Excel Computer Lab is the coincidental introduction of students to SVG (scalable vector graphics) which is an advanced industrial graphics technique using vectors to draw lines, shapes, text letters, etc. SVG is the underlying technology of PDFs, and also interoperates with webpage design.
- Combine both gravity and horizontal linear acceleration to give a resultant acceleration. Apply this to other kinematic questions to move into the kinematics topic.
- Discuss Global Positioning System (GPS), geolocation, navigation, mapping. Click below on longbranchbeach.com for links that launch various GPS apps.
- Write an Excel program to model the GPS geolocation calculations in a smartphone that reconcile paths from multiple GPS satellites which are continually transmitting time-stamped signals. Also consider the secondary smartphone geolocation strategy that uses signals from in-range wireless routers, where the router location has been identified and stored in a cloud database.
- Write an Excel program to numerically calculate and provide a visualization of projectile motion, or to analyze the motion of a pendulum without the need for approximation assumptions
- Write an Excel program to model and calculate the resultant of superposition of multiple waves, e.g. ocean waves combining to create an unusually high-amplitude rogue wave.
- Click here for longbranchbeach.com then click the menu icon, then "beach map, driving and parking" for a map that includes live GPS-based geolocation. A red balloon marker on the map indicates your position relative to all the features shown on the map.
- There are also buttons on the map to select and launch your smartphone's personal GPS application, with Long Branch beach automatically preloaded as the destination, and your current location as the origin, so that your GPS app will guide you to Long Branch beach. FYI, clicking any icon, label or photo on the Long Branch beach map will set that location's precise GPS coordinates as the exact GPS destination.
- We know that a radar gun or ultrasound might be used to measure the speed of an object. Alternatively, on the longbranchbeach.com map, click "Show Info" and scroll down to the table to see geolocation data used to derive the smartphone speed and direction (just as a GPS app does).