Sunday, 22 July 2012

Solar System in St Kilda

I am not sure how I stumbled upon this, but I know it has been on my "To Do List" for a while. It is a scale model of the solar system in St Kilda!
A lovely friend of mine (and mutual appreciator of the geekier things in life) decided to combine our days bike ride to Half Moon Bay with a trip through the solar system. The sun is located near Fitzroy Street just near the lighthouse. Along the trip you will find brass plaques at each spot with information about each planet. the scale is about 1m to 1 million kilometers!
We questioned whether there would be a station for Pluto as its no longer classified as a planet. As I rode back from a great days ride I continued past where we started. I rode further along the bay back to my car, and past Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and then I rode and rode and rode car. And there it was - Pluto!! So I guess I can say I parked at the end of the universe! haha :) Would recommend it to anyone - so go get out there and explore the Solar System!!
Additional Note: The worlds largest scale model of the Solar Sytem can be found in Sweeden - it covers almost teh whole country! Amazing!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

My Legacy: The Quadratic Formula Song to Year 10 Mainstream Maths

A funny thing happened last week. One of those moments where you realise you have left an impression on a student. Well, maybe a class full of students. Here almost 3 years after I taught a student and she still remembers the song I played in class to learn the Quadratic Formula.
I remember back to the night before that lesson. I was thinking how could I teach this class the formula as I knew I was going to come up against some heavy resistant and persistent groans for the duration of the lesson. The wonders of You Tube - a catchy and repetitive (and a bit daggy) tune guaranteed to have every Year 10 singing along by the end.
The best part of this story happened the next year at parent teacher interviews. I was teaching her daughter maths and with such a success the year before I showed it the following year. Her mum came up to say how much her daughter was enjoying my class and had told her about the Quadratic Formula Song. Before I could even thank her, she broke out singing it! Made my day :D
So here is :my legacy to Year 10 Maths and past students - The Quadratic Formula Song.