Beasts of bone and steel

10 11 2009

via iO9

Check out this gallery of awesome art pieces that combine mammal skeletons with steam-punk-esque machinations by Ron Bell.

Bell’s series “Osteomechanics” and “Crania Mechanica,” integrate animal bones into imagined machinery. With the heavy use of brass and electrical prongs, they have a steampunk feel, but Bell’s core inspiration comes from 18th Century scientist Luigi Galvani, who experimented with delivering an electrical spark to animal muscles. The sculptures are supposed to evoke a sense of mystery, leaving the viewer to wonder at the era and person that gave rise to these strange little machines, and what scientific problem they were meant to solve.

Thinking mathematically: Man vs. Machine

11 10 2009

My first mathematics assignment was an essay on the role of calculators as teaching tools (not just a computing device) in middle years classrooms. From this, I have been able to adapt a few of the techniques I researched into lessons and activities for my year 8s.

Man vs. Machine is a lesson I adapted from an activity from Creative Mathematics Teaching with Calculators (Amazon). Essentially a flashcard quiz, students have to solve the problems as quickly as possible. Some problems require a calculator, some can probably done faster in their heads.

I created a fancy-pants activity sheet for this lesson*. I think activity sheets appear to work very well to scaffold students in this age group. There are still several students who take a long time to write stuff down and draw up charts – this is from either lack of ability and tools, or a need to make it look pretty and perfect. That said, there are some problems with activity sheets that I might mention in another post.

For the lesson summary click through.

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