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Learning Simple Machines Through Cross-Age Collaborations

Journal of College Science Teaching—May/June 2008

In this project, introductory college physics students (noneducation majors) were asked to teach simple machines to a class of second graders. This nontraditional activity proved to be a successful way to encourage college students to think critically about physics and how it applied to their everyday lives. The noneducation majors benefited by acting, even if only briefly, as instructors. It helped them to reflect upon the teaching and learning process, as well as to create a deeper understanding of basic physics concepts. Through the collaboration, elementary students were exposed to positive role models in science and received hands-on instruction in small groups.
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