Transit

November 13, 2013

NWI Instruments transit.

NWI Instruments transit.

This spring I was nominated by my head of school for a small, Teacher of Distinction award offered by the Independent Schools of St. Louis (ISSL). I proposed to get a survey transit that our students could use to map ecological change on campus. My outdoor group has been slowly cutting down the invasive Bradford pear saplings on the slope and I’ve been curious to see if mapping their locations would help us better understand where they’re coming from.

Measuring the distance down to the creek.

Measuring the distance down to the creek.

The transit would also be a great tool for math. Geometry, algebra, and pre-calculus classes could all benefit because surveying can require quite a bit of geometry and trigonometry.

View through the transit.

View through the transit. The middle mark on the reticule allows you to measure elevation change, while the upper and lower marks are used to measure distance. There’s a 100:1 conversion from the distance between the upper and lower marks and the distance from the transit to the measuring rod.

So, I’ve started training a few of my outdoor group in making the measurements. They’ve spent a few weeks learning how to use the transit; we only meet once a week so it goes slowly. However, we’ll start trying to put marks on paper at our next class.

Students trying out the transit.

Students trying out the transit.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2013. Transit, Retrieved May 30th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

The History of the Periodic Table

November 22, 2011

Fitted to a cylinder, the elements on this periodic table would form a spiral. Image via Wikipedia.

Spurred by Philip Stewart‘s comment that, “The first ever image of the periodic system was a helix, wound round a cylinder by a Frenchman, Chancourtois, in 1862,” I was looking up de Chancourtois and came across David Black’s Periodic Table Videos. They put things into a useful historical context as they explore how the patterns of periodicity were discovered, in fits and starts, until Mendeleev came up with his version, which is pretty much the basis of the one we know today.

The cylindrical version is pretty neat. I think I’ll suggest it as a possible small project if any of my students is looking for one. You can, however, find another interesting 3d periodic table (the Alexander Arrangement) online.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. The History of the Periodic Table, Retrieved May 30th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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