Busting controversial science myths in Physics, English 11 classes Creating podcasts to explain topics

Starting a new collaborative PBL, Juniors in Mr. Partick Waddington’s Physics and Mr. Robert Davis’ English classes are creating an audio presentation and research paper based on a topic of their choosing.

“I’m trying to teach [my students] how to write about science,” Davis said. “When you write for English, it’s a certain tone and a certain method. [Students] are doing a science research paper where they research a scientific topic and make an argument about it. That builds upon what they already know about persuasion in English.”

Last year, students were given a list of topics to choose from. However, this year, students had to obtain their own ideas and get them approved. Topics chosen are required to be science-based.

“I think [projects] are going to be different than last years,” Davis said. “Last year, [students] made videos and this year they’re going to be making podcasts. I think it’s going to be a lot stronger with the writing behind it as opposed to dressing up some O.K. writing with a bunch of visuals they found on the internet.”

With only four class periods to work on the project in Physics and eight days in English, the PBL will extend over spring break.

“I like working with Mr. Waddington,” Davis said. “I have an interest in science even though I’m an English teacher so it’s really enjoyable to have students get feedback from something that’s outside of my discipline. I learn a lot reading the papers and giving feedback as opposed to having them write about things I know really well.”

Students who only have one of the two teachers are only required to finish the portion of the PBL that their teacher has assigned.

“[The PBL] is something really new cause I’ve never really done anything that’s English and physics related,” junior Zaw Wai said. “What I’m looking most forward to the most is the research and putting that into the project we’re doing. Our topic is the big bang theory and how the universe came to be.”