Action Science: Relevant Teaching and Active Learning

Engagement and relevancy are central concerns for any science educator, especially in middle school classrooms. Teachers need a myriad of resources to help them make connections between scientific concepts and the student interests and experience. The proposed book provides an approach to physical science instruction in the middle grades that is interesting and inviting to students, covering classroom instruction and pedagogical applications, as well as practical classroom activities that integrate author-created action sports videos. Bill Robertson has produced and self-distributed a 4-part video series and accompanying curriculum guide that focuses on concepts in physical science that integrate action sports. Bill acts as both the narrator and a performer in the series, which also includes top extreme athletes in BMX and skateboarding. These athletes perform high flying maneuvers that demonstrate physical science concepts, such as the relationships between velocity and acceleration. The videos provide participating teachers and students with a series of instructional opportunities and relevant content information that can be used to explore and explain the given content information as well as engage the students in classroom activities. The video and classroom activities focus on the physical science concepts in the areas of motion, forces, Newton's Laws of Motion, and simple machines. Topics include momentum, center of gravity, inertia, centrifugal and centripetal forces. Studying these scientific concepts through the lens of action sports provides a relevant and interesting avenue of inquiry in a real world context. Through a student-centered instructional approach, students will enjoy and authentic learning experience and develop life-long scientific interest and inquiry skills.

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