Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Students Learn Physics Through Scuba Diving?

I'll explain in a few seconds why I put the "?" sign at the end of the title to this entry even though the news article that I'm linking to doesn't have it.

If you have followed this blog for any considerable period of time, you'll notice that I highlight a lot of this type of news report, where students are being instructed on physics using very innovative activities, such as spending a day making pumpkin projectiles or a day at the amusement park. I always try to read up on very creative ways that teachers try to make the subject not only easy to understand, but also fun!

So when I read a headline regarding students learning physics through scuba diving, I was of course, quite interested. This is certainly new that I've never heard before, and of course, the thought of buoyancy, the concept of pressure, and maybe even hydrodynamics started to pass through my head. And then I read that these are special education students that are deaf, and that made it even more interesting for me to see how this is done. That is when I got very disappointed.

While the title is about students learning physics through scuba diving, there is practically no mention about physics and how these were conducted in the news report. There is no mention on what exactly they were taught, and how such a concept was demonstrated during the scuba diving session. What was emphasized more in the article was the ability of the students to sign and communicate with each other under water. I learned nothing about physics education from this article, not even an idea on what was done.

If a law that applies against misleading advertising can be applied to news headlines, this article would have been guilty.


1 comment:

Marcus Aurelius said...

The only serious physics I detected in my SCUBA classes touched on the ideal gas laws mostly focused on the relation between pressure & volume.

The notion that some materials can hold more heat than others was also tangentially touched on. For instance, 40 F of air humans can deal with, 40 F in the water will kill you sooner than later.