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Failing Well

Discussion in 'Science' started by TeacherBiology, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. TeacherBiology

    TeacherBiology New commenter

    Hi All,
    <font size="2">I was wondering if anyone could help. We are looking at developing a skills based curriculum for years 7 and 8 and part of this thinking is to develop a "failing well" unit in year 7 to give students the idea that failing is not generally a problem as it leads to development.</font> Any ideas gratefully received, I will of course share once it&rsquo;s been written.
     
  2. sci84

    sci84 New commenter

    A very interesting question!
    How about looking at experiments that often go wrong - we always used to do one with indigestion tablets (from a published worksheet) that were supposed to neutralise acid but the UI used to remain stubbornly red all lesson!
    The story of Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA is full of failure (would need simplifying).
    An interesting video on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT4Fu-XDygw
    Also very interesting:
    http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/efficacynotgiveup.html
    What about Large Hadron Collider - failed to work properly initially after the big build up to its launch.
    The Titanic or other disasters - failure often leads to developments in safety procedures etc.
    Sports - failure to win leads to changes in strategy, team lineup etc - could do some competitive activities/games where they have to change strategies to win.
    All sounds really interesting - would be keen to see what you develop with this.

     
  3. I love the idea! Could you get them do do something at home - some cooking or something. They all start off with the same recipe & bring their 'results' into school. Then you could discuss how different the results were & why.

    In Y8 we give our pupils a 'project' to use the principle of moments to find the mass of an object (eg: a 9V battery, a toy car, a pebble, block of wood etc. etc.). We give each pair the object and over 2-3 lessons (2-3 hours) they work their way through the objects, in pairs, trying to determine the mass of each one. Each time they think they have found the mass of their object (and before they move on to another object) they report the mass to the teacher & we let them know their %error. We discuss how they can improve on this & they move on to the next object.
    Some of them quite like this, others get bored. Prizes for lowest %error help! You will need some strong, light planks, pivots and masses. Our DT dept made up the planks & pivots for us.

     
  4. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

  5. WD40 is another example of try, try again ...www.wd40.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=20
     

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