The Mythbuster team tests anti-gravity deceives bought off the internet to see if they really work, and then attempt to see if vodka can treat a jellyfish sting. Meanwhile, Adam and Jamie will test the myth that too many lights on a Christmas tree can start a fire. Scientific principles mentioned include Newton’s Law of Gravity, gravitational fields, magnetic fields, electric fields, magnetic levitation, rotational inertia, Biefeld Brown lifter, series and parallel circuits, short circuits, ignition point, infrared energy, air ionization, thrust, vacuum chambers, and neurotoxins.
Reading guides (or sometimes called guided readings) are designed to get students to open a textbook. They are an excellent means to improve student reading comprehension skills, fluency, and word recognition. They force the students to actively interact with the text in a quantifiable manner. And once the students are done with the reading guides, they have a ready-made study guide to look over for the quiz! To keep the kids honest when putting down answers, I typically cut and paste some of the answers to a weekly quiz.
Reading guides also make good sub-lesson plans. They are self-directed activities which the majority of students should be able to independently finish.
The reading guides I offer were designed for use with the Paul Hewitt Conceptual Physics book with the white roller coaster on the cover (2009). The ISBN number is 9780133647495. If you do not have this edition of the book, many of the questions and page numbers will not align correctly. The reading guides are typically 45 to 50 questions in length, with a good mix of higher- and lower-level questions in the mix. There are also some questions where graphs must be drawn, or sketches need to be made.
The reading guides are numbered about 25 questions per sheet of paper (roughly 50 questions total), so that if students are working in pairs, they can split the work evenly between them with no arguments of who will be doing more work. This is also an exercise in teamwork and peer communication skills!
The Mythbuster team examines the story that a heated jawbreaker could turn into an explosive bomb. They also examine whether a PVC pipe can hold enough electrical charge to kill a person. Finally, they test the myth that a common playing card could be used as a deadly weapon. Scientific concepts discussed include differential heating, energy absorption, pressure differentials, bite force, static charge build up, static discharge, friction, conductivity, insulation, grounding, Van de Graaff generators, electric fields, negative charges, electrons, humidity, flight aerodynamics, and rotational spin. The episode is available on either of the following DVD sets. They are identical.