The Mythbusters are testing a story from World War 2, which says that airman Staff Sargent Alan Magee survived a 22,000-foot fall by crashing through a train station at precisely the time a bomb went off. Kari, Grant, and Tory also test whether or not money is saved when turning off lights when you are not in a room. Science topics discussed are terminal velocity, vectors, fluid friction, density, shock waves, electricity, power conservation, steady state usage, power consumption, LED, CFL, fluorescent tube, incandescent bulb, halogen, and bulb longevity.
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!
Gravity (2013) is a stunning movie exploring the potential dangers of space and the physics behind them. This movie captivates the students through dazzling visuals, but the movie guide keeps them focused on analyzing the physics behind the scenes. Having said that, there are very accurate and inaccurate depictions of Newton’s Laws of Motion. But the inaccuracies add to the dramatic tension and advance the storyline of the movie. The movie guide is designed to have the students analyze the physics of the movie scenes, choose which of Newton’s Laws applies, and then describe why it applies or why it is inaccurate. The movie guide does not analyze the plot or emotional arcs during the movie, it just sticks to the physics behind each scene. The movie guide is best used for classes like physics, physical science, or astronomy.