Teaching Science with the Force

| Thursday, February 3
I've not posted a teaching blog in quite a while, so I thought I'd throw this at you. The past two weeks in my science class at school, we've been learning about force, motion, and Newton's laws. I try to make the things I teach as easy to relate to as possible, because educational psychology has discovered in some study or another I read in grad school that the more connections a person can make to a concept, the better they comprehend and remember said concept.

So, how do I teach about force (as in F=ma)? By equating it with The Force, of course. By our 10 year-old definition, a force is a push or a pull. What is one way the Sith use the Force? Force Push. They even tried to equate a Force Choke with a pull somehow.

Picture from Force Unleashed, property of LucasArts

When discussing balanced and unbalanced forces we talked about the Jedi and Luke being the one to bring balance to the force.

Another SW reference I've used was in Social Studies (back when I was still teaching that before the winter holidays). In the pre-Civil War lesson on the Fugitive Slave Law, we were talking about bounty hunters. The kids didn't really grasp the concept until I said, "You know, like Boba Fett. And Greedo." Then it clicked.

I love being able to geek out with my students this way. About 80% of them get the Star War references. And those that do *really* get it! Like I said to a friend the other day, if I can figure out a way to connect my lesson to Star Wars or SpongeBob, it suddenly makes more sense.


PrettiGeeky said...

Bravo! I might've paid a little more attention in science class if my professor had dropped a few Star Wars references.


Anonymous said...

I would have given anything to have had a teacher that related our lessons to Star Wars.

You officially win the epic teacher award :)

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