Teaching Aid Wish List: May 2019

  • What do you need for a new teaching aid, model, or activity? Post your idea here and go get some votes!

  • Mineral crystals: I suggest that we create our second teaching aid model for geology, the crystal structure of common minerals. I think that showing students that rocks are so much more than hard lumps, but are composed of discrete minerals that have predictable crystal structures could really open their eyes to a whole new field of inquiry that has literally been under their feet. Who's with me? Vote for geology!

  • Web-building spiders have three claws that they have evolved to grip silk threads; ground spiders have two claws and a tuft of hairs where that third claw normally is. Maybe we could create a spider with realistic 3-claws that close like a spider's do and the teacher could hang it on string to show that it holds on to the "silk thread" well. Then you could have alternative models to see how they hold onto silk as well, including the ground spider claw configuration (2 claws with hair tufts) vs. a different 3-clawed configuration vs. 4-claws or something else? It would be modeling adaptation and natural selection of morphology.

  • Mineral crystals will be the May 2019 model. I will have the first prototypes up soon!

  • Here is a first look at a render of a single mineral crystal polyhedron. The tricky part of this is having other polyhedrons join to this when they bond by sharing atoms. I have some ideas to try. Let me know what you think so far.
    Mineral_structure v1.png

  • Thanks for your patience, everyone! This one has been a challenge, but we have some new ideas we are trying that should make it possible to join polyhedrons at different angles. If it was easy, it would be boring, right?


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