Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

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Virtual Experiments

For experiments too dangerous to try at school
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It is annoying that schools cannot do the really exiting experiments which would get pupils exited about science. Things like putting caesium in water, or making massive ball lighting.

In come Virtual Experiments Inc., who do the experiment for you, and regenerate it for you in complete realism. They set up a room, with cameras at every angle, at high speed, high resolution, in colour, x-ray, infra-red, ultraviolet and any others that might be appropriate.

They then set up a system by which an entire class can watch an experiment, feel the heat on their faces, and the teacher can swich to show the ultra-violet light given off, pause, rewind, slow down, speed up, enlarge, even cut parts off to reveal the inside. If the teacher wants, he/she can put virtual litmus paper or universal indicator into water to find out its pH balance.

This idea need not be limited to Chemistry. Biology experiments could be done, speeding up something that might otherwise be impossible to do, or might take too long. Physics pupils could investigate what happens to particles without having to buy a particle accelerator.

Unfortunately, this option means that teachers lose the possibily of telling a particularly annoying pupil to do something which would kill them, but I suppose there could be an add-on which would induce a sudden bolt of electricity to fly through the offending pupil.

dbmag9, Oct 22 2005

Virtual Experiments http://www.chem.ox....tro/newdefault.html
One of many such sites on the Internet. [DrCurry, Oct 22 2005]


       This Idea proposes a more rigorous way of drawing input from groups of students, one more effective than distilled laboratory experience generally. Still, this reminds me of 'learn by retracing the levels' method of video game mastery; complete with effects, dead ends, gremlins, and unlimited lives.   

       Somewhere after school:
Hi Ma! You're cooking ... great! I learned something awesome in school about electricity today that might work.

I don't get it. In school the room lights turned blue and a glass of water in the microwave turned to ice.
reensure, Oct 22 2005

       This is, in this day of school cut-backs, Highly Baked. It seems that schools would far rather spend their money on computer labs where students can conduct virtual experiemtns, than on real Science labs where the kids might stand a chance of actually learning something.   

       Fishbone for over-reliance on computers in teaching.
DrCurry, Oct 22 2005

       Churn churn churn...   

       When I originally thought of the idea, I thought of it as something that would be in a cinema-style auditorium, albeit a bit more interactive. However, when I wrote it it changed somewhat into a classroom-based activity. This, it retrospect, was a mistake.   

       I also only intended it to be used for experiments much too dangerous to conduct physically, such as putting caesium into water or filling a room with a mixture of two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen and putting in a match, not for simple experiments.
dbmag9, Jan 09 2006


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