The Physics of “My Little Pony”
Apparently when you discontinue your cable TV for a couple of years, you miss out on all sorts of excellent programming, including an anime-imspired remake of 80s girlie show “My Little Pony”. Besides the butterflies, glitter, and heavy use of the word rainbow as an adjective, the show is rather cute, and inspired at least one physics presentation that’s getting pretty heavy viewing on YouTube.
While the presentation contains a hefty amount of “tongue in cheek” humor about the plausibility of applying real world physics to a world of imaginary magical ponies with “cutie marks” tattooed to their hind quarters, it’s a really fun look at how to apply what is taught/learned in the classroom to outside problems and experiences. Much akin to the Physics of Super Heroes book written awhile back, I really love that this presentation plays upon that notion that math ans science really is all around us, all the time.
More importantly, the engaging nature of video and application of learning is something that many teachers can, and should be doing in their classrooms in this day and age. While the idea of reflecting, journaling, and summarizing content by students isn’t new, opening up the practice from traditional written reflection to include video, audio, or other presentation media gets at the very nature of what it means to grow up in this day and age. Our students need different ways to express themselves; they will have to create powerpoints, slideshows, “pitch” videos, and other media projects on the job, so why not in the classroom? Even if the students don’t feel quite as confident, it’s becoming easier and easier to capture, publish, and share successes like these that demonstrate someone who is starting to internalize the material, and make connections that will encourage them to dig deeper.