The push to make the teaching of Math a much more inquisitive process in education, an experience that mimics the real world challenge engineers, scientists, and even everyday “layfolk” come across in dealing with math, has an interesting and creative twist from Dan Meyer. His idea is based around taking a 60 second clip of video, or still image, and then presenting it to your students as though it’s a puzzle. No words are needed, no direction from the teacher, other than “are there any questions?” The idea is to nurture learners’ inborn curiosity and to pose questions without any prompting other than the media they’re presented with.
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I’m quite smitten with the concept, and although Mr. Meyer often presents his “any questions” videos with a bit more creativity and flare than I have, I’m trying to be as cinematic as I can while capturing questions “in the raw”. So it was with great excitement that my family discovered a new Christmas Tree Farm this past weekend, and I stumbled upon this Christmas Tree Baler (there’s an entire industry behind these machines). Everything about the function of this machine, from the spinning cartridge dispensing baling twine, to the way the tree is pulled through the baler screamed out to me “take video of this!”
Even now, having watched the video at least 3 times, not to mention the actual “live” viewing while getting our Christmas tree, I still have questions pop into my head related to the experience:
- How many trees can be baled with one full roll of twine?
- If they sell 700 trees per weekend (I asked), how much twine will they need?
- How fast is the baler spinning?
- What’s the ecological impact of harvesting so many trees in such a short time frame?