If you could take a sport from the earth and play it on the moon, what would it be? Cricket, football, basketball, swimming? How would you adapt them to suit the conditions there?
Arthur Eisenkraft, distinguished professor of science education and director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC) at the University of Massachusetts, US, usually asks his students such questions while explaining scientific concepts such as gravity and friction.
Delivering a public lecture on ‘Sports on the Moon’ here on Friday, Eisenkraft held the audience’s attention through an interactive talk using props and hypothetical questions.
“In cricket, the ball would be hit six times further than on earth. Probably one can change the equipment of the game. In case of basketball, one has to take note that we can jump six times higher,” he said.
This is considering the fact that an object will be 600 Newtons on earth and 100 Newtons on the moon that is also commensurate with varying levels of friction.
While textbooks are necessary in teaching students about science, what really engages them intellectually are questions generally asked by educators, said Prof Eisenkraft. While there are no easy answers to this, Eisenkraft pointed out some: when students get to pick the content, have time to wonder, when teachers encourage different forms of expression, teachers are passionate, etc. He said the need for a multidisciplinary approach to teaching science is quite difficult to achieve.
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