Unlocking the key to everything and more

(This is a part of the Deeper Learning Story Bank. Add your story!)

Story title: Unlocking the key to everything and more

Submitted by: Emilio Torres, High Tech Middle North County

DL story: During my senior year in AP physics, my teacher started a class by showing us a disc that was oriented like a ferris wheel, with a similar axis. He then taped a pencil to the rim, placed it on the overhead projector, and started turning it. The shadow created was a straight line with a “peg” (from the pencil) that moved up and down its length, end to end, in one steady, continuous motion. There was no lecture, no discussion, simply the instruction to look at the shadow, and think. After a minute of staring, suddenly the whole idea of a cycle made sense, as well as how the infinite length of pi could translate to a simple line segment. The universe went from being discrete and orderly to continuous: ever-changing, always-moving. The idea of things having definite location suddenly vanished, and I understood why the location of electrons was discussed in terms of probabilities, and why my geometry teacher, 3 years prior, had said a point in space has no definition. There was no introduction, just time to think, and to come to our own conclusions.

Thinking critically, Self-directing learning

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