kitchen table math, the sequel: worst project ever, part 2

## Monday, June 18, 2007

### worst project ever, part 2

from Lynn:

I nominate everything my son did this, his first year, of high school.

1 -- poem on inhalants (he wrote an "Ode to Air")

2 -- build a model home for geometry

3-- create a "solar cooker"

4 -- build a self-powered rubber band car

5 -- build a bridge out of random objects supplied by the teacher (mostly popcicle sticks and string)

6 -- a poster on global warming for spanish class

I'm sure there's others. If this had been 4th grade, I wouldn't be so upset. But it is high school and he has now lost one whole year.

from Cassy:

We had 2 unique dilemmas in 3rd grade this year. One child was unable to prove gravity by dropping 2 kids of fruit from a ladder and the other found that Jupiter had its own atmosphere and was warmer than mercury, making the sun irrelevant to planet temperature.

On the minus side, they were totally incorrect. On the plus side, we knew there was no parent involvement. At least we gave the parents the benefit of the doubt.

from Molly:

I nominate my daughter's fourth grade math project, to which several weeks of class time where dedicated.

1. Select a sport. Research the history of the sport and determine when and where it was first played. (My daughter selected swimming and determined it was first played when someone fell into a body of water and didn't drown.)

2. Print (from your web search) or draw 5 pictures of people engaging in the sport you selected.

3. Make a chart showing how many calories per hour are burned during this sport, and compare it to two other sports. Work with classmates on this part.

4. Write 5 word problems about your sport. (AHA. Actual math! But wait...the example given was "Sally runs the 100 meter dash in 6 minutes. Anne runs the 100 meter dash in 7 minutes 20 seconds. How much faster is Sally than Anne?" A better question would be why are Sally and Anne so amazingly slow?)

5. Draw or collect pictures of the equipment used for you sport. List the cost of each piece of equipment and how often it is used in each game.

6. Create a poster containing all of the information about your sport.

Can I also nominate my daughter's fourth grade social studies assignment - putting the major battles of the American Revolution into alphabetical order, because we all know that history makes much more sense when studied alphabetically rather than chronologically.

from exo:

Oh, gosh... that's terrible! (those parents of 120 students of mine SHOULD BE eternally greateful to me - I don't do projects in science!!! )

Well, in factI did one this year with my students - all done in class in a week and a half, including three lessons on ethograms, data clllection, design of the data tables, and research of background info including proper referencing. That was or exit project. Two of the best projects went for the city-wide Urban Advantage Science Expo at the museum of Natural History.

And here's the funny one: a child made a project in science (8th grade) researching the best place to hide the money on a person. She found that to be a pocket on tbe inside of the bra cap! Beat me, I don't know what kind of science is that, and what kind of teacher would take it for the city-wide expo!

from nbosch:

My oldest son did a science project in 8th grade that consisted of drawing a Kansas animal on a paper plate and writing 5 interesting facts on the back. Oh fine. I'm hoping things have gotten better.

from Karen A:

Sunflower Greetings to nbosch from a native Kansan now living in Illinois:

My report on the Wildcat--a Kansas animal:
1. Indigenous to the Manhattan area (that's Kansas, not New York).
2. Synonymous with Purple Pride.
3. Worst enemy is a Jayhawk.
4. Will answer to the name of Willie.
5. Likes to hang out in Aggieville.

[ed.: wait! that's not a project! that's a report]

from Vicky A:

Where to start!

All the animal talk has me thinking about this one (did I post this already??):

Integrated project between Science and Language Arts (amazing, isn't it?).

Pick an animal.

Research its physical adaptations to its environment.

Dress up as this animal (with three of the physical adaptations) and perform the rap verse in front of the class.

This was one of the weirdest but I have to admit, it was actually kind of fun (I had to really help with the rap though, LOL! Should I post it? You guys might get a kick out of it.) The dress up thing, however, was over the top, for my guy at least.

The illustrated bookmarks with the revolutionary war biographies that were required in social studies were not nearly as exotic, but much worse to do.

from lsquared:

I'm going to nominate the two weeks my daughter spent in both language arts and social studies making crafts for an end of the year fiesta (6th grade). The excuse was that it was a capstone for covering central and south america, but since the kids couldn't tell you where the objects they were making came from or what their significance was, I have a hard time buying into it.

from Tracy:

And here's the funny one: a child made a project in science (8th grade) researching the best place to hide the money on a person. She found that to be a pocket on tbe inside of the bra cap!

I have to know - how did she arrive at this result? Was it theoretical or empirical?

from smartest tractor:

At first I thought I should send the "winner" a prize, a bottle of wine and Advil perhaps. But now I am thinking if we get a bunch more, maybe the Kitchen Table Math Collective should send out an offical award every year to the teacher with the Worst Project Ever.

I'm game.

Seriously.

I am.

Keep 'em coming.

more t/k

Tracy said...

And here's the funny one: a child made a project in science (8th grade) researching the best place to hide the money on a person. She found that to be a pocket on tbe inside of the bra cap!

I have to know - how did she arrive at this result? Was it theoretical or empirical?

KarenA said...

nbosch . . .

Actually, I'm a Jayhawk as well; hubby is a Wildcat. I was going to do my "report" on the Jayhawk, but thought I would get marked down since it's a mythical bird, and not an animal . . . But, I might as well have since I failed the assignment anyway by doing a report and not a project. : )

Cassy said...

"unable to prove gravity by dropping 2 kids of fruit from a ladder"

Youch! Of course I meant 2 kinds of fruit. Although it would be funny if he had been dropping kids.;-)

We also had a debate on whether the moon affects tides, one science fair project found it did, the other found that it did not. Third graders are too much fun.

The principals are fans of science fairs. Last year they wanted to have a Living Museum, where kids learned all about a science subject and made a sign with a pretend button. Parents would then wander the campus and "push' the pretend buttons causing the child to spew what they knew about the subject.