ERIC Number: ED400319
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
"This Is True: That's How It Is.": The Bouncing Car and the Development of Complexity.
Noble, Tracy; And Others
This paper reports on results of a series of three group interviews with three high school sophomores who used a motion detector to explore a mechanical device, the Bouncing Car device, that can display periodic and chaotic behaviors. The ways that students interacted with the Bouncing Car and used their body motions and imaginations to try to experience the motions the device made were observed. Observations suggest that an important contribution to student interactions with physical devices of this sort comes from their reflections on everyday bodily experience. Four episodes in the students' work with the device are described, showing the growth of a sense of complexity throughout these episodes, from their initial descriptions of behaviors obvious to them to a sense of the ways in which the Bouncing Car's behavior is fundamentally unpredictable. This development supports the notion that complexity or simplicity are not "in the device," but grow in the course of experience with the device, and that complexity is not a given, but an outcome of the active participation in the conversation about and experimentation with the tools at hand. (Contains four figures and three references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A