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Re: Mathematica Animations by High School Students

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  • Subject: [mg102165] Re: Mathematica Animations by High School Students
  • From: Helen Read <hpr at>
  • Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 05:55:11 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <h4h1ss$i9q$> <h4rp6s$kuc$>
  • Reply-to: HPR <read at>

relishguy wrote:
> Hello Helen:
> These are interesting. You should consider getting them to make some
> of these into "Manipulations" and submit them to the demonstrations
> site.

The students are scattered to the four winds. We had them for a week at 
the Vermont Governor's Institute in Mathematical Sciences, and I had 
them for only a single 75-minute session to do a little Mathematica.

> You mentioned the Classromm Assistant palette to help mitigate the
> syntax issues. Did they modify the after the assistant put out some
> syntax?

We started with the Classroom Assistant palette to grab templates for 
the plotting commands that we used, and filled in the slots and added 
some options, using the palette for things like exponents, square roots, 
fractions, sine/cosine buttons, etc. Once they got going, they did some 
copy/paste/edit of what they already had. It worked very well, 
especially considering the limited time available.

I've also been using the Classroom Assistant with my university 
students, beginning in January 2009 when we first installed Mathematica 
7 in our classrooms. Normally on Day 1 of a new semester, we have had to 
talk about capital letters, square brackets and curly braces, etc. Now 
with the Classroom Assistant, on the first day I show them where to find 
templates for what they need, so that they are up and running quickly, 
with very little discussion of syntax. The students gradually pick up 
the syntax on their own -- and at their own pace -- simply by using it, 
and become less dependent on the Classroom Assistant palette as their 
familiarity with Mathematica increases.This has eased the learning curve 
a great deal.

Helen Read
University of Vermont

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