Education Technology

Science Friction!, a TI-Nspire™ math and science activity grounded in an enduring action comics and film genre, puts students in the role of an arch-villain’s minions who experiment with different substances to foil a STEM-tastic Superhero.

Appropriate for Physical Science and Algebra 1 students, the simulation lets them test oil, water and ice to determine which is most effective at slowing down the Superhero to keep him from saving the day.

The activity was developed in collaboration with Adam Weiner, a high school physics educator, public speaker, and the author of “Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies.”

Science Friction! encourages students to explore Newton’s second and third laws of motion by engaging them in the STEM concepts of force and friction.

In the activity, students use TI-Nspire™ technology’s Data & Statistics application to determine the mass of an object from force and acceleration data and calculate the maximum static friction force for the various surfaces to explain what happens to the Superhero in the simulation.

Adam Weiner

Superheroes Expert

“Woah…how’d they do that?” “Wait a minute…is that even possible?” When it comes to Superhero abilities, one man knows the answer. Meet Adam Weiner, the STEM Behind Hollywood multi-talented Superhero Expert. Besides unveiling the secrets behind Hollywood-movie-magic, Adam is also a physics educator, author, and public speaker.

His interest in making connections between popular culture and physics education serve him well as an educator at The Bishops School—an independent high school in La Jolla, CA. Adam successfully engages his students with it while making the learning process fun. In fact, he’s known to analyze movie scenes with them to illustrate the magic of science on the screen. This experience led to his authoring the book Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies.

“The book came out of an annual class project we started years ago, in which students took scenes from movies and applied their knowledge of physics to de-construct them. They really had fun with it, and I saw it as an opportunity to reach a broader audience,” he recalls. His fondness for words continued as a contributing writer for Popular Science Magazine online.

Along with teaching and writing, public speaking is another outlet for his love of all things science. Adam has imparted his expertise nationwide at impressive educational and entertainment venues. They include The Academy of Motion Pictures; Comic-Con; The USA Science and Engineering Festival; and the National Science Teachers Association.


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