With all this figuring out, we went back to our DQB to see what we still needed to figure out and how we could best do that during a remote setting! With a few videos from Brainpop! and YouTube, we answered all our questions...
We may also have talked about how in some cities, you're seeing a usage of the one-way mirror in a very interesting place! We considered how even though it seems like an odd place to utilize a one-way mirror, we knew the science behind it and you'd be perfectly ok using this public restroom and still maintain your privacy!
Recognizing we had figured out so much, we went back to Mr. Bean/the Men and the one-way mirror to put all the pieces together. How could we represent why Mr. Bean saw only himself and not the men? And why the men only saw Mr. Bean but not themselves? Check out these students ideas:
We've figured out sooooo much!
By using the light meter, we were able to figure out a lot of key ideas:
1. If we saw things, they reflected light--some more than others (including Mrs. Brinza's face and a mirror...LOL)!
2. Light sources gave off a LOT of light (duh).
3. When there was no light, there was a reading of 0 lux.
4. When light transmitted through something, we still saw a number on the light meter.
All the data were helping understand what is going on with various materials. We worked together to develop models for both our regular mirror and for our clear plastic lid.
If a regular mirror reflected all the light that was presented at it, and a clear lid reflected and transmitted light, then how could we apply these ideas to the one-way mirror which we've been so curious about, knowing that it reflects light (when Mr. Bean/Elmo sees himself) and it transmits light (when the men/figurines see Mr. Bean/Elmo on the other side)? Check out these ideas:
Our discussion was rich and really eye opening...some of the models were showing nothing different than the regular mirror or the clear plastic lid, and we know that the one-way mirror is different. Other models were showing how light can transmit through a reflective material, which can't be the case, right??? We slowly built consensus that worked towards a model that was seemingly different than the others at the start.
Working remotely has certainly presented some challenges! Students were asked to be reflective on how their ideas in what they thought the one-way mirror should be structured had changed after we built consensus, and Mrs. Brinza was certainly impressed at how thoughtful these 6th graders have been!
After a deep discussion we came to the following agreement:
1. Everything reflects some amount of light if light is present.
2. If there's no light, no light can be measured as reflecting or transmitting.
3. Our characters (and even Mrs. Brinza) reflect light even though they're not shiny like a mirror or glass.
4. A one-way mirror does indeed reflect and transmit light. It reflects more light that it transmits.
5. A regular mirror is different than a one-way mirror as it doesn't transmit any light! It reflects A LOT!
6. A clear object (in this case Mrs. Brinza had a clear plastic lid) reflects some light and transmits a whole lot!
All this data collection is helping us to better explain what happens with the light as it interacts with different materials. Is there a way to model this? And see at a zoomed-in level what is really going on with the light when it reaches different materials? We shall see!
Even though we felt good about our models and why we see certain things in respect to the one-way mirror, the location, and the light, we still had questions about two big ideas:
1. Does light really reflect off of Elmo and the Men? They aren't shiny and reflective like a mirror is, but we know there has to be light in order to see (that's what the dark room helped us really nail down).
2. We get that light must reflect off the mirror and transmit through it, but that's super odd how it can do both.
We were thinking that it would be great if we could get quantitative data to support this. Numbers don't lie, so we'd like proof that light reflects off of Elmo and the men, as well as numeric proof that light can reflect off of and transmit through a one-way mirror. If we can measure length, weight, and even sound, can't we measure light, too?
After a TON of discussion, students were in agreement that the best way to figure out how the one-way mirror works was to get one and build a model. With lots of hard work, students began building the models with whatever materials they had!
We agreed to set up a bunch of tests to answer these questions:
If students had trouble building the model, they could use Mrs. Brinza's model to help!
We created a summary chart of our findings together and realized we could answer some of questions:
It's always one thing to have all these questions about something that we just KNOW science can help us explain, but it's a whole other thing when we realize we've got to figure out just HOW we can answer our questions...
We had a really honest conversation as a class to discuss the many challenges that remote learning puts in place. But one area that especially hit home is recognizing that the Internet is right at our fingertips opening another tab and searching for our answers. We're trying hard as a class to resist doing so and doing the work of real scientists, and that is that the answers aren't always available to us. That's the work of science, right?
So we still committed ourselves to developing an Investigation Ideas chart, and look at what the 6th grade came up with!!!
Students were then challenged to think about which investigations we should start with, knowing that we're working remotely and materials might be an area of concern. Here's a snapshot of some students' ideas!
With lots of discussions in breakout rooms, we agreed that making a model might actually be the best idea, knowing getting an expert might be a challenge and going somewhere with a one-way mirror might be a bit of a challenge during a pandemic. With a quick search online, Mrs. Brinza found an affordable roll of one-way mirror film and dropped it off at school for students to pick up.
In the interim, we brainstormed materials we could use for our model, and between flashlights, tape/glue, small things for the men (mini-figures, candles, paper clips, etc), Amazon boxes, and cereal boxes, we're feeling pretty good about making our models! We're even thinking how a model WITHOUT the one-way mirror film might be helpful, too!
Mrs. Brinza built one herself to help with the construction of the boxes. Of course, she won't use it until students have theirs built, and if students had trouble making one, they can utilize the one Mrs. Brinza made (alongside videos she creates and shares based on what students want her to do with the model). We've got lots to investigate!
So over Thanksgiving Break, Mrs. Brinza managed to lie on the couch and watch some mindless TV. She came across an old-school movie that managed to make her laugh, alongside presenting a really interesting phenomenon!
Check this out!
Ok, so Mr. Bean is pretty ridiculous, but what students noticed and wondered was pretty cool.
We recognized that this setup with Mr. Bean and the men behind the one-way mirror reminded us of similar, yet different experiences we've had. We shared our ideas on our related phenomena chart:
We also built out our initial consensus model, recognizing that we had some questions! We turned all our questions into our DQB!