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Today I presented my students with a goal less problem (Thanks to Kelly O’Shea for the great idea) as a culminating activity to a section on the photoelectric effect experiment. Students were given the stem above, and, working in groups, asked to develop questions based on the scenario. I gave the students a target of 8 questions, gave some rules to avoid redundant or “silly” questions. We also decided as a group to not allow adding of new information (although I think allowing to “create” 1 or 2 more pieces of information might allow for students to demonstrate more understanding)

I was hoping for two outcomes: 1) Students would identify the potential for a diversity of questions based on one scenario, and 2) Students would begin to anticipate possible questions that may appear on their Physics 30 Diploma Exam. I think both were achieved, and the questions they came up with were distilled to the ones shown here.

The bonus was that it made for enjoyable class for me; I monitored  groups as they developed their question, facilitated a discussion about which were the “best” questions and then assigned the questions for homework!