Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Coffee Shop Physics

Posted on: August 29, 2011

I would like to have coffee available for the students while they work, but my administration frowns on kids having food and drink in the classroom.  But that is not where this story is going.

Last year, one of my students came into class second or third period and said how much he loves coming to my room.  I thought it was odd because he wasn’t a particularly enthusiastic physics student.  Then he said he loves the way my room smells.

Every morning I make a pot of coffee, often flavored with vanilla or hazelnut.  I never thought about the impact something like a nice smell has on making a student feel relaxed.  I’m still making coffee every morning, but this year I picked up a bunch of scented tea lights from IKEA.  These things smell so good, my son and I bought a pack of every flavor they offered.

I have heard stories of real estate agents putting a drop of vanilla on a warm oven at an open house to make the home subconsciously remind the potential buyers of home-made freshly baked cookies.  Maybe getting another one of their senses involved improves learning.


4 Responses to "Coffee Shop Physics"

I started to get a little excited – having some scent in the room would be cool, but then I remembered our school is Scent-free. Is that not an issue in your area?
No scents, no nuts.

I’ve never heard of being scent-free. So how does your school respond to the teenage boys who smell bad?

It’s added scents – so no Axe or perfumes. Try to avoid putting on smelly lipglosses or hand cream. It’s a work in progress, so the wording is attempt to be. We just remind them if they are perfumey. We had a girl once go into anylphalaxic from the scent.

Unfortunately, the boys are still smelly boys!

Hey, love this post. My students comment often how my room smells so good (like coffee!). I would also like to see students be able to have some caffeinated beverages that contain a heavenly scent. Maybe if they did, they wouldn’t fall asleep as much!

Anyway, love this blog. Its inspired me to start my own. If you get a minute, come check it out: Maybe we can swap some ideas, I’ve got some questions on standards based grading for use in Physics…

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What’s New in 2013/2014?

Every year brings a change, this one is no exception.

I will be picking up the sophomore honors Algebra II class to keep them separate from the juniors. This should help accelerate them and put them on a stronger track towards Calculus. Looks like there will be only one section each of Physics and Calculus, but still two of Robotics & Engineering.

Hot topics this year are going to be the Common-Core Standards, Standards-Based Grading (SBG), improving AP Calculus scores, and somehow adding Python, maybe as a club.

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