The Spreadsheet Lab Manual

FAQ

Spreadsheet Lab Manual

  1. What is it?

    The Spreadsheet Lab Manual is a collection of original multidisciplinary activities that enhance the high school Science and Math curriculum with computer programming on a spreadsheet. Students are guided to write a simulation or solve a multiple step problem starting from a blank spreadsheet.

    They will then conduct a guided inquiry based analysis of the simulation or solve a variety of problems (questions and keys provided).  It provides skills that are essential for college and a wide range of 21st Century jobs.

  2. What does it include?

    The Spreadsheet Lab Manual can be purchased as a disk including electronic copies of 21 activity handouts, answer keys, completed spreadsheets, introductory powerpoint files.  Teacher tips and other organizational training materials are also provided to help get teachers started right away with teaching on spreadsheets in the classroom. The cost of this is 149 dollars.

    Click to view Activity Descriptions and Content Areas

  3. Why should I want it for my students?

    If you agree with the premise that students should graduate high school knowing how to manage and analyze data effectively and efficiently and you do not know where to start, start here. 

    Show students in Physics how drag force actually causes projectiles to behave! 

    Show students in Chemistry why they over titrate if they use one drop too many!

    Show Bio and Environmental students how populations grow and how predators and prey populations are dependent!

    Show them how an asymptote works (simply but powerfully)!

  4. How does an activity typically run?

    PRINT, PRESENT, PROCTOR.

    For any given activity:  Print the handouts for the students, present the introductory powerpoint file, and proctor and circulate as they investigate and calculate using the spreadsheet model they created.  They learn by doing and you reinforce and master Excel by guiding the students while still learning from them

    Great teachers have a variety of instructional techniques... Add another with The Spreadsheet Lab Manual.

     

  5. Why did you write it?

    I had little prior experience and therefore had difficulty with spreadsheets while in college as a chemical engineer. When I started teaching Physics I wanted my students to be fully prepared to succeed in STEM majors and computing background is essential.

    The biggest motivating factor to expand across all disciplines to write the activities of The Spreadsheet Lab Manual has been my student reactions and other teacher reactions to the activities.  Students have clearly shown significant improvements after completing only a small number of activities.

  6. Is teacher training in this area necessary?

    No. Provided with each activity is a PowerPoint presentation that concisely summarizes the key objectives, spreadsheet functions and troubleshooting tips for each of the activities. Also provided are answer keys that include detailed descriptions of the spreadsheet manipulations required to solve each problem. 

    Also included on the disk is a separate multidisciplinary training manual (9 Quick Activities) which provides a foundational skills set with spreadsheets so even teachers with minimal background on Excel can immediately incorporate activities from The Spreadsheet Lab Manual in their course curriculum.

  7. Is in service training available to compliment purchase of the manual?

    Yes. Contact Michael McConnell at michaelmcconnell@spreadsheetlabmanual.com if interested.

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