Technology in Sports

Background

In the summer of 2009, Mr. Choi and Mr. Leung of Hebron Secondary School noted the controversial issue of the possible ban of “shark skin” swimsuits as a result of the unexpected high rate of record-breaking events during an international swimming competition in Italy. They felt that it would be a valuable context to teach about the interconnection between science, technology and society (STS). The topic, use of technology in sports in this case, was both timely and relevant to the interest of their students. It was also appropriate for integration into the topic of mechanics that they would be teaching at the beginning of the academic year.

After Mr. Choi and Mr. Leung had introduced the fundamental physical quantities related to the motion of an object (time, distance, displacement, speed, velocity, acceleration) in the first three weeks of the term, they decided to conduct the lesson on the Ban of Shark Skin Swimsuits which would promote students’ understanding of the STS connections. It was interesting to note that the choice of the context and their design of the instructional materials bore considerable similarities to the story of SARS used in the training workshop to enhance their understanding of IabS, e.g. the context chosen was immediate, contemporary, and familiar to the learners. Mr. Choi and Mr. Leung collaboratively planned the lesson sequence and prepared the instructional materials. They taught their respective S4 class on the same day. Mr. Leung observed Mr. Choi’s lesson which was conducted in the morning. Mr. Leung made further modification of their lesson plan in the afternoon after having noted possible areas of improvement based on Mr. Choi’s morning lesson.

The selected lesson episodes of Mr. Choi and Mr. Leung were essentially those we selected for the participating teachers of the schools for review, discussion and reflection for helping each other to further develop their pedagogical content knowledge. It was also an opportunity for teachers to know what IabS their students in other science classes had learned so that they could attempt to draw linkages to what they were about to teach to the same classes.