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Need a new analogy







Many of the topics I cover when I teach anatomy and physiology are not intuitive. I have to find analogies to help my students visualize what I am saying. When we cover chemistry, I have to explain isomers. These are compounds that have the same chemical formula but different structures. In past semesters, I have used Tinker Toys to illustrate this concept. If I give each student the same assortment of wheels and dowels and asked them to build something using all of their allotted Tinker Toys, each of their structures would have the same composition but be shaped differently. They would be isomers.

Yesterday was the lecture on isomers. I spoke of Tinker Toys. I got blank stares. I have now hit the point where none of my students have ever seen much less played with Tinker Toys. That is so sad. Am I really that old?

Comments

RAnn said…
I didn't think we were quite there yet. I have a 20 yo, a 17 yo and an 8 yo and one huge difference I found over those years is that few of the big kids' toys when they were very young took batteries; now even the baby toys do.
Peter Brown said…
Yes, you are that old :-). (I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that my students cannot remember typewriters.)

Maybe try it with Legos?

Peace,
--Peter
Barb, ofs said…
My kids only have tinker toys because they received them as hand-me-downs. And they're plastic.

Your students MIGHT understand K'Nex. They were big when my son (now 20) was 8-11 years old or so. But not too many kids younger than that will recognize them either.

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