The first content based topic I get to with my students in Plate Tectonics. I'd really like to have my students use SketchUp to construct their final project which will be a model of one of the three types of plate boundaries (Convergent, Divergent, and Transform). Working with a partner, either in their class or not, students would construct the model and using their "base" students would create a stop motion animation of how their boundary works. They would take screen shots when they are done with each step and then use them in a movie creator. The students don't have Macbooks at my school so we can't use iMovie but there are a lot of web-based movie creators that they can use.
I want the students to be comfortable with SketchUp so I will have at least one class devoted to learning the basics. Most likely it'll take the form of how we learned SketchUp our last day of STI2011 as more of a student lead learning process. I also want them to use this program because our our CADD program that they can apply to get into sophomore year. The teacher of that program uses SketchUp as a basis of learning for the more professional drafting software that they use. I feel as though I would be helping my students get a leg up on that type of programing.
During this process I'll be taking pictures and short movies to load on either my school website or a blog that I'll create for this project. As the project moves forward students will have the option to start taking the pictures and videos and loading them to my computer. If I have this on my school site it's run from FirstClass so I wouldn't want them to be able to access my email!