Week of December 5, 2016

There are only 2.6 weeks until winter break. After winter break there are just five days before exams. Time is flying, so be sure to check PowerSchool and keep on top of your work so that you can finish the semester like a champion!

This Week in Physics
On Monday we will continue to debrief PODCAST 5: Newton’s Laws of Motion – Second Law and will then complete an activity and assignment 5 together followed by a quiz as announced. (Note: 8th period, this podcast is due on Monday.) When announced please take notes on  PODCAST 6: Newton’s Laws of Motion – Third Law and will then complete an activity and assignment 6 together followed by the unit 3 test.
Friction lab report: Your lab report for the friction lab will be due on Friday, December 9. A hard copy is due at the start of class, and an upload to TurnItIn.com is due by 3:00 on that day. Use our writing guides to organize and create your reports properly: Lab Report Writing Guide and Lab Report Rubric. As always, you must write while logged onto you Google account on a shared Google Drive document. You must share your document with me as an editor. Use this email address: burgessm@alstudent.org. Note: Here are instructions for inserting the screenshot of the graph properly. 🙂 

Hot Science of the Week
There is much debate right now as our government shifts to a new administration about whether climate change is real or a hoax. The graph below from NASA shows greenhouse gas levels over the last 400,000 years. Rising ocean levels, acidification of our water supply, and extreme weather are among the consequences scientists say we’ll face due to climate change. In the Midwest, NASA predicts “Extreme heat, heavy downpours and flooding will affect infrastructure, health, agriculture, forestry, transportation, air and water quality, and more. Climate change will also exacerbate a range of risks to the Great Lakes [water supply.]” Geologists and environmental experts are considering renaming our current epoch the “antrhopocene” (anthro meaning human), calling this an era during which humans are the main cause of changes to Earth and its species. Are we? There’s buzz that in the coming administration NASA will lose much of its funding for climate change research, eliminating or seriously reducing funding for the satellites scientists use to monitor Earth’s climate. Politicians who believe that climate change is a hoax criticize it as “politicized science” and want to reduce environmental regulations in order to promote business growth. It’s a complex issue. What do you think?
This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Source: [[LINK||http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/||NOAA]])

Weeks of November 21 & 28, 2016

With Thanksgiving vacation coming, we only have two days during the week of November 21, so this entry covers the week of November 28, as well.

These Weeks in Physics
Morning classes: Your quiz over elastic force is on Monday. (Keep reading.)
Afternoon classes: Do assignment 3 as homework, due Monday 11/21 at the start of class. (8th/9th, you are basically done. Just be sure you’ve got it 100% complete.) Your quiz over elastic force will be Tuesday. (Keep reading.)
Morning classes: Please take notes on PODCAST 4: Newton’s Laws of Motion – First Law (Inertia) for Monday. (Keep reading.)
Afternoon classes: This podcast is due for you on Tueday. (Keep reading.)
All classes: We will discuss this podcast in class and will then complete assignment 4 together followed by a quiz as announced. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 5: Newton’s Laws of Motion – Second Law. We will discuss this in class and will then complete an activity and assignment 5 together followed by a quiz as announced. As discussed in class, we are delaying the friction lab until right after Thanksgiving break so that it’s fresh in your minds while you write the lab report. Expect to do this experiment on Monday or Tuesday upon returning, with a formal lab report due the following week.

 

Cool Science of these Weeks
Meet the Balloonatics! This is the team of people who engineer the balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and believe it or not, they use PHYSICS…some of the same physics we’ve been learning, in fact! Here’s a short video from Science Friday that shows you how it’s done! Below the video I’ve included the science of cranberries, which I think is really cool.

The science of CRANBERRIES! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to make homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Did you know that cranberries are grown in BOGS? They’re grown on vines like strawberries, but they thrive if those vines are planted in wetlands. That’s cool. Also, 60% of our cranberries come from Wisconsin, while 25% come from Massachusetts, and if you have the chance to head out to those states, you can go to a cranberry farm (like we go to blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry farms here.) Here’s a little more information and a couple of awesome pictures.

Week of November 14, 2016

This Week in Physics!
First, let’s talk about the lab report, which is due on Wednesday.

  • Use our writing guides to organize and create your reports properly: Lab Report Writing Guide and Lab Report Rubric
  • The following document sums up the debrief we did in class regarding the lab. You can use it to guide your writing: Human Cannonball Lab
  • As always, you must write while logged onto you Google account on a shared Google Drive document. You must share your document with me as an editor. Use this email address: burgessm@alstudent.org.
  • As always, you must upload your lab report to TurnItIn.com by 3:00 on the day the lab is due (Wednesday.)

Now onto the rest of the week…
By Monday be sure you’ve taken notes on Podcast 2: Friction. We will discuss this podcast and then do assignment 2 together followed by a quiz on the day after we do the assignment. Next we will perform the Friction Lab. This will take us toward the end of the week. If announced, please take notes on Podcast 3: Elastic Force.

Cool Science of the Week
How can there be a lake, nicknamed the Jaccuzi of Despair, under the Gulf of Mexico? Density, of course! About 100 feet wide and 12 feet at its deepest, this dense brine liquid contains such a lethal does of salt that anything that accidentally swims into it dies a painful death. 🙁 The liquid that makes up the lake is so much denser than the salt water above it that it has sunk almost 4000 feet to the bottom of the Gulf. (P.S. Animal lovers, don’t worry…The fish makes it!)

Week of November 7, 2016

There are only two weeks and two days until Thanksgiving break…Can you believe it???

This Week in Physics
For Monday please take notes on Unit 3 Podcast 1: Net External Force, Weight, and Normal Force. We will go over these in class and then do assignment 1 followed by a quiz on the day after we finish that assignment. When announced, please take notes on Unit 3 Podcast 2: Friction. We will go over these in class and then do assignment  2 followed by a quiz on the day after we finish that assignment. This will prep us for our Friction Lab, which will lead us to a formal lab report.
Speaking of formal lab reports: Your formal lab report for the unit 2 projectiles lab is due for 1st period and 4th period classes on Thursday, November 10. The 8th and 11th period classes have this lab due on Monday, November 14. Remember these key requirements:
** You and your writing partner must each write under your own Google account using a shared document.
** You must also share this document with me as an editor, not a viewer at burgessm@alstudent.org. (Note that this is a new email address.)
** You must upload your finished lab report to TurnItIn.com by 3:00 on the due date.
** Be sure to follow all instructions given in class regarding lab report content and format.

Cool Science of the Week
This past week we discussed the behavior of orbiting objects as projectile motion. We also discussed what happens if the horizontal velocity component is too small to create an orbit. Here’s a “fun” simulator from Purdue University to play with to see what would happen if asteroids of various densities, sizes, velocities, and impact angles were to hit Earth. Given that this is what scientists are confident caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, this adds up to one interesting website!
Impact Earth

Week of Halloween 2016

Welcome to the first week of a new quarter! Grades are starting fresh!

NOW IS YOUR CHANCE to let me know what you think of this class! Please click this link and fill out the short five-question anonymous survey so that I can adjust to help you make the most of your academic experience. The survey closes next Friday, November 4.

This Week in Physics
If your class hasn’t already done so, we will finish assignment 3 followed by a quiz over goal set 3 as announced. Next we’ll examine upwardly-launched projectiles and will do the Human Cannonball lab (which is a lot of fun!) We are aiming for our unit 2 test by Friday.

Cool Science of the Week
In the spirit of the season, let’s talk about BEING AFRAID!
What’s the one weird thing ALL humans fear?

What’s with the fear of clowns?

So…How can we get over our fears?

These videos are created by the DNews YouTube channel, which answers questions such as Can Dogs and Cats Be Left-Handed? DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories and perspectives you won’t find anywhere else. New videos every day of the week!”

Week of October 24, 2016

This is the last week of the quarter, so be sure to check PowerSchool for any missing/late assignments.

This Week in Physics
1st period: On Monday you will take a quiz over all of goal set 1. Then we will continue debriefing podcast 3. When announced please take notes on podcast 4. We will spend the week analyzing conceptual and quantitative projectile problems. This will include doing assignment 3 and taking a quiz. Expect your unit test and a lab next week.
3rd period: We will continue to explore projectile motion by analyzing conceptual and quantitative projectile problems. This will include doing assignment 3 and taking a quiz. When announced please also take notes on podcast 4. Expect your unit test and a lab next week.
8th period: See 3rd period. You’re totally going to copycat them.
11th period: Please take notes on podcast 3 for Monday. We will explore projectile motion by analyzing conceptual and quantitative projectile problems. This will include doing assignment 3 and taking a quiz. When announced please also take notes on podcast 4. Expect your unit test and a lab next week.

Spooky Science of the Week
Why does monster movie music scare us? Or why do screams make us shudder? And what’s it like to unwrap a 3000-year-old mummy? Most important, how can I make bloody-broken glass cupcakes? Ask Ira Flatow of NPR’s Science Friday radio show! NPR (public radio) has a weekly show called Science Friday that plays every Friday from 2:00-4:00 on our local NPR station (90.3 FM.) It’s a great show with lots of cool stories about science news. And, yes, in months other than October they cover LOTS of fantastic science stories that are not at all spooky!
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The music from the movie classic Psycho typifies sounds that alarm our species.

Week of October 17, 2016

There are two weeks left to this quarter, so let’s finish strong! Note: On Wednesday we will have significantly reduced time together due to the special bell schedule associated with the administration of the PSAT.

This Week in Physics
We will finish assignment 1 together in class, and then on the day after we finish that assignment we will take a quiz over everything from goal set 1 except for vector resolution. Also for the day after we finish assignment 1, please take notes on PODCAST 2: Vector Resolution. We will do a short assignment (assignment 2) followed by a quiz on the day after that assignment is due. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 3: A Conceptual Look at Projectile Motion. Reality check: With all of the challenges to our schedule in the past few weeks due to testing, assemblies, and field trips, it is highly unlikely that we will have our unit 2 test before the end of the quarter. Therefore please be sure to study well for the quizzes described above.

Cool Science of the Week
Recently one of our classes was talking about nature’s toughest critter, the 1mm long tardigrade. Fun fact: It can be almost completely dehydrated so that it is, in essence, a non-functioning life form, yet it can later be re-hydrated, at which time it reassembles itself and goes on with living! Fun fact: It can go into outerspace and not only survive completely exposed to the low temperatures, vacuum, and extreme radiation of space living, but it can even lay eggs in outerspace…and the eggs hatch, and the babies live! Fun fact: Some research on the tardigrade genome map suggest that up to 17% of its DNA is foreign, meaning it does not match any potential evolutionary ancestors! All of this has led some true believers to conclude that tardigrades are an alien species brought to Earth on a meteor. Admittedly they certainly look unlike any other critter, but truth or fiction? You decide! 🙂

Osos de Agua puede sobrevivir sin comida ni agua durante m s de una d cada3wodo1 400

Animation credit: Science Alert, November 25, 2015

Week of October 10, 2016

This week is only THREE DAYS LONG for students! I’m sorry you’ll have to miss so much school! Please remind your parents that parent-teacher conferences are this week. They can drop-in without an appointment on Wednesday evening or schedule an appointment for Thursday’s daytime conferences.

This Week in Physics
1st and 4th: For Monday please take notes on Unit 2 PODCAST 1: Introduction to Projectiles. We will discuss this podcast and then do some practice problems and assignments 1 & 2. There will be a quiz over goal set 1 on the day after we finish those assignments. This will likely take us well into next week.
8th and 11th periods: Due to field trip, assembly, and testing disruptions, if you are in 8th or 11th period, your unit 1 test is on Monday. Use your learning goals as your study guide. Please be sure to complete your learning goal packets to turn in on the day of the test. Then For Tuesday please take notes on Unit 2 PODCAST 1: Introduction to Projectiles. We will discuss this podcast and then do some practice problems and assignment 1 & 2. There will be a quiz over goal set 1 on the day after we finish those assignments. This will likely take us well into next week.

Cool Science of the Week
OK, admittedly this is cool MATH of the week, but we love analytical skills in physics, and Cleveland loves a champion, so we’re going with it! You may have heard of the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog. This website uses complex statistical algorithms to make predictions about everything from sports to elections, and this blog is famous for being spooky right with its predictions. Math works! With the Indians in the playoffs, I’m open to any encouragement I can get, and right now FirveThirtyEight predicts that Cleveland will beat Boston. Yes, please!

Week of October 3, 2016

There are four weeks left to first quarter…Let’s keep going strong!

This Week in Physics
By Monday please be sure to take notes on Motion in One Dimension Podcast 9 – Introduction to Free FallMotion in One Dimension Podcast 10 – Free Fall Sample Problems, and Motion in One Dimension Podcast 11 – Terminal Velocity if you have not already done so. On Monday, Tuesday, and (possibly) Wednesday we will finish up our examination of the kinematic equations and free fall and do assignment 5 to prepare us for our  unit 1 test, which will be Wednesday or Thursday. Please read the following additional assignments for each class period:
1st period: We will take a quiz on Monday over the kinematic equations. Do not memorize them but be prepared to apply them to analyze problems. Anyone who didn’t finish assignment 4 in class should do so for Monday.
4th period: Same as 1st period
8th period: Anyone who didn’t finish assignment 4 in class should do so for Monday. Our kinematics quiz will be Tuesday.
11th period: Same as 8th period

Cool Science of the Week
Did you know that if you’re of European, Asian, or Middle Eastern origin, science says that 2% of your genes likely come from Neanderthals, and this makes you (and me) genetically less “fit”? Our Hominid relatives the Neanderthals (of which scientists say we have a common ancestor but are on a separate branch of the evolutionary tree – i.e., we are not evolved from Neanderthals) had about a 40% weaker genetic fitness than Homo sapiens (humans) due to many maladaptive genetic mutations. This lack of fitness likely led to the eventual extinction of the Neanderthal species. However, they interbred with Homo sapiens (us), essentially weakening the genetic makeup of the human species for today’s humans of Non-African ancestry. Neanderthals didn’t live in Africa, so humans of African ancestry did not experience this interbreeding and are therefore considered more fit genetically. These results were published this past June by the Genetics Society of America. Disclaimer: The results shared here are from scientists and are shared because this is a science-based educational website. All views of the creation of humans, including alternate views, are to be respected in my classroom.

Neanderthal man…looking for love in all the wrong places

Week of September 26, 2016

It’s the last week of September and the first full week of fall! Time is flying!

Please consider VOTING for our Marching Shoremen in the Best High School Band in Greater Cleveland contest! You can vote more than once (after a cooling off period.) We’ve moved up from 9th to 7th in a few short hours, so WE CAN DO IT!!! 🙂

Due to the special bell schedule and reduced class time this past Wednesday, we are repeating some of the things from last week’s blog because we did not get to them.

This Week in Physics
On Monday we will finish assignments 2 & 3 so that we can take a quiz over goal set 3 on Tuesday. Also for Tuesday please take notes on Motion in One Dimension Podcast 7 – Introduction to Kinematic Equations and Motion in One Dimension Podcast 8 – Kinematic Equations Sample Problem. Then for Wednesday please take notes on Motion in One Dimension Podcast 9 – Introduction to Free FallMotion in One Dimension Podcast 10 – Free Fall Sample Problems, and Motion in One Dimension Podcast 11 – Terminal Velocity. We will do assignment 4 toward the end of the week. Expect your unit 1 test early next week. NOTE: 11th period had the least class time with me last week due to the special bell schedule. You will follow these assignments one day behind the rest of the other classes. On Monday and Tuesday we will finish assignments 2 & 3.

Cool Science of the Week
In an interesting mix of chemistry, photography, and race relations, this video explains the evolution of the chemical composition of photographic film as companies have striven to correct an older bias toward light skin tones in pictures. Science plays a role in all facets of life!