Week of March 27, 2017

It’s the start of FOURTH QUARTER! That’s amazing!

This Week in Physics
We will spend Monday and Tuesday reviewing for the “end-of-course” exam, which will take place on Wednesday. This exam covers all material from all six units we’ve explored thus far this year. As much as I’d like to have you take notes on the first podcast from unit 7 for Thursday, I do not want you to have any more homework this week after the exam, so we will cover the material from unit 7 PODCAST 1: Introduction to Electrostatics, Conductors, Insulators, and Methods of Charging (Friction, Conduction, Induction, and Polarization) in class on Thursday and Friday. By the time we toss in a few mini-experiments, that should fill up our time for this week.

Cool Science of the Week
Baby sloths make the CUTEST sounds. Like, seriously. They’re basically squeak toys. Check out this sweet video from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, which focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation and research of sloths as well as conserving their rainforest habitat.

Image result for baby sloth

Week of March 20, 2017

This is the final week of the third quarter grading period, so please check your assignments and grades on PowerSchool. All late work is due by Wednesday for partial credit. (Those who are have been absent in the past few days should see me to plan for your due dates.)

This Week in Physics
On TUESDAY we will quiz over circular motion (unit 6 goal set 1) as covered in unit 6 podcasts 1 & 2. (First period: This is different from what I told you in class. I was a LIAR! It’s Tuesday.) If you have not completed goal set 1, be sure it is done by Monday. You may find the Centripetal Force Awesome Rock ‘n’ Roll Song to be helpful if you listen to it a few times and learn the lyrics. Following the quiz we will quickly go through the material from PODCAST 3: Gravitation & Planetary Orbits to prepare for assignment 2, which we will do together in class. Because we will go over the material on gravity so quickly, it is imperative that you take notes on the very short podcast if you have not yet done so. We will also do an online lab on planetary motion and then will take the unit 6 test on Wednesday or Thursday. This will be the last grade for third quarter, so if you are absent on Thursday, please be ready to take the test on the day that you return. (If you are absent on Wednesday, as well, you may have until Monday to take the test.) END OF COURSE TEST: This comprehensive test covering material from all six units we’ve studied this year will take place on Wednesday, March 29.

Cool Science of the Week
A classic sign of warm weather is the monarch butterfly, whose population worldwide just twenty years ago was over one billion. Sadly, due to deforestation (chopping down the world’s forests to make way for agriculture) and climate change, the population of monarch butterflies today is just 10% of its 1996 numbers. Just 10%! Consider that. Why does it matter beyond simply being sad? Scientists watch populations of small animals such as insects and amphibians in part because these animals are more responsive to environmental changes than we are, and therefore they are harbingers of changes that may affect humans.

636227569107676912-monarch-butterflies-650.jpg

Week of March 13, 2017

There are just two weeks left to this quarter, so be sure to check PowerSchool for any late or missing assignments.

This Week in Physics
On Monday we will finish discussing material from podcasts 1 & 2 from our circular motion unit and will complete assignment 1 together in class through Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. On Tuesday we will take a quiz over the concepts and calculations of frequency and period. On Thursday (or as announced) we will take a quiz over circular motion. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 3: Gravitation & Planetary Orbits. Expect the unit test by next Wednesday, March 22 at the latest. The End-of-Course “SLO” test will take place on the following Wednesday, March 29. Please begin reviewing your goal packets and notes from unit 1 through 6.

Cool Science of the Week
Check out this beautiful archived visualization from NASA of our ocean currents. Turn your sound on and zen out 🙂 Perpetual Ocean

Week of March 6, 2017

This week you have no classes on Thursday and Friday due to parent-teacher conferences. (See below under the Cool Science of the Week.)

This Week in Physics
On Monday we will take our test over the momentum unit.  For Tuesday please take notes on PODCAST 1: Circular Motion part 1 AND PODCAST 2: Circular Motion part 2. These podcasts are longer than usual (about thirty minutes in total), but they comprise almost all of the material for this unit, which is very short. We will go over this material on Tuesday and will then do assignment 1, followed by a quiz on the day after we complete the assignment. Since this is a short week with a lot of material, it is possible we may not take the quiz until next week. 

Cool Science of the Week
Cool twin study time! From March 27, 2015 through March 2, 2016 astronaut Scott Kelly and Cosmonaut  Mikhail Korniyenko spent a year living in space aboard the International Space Station. The purpose was to see how well the human body could handle possible future travel to other places, such as Mars. In a twist of super-convenient fate, Scott Kelly has a TWIN! His brother, Mark Kelly, is a retired astronaut, and NASA has released information about how their bodies compared after Scott’s year in space. Among many differences: Scott’s GENES changed while in space! Scott became TALLER than his brother! And many, many more…wild! Video link

Conferences: Avon Lake High School will be hosting parent/teacher conferences on Wednesday, March 8th from 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and again on Thursday, March 9th all day. You do not need to make an appointment for conferences on March 8th. Feel free to stop in anytime between 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to see your child’s teacher. However, if you will be joining us on March 9th, you will need to make an appointment by clicking THIS LINK.  If you’re having trouble signing up, please give us a call here in the office and ask for Mrs. Wetzig. Just a reminder, there is no school for students on March 9th or March 10th. 

Week of February 27, 2017

There are four more weeks until the end of the third quarter, and March starts this week. Time is flying by!

This Week on Physics
On Monday we will take a quiz over goal set 2 (classifying collisions based on system kinetic energy.) Also for Monday please take notes on PODCAST 3: The Impulse-Momentum Theorem. We will discuss this podcast in class and will then analyze impulse and momentum change data through the Impulse-Momentum Theorem Lab. After that we will do  assignment 4. Expect the momentum unit test by the end of this week or (more likely) early next week.

Cool Science of the Week
This week NASA announced the discovery of a solar system a mere 40 light years away (relatively close) that has SEVEN small, rocky planets, three of which are in the “habitable zone,” the region around a star in which a planet could have liquid water and a temperate climate and could, therefore, harbor life.* The system is called TRAPPIST-1, and the planets are so close together that if you lived on one, you’d be able to see other planets in the sky in such detail that you could see their atmospheres! Scientists’ next step is to analyze chemical signatures of the planets to determine if they have water along with other chemical conditions required by Earth-like life forms. Video link

Do you think if you lived there you’d take vacations from one planet to another?

*Given how close they are to the star, the intensity of the star’s radiation, and the potential for atmospheric composition, all seven could have liquid water!

 

 

Week of February 20, 2017

This will be a short week as we observe Presidents’ Day on Monday.

This Week in Physics
If you have not already done so (which would have been a mistake 😉 ) please take notes on PODCAST 2: Types of Collisions – The role of kinetic energy by Tuesday. We will go over the different types of collisions with an analysis of system kinetic energy and will then do assignment 3 together in class followed by a quiz over goal set 2 as announced. That should fill up our week, although it is possible that we will assign PODCAST 3: The Impulse-Momentum Theorem for Friday. ~*Due on Wednesday*~ Your Conservation of Momentum lab report is due on Wednesday (postponed from Friday the 17th.) 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 into your 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.

Cool Science of the Week
About a decade ago the BBC set viewership records with its series Planet Earth. Known for its extraordinary photography and storytelling, the show has finally returned with Planet Earth 2, filmed in ultra HD. Here’s a preview as a young sloth goes in search of love (awww!!!) The series premiers this Saturday, February 18th at 9:00 on BBC America.

Week of February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! <3

This Week in Physics
On Monday we will take a quiz over momentum goal sets 1 & 2. Next we will crunch numbers from our  momentum lab and analyze the role of kinetic energy in the two types of collisions we explored. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 2: Types of Collisions – The role of kinetic energy. Important notes:
~*1*~ This is course recommendation week, so expect significant disruptions to our physics work as we explore your many options for next year. I will conference with each of you individually to help you make informed decisions. Please spend some time looking through our Program of Studies. As seniors you will have more choices than ever before, and it’s worth taking time now to ensure that your senior year will be both productive and enjoyable.
~*2*~ Your Conservation of Momentum lab report is due on Friday. 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 into your 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.

Cool Science of the Week
Did he flop? (link) The physics of inertia, energy, and momentum holds the answer! (Hint: Look at the inertia and momentum of the lower half of LeBron’s body when Draymond Green so viciously attacks him)
P.S. LeBron is the GOAT

Week of February 6, 2017

This Week in Physics
We will complete assignment 1 & 2 on momentum and will take a quiz on goal set 1 when announced. Next up we’ll analyze system momentum experimentally by doing the Conservation of Momentum Lab. If/when announced, please take notes on PODCAST 2: Types of Collisions – The role of kinetic energy.
The Conservation of Energy Lab is due on Thursday. 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 into your 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.

Cool Science of the Week
In honor of our snow day, here’s some LITERALLY cool science that takes you on a “Snowflake Safari” to discover whether the old adage is true that no two snowflakes are alike.

Week of January 30, 2017

This Week in Physics
For Monday (first period and eight/nine periods) or Tuesday (all youze other people) please take notes on Podcast 1: The Law of Conservation of Momentum from unit 5. We will go over these together and will then complete assignment 1 in class, followed by a quiz on the day after we finish. This will be a bit of a disrupted week due to the spirit assembly and other conflicts, so stay tuned in class for further instructions and assignments.

Cool Science of the Week
In last week’s CSotW entry we mentioned climate refugees. A climate refugee is a person whose homeland becomes uninhabitable due to the effects of climate change. For example, Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana will soon be flooded with seawater beyond the point of habitability. Rising sea levels allow salty seawater to infiltrate soil and groundwater, causing plants to die and making agriculture impossible. It also “poisons” sources of drinking water with salt. Moreover these coastal areas are more susceptible to the stronger storms that come along with climate change. Some island countries are facing complete elimination as all of their livable land disappears. For example, the island nation of Kiribati used its remaining resources to buy land from Fiji to relocate their entire country. One of the most heartfelt problems faced by climate refugees is the loss not only of their property and economic stability but also the loss of their entire culture as people leave and move into the wide world. What solutions can you think of to help climate refugees?

Week of January 23, 2017

Hello! 🙂

This Week in Physics
For Monday please finish  assignment 3. We’ll go over this and do our goal packets on Monday in class. For Tuesday please take notes on PODCAST 4: Power. We go over this and will then do  assignment 4 together in class. On the day after we do assignment 4 we will take a quiz over the topics of power and the law of conservation of mechanical energy. This quiz will be worth twice the points of a normal quiz. Finally we will complete the  Conservation of Energy Lab. Next up? Momentum!

Cool Science of the Week
Or, rather, hot science of the week. Scientists this past week released 2016 climate data that shows that, once again, we’ve set another record for the hottest year ever. The global average temperature last year was 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average for the entire 20th century, and in some locales (notably near the poles) this average was around four degrees higher! Obviously this results in melted sea ice, which has reached its lowest values in thousands of years. (Melting sea ice is a major topic that we should dive into another time! Check out 2017 compared to 2016 in the second graph below!)

temperature map
ice graph