Exam Week and into SUMMER!

Thank you for a wonderful year! (Be sure to unsubscribe to this blog using the link at the bottom of this email unless you want me to spam you next year. 🙂 )

This Week in Physics
We’ll take our exams according to the schedule for juniors shown in the second calendar pictured below.

Hot Science of the Week
With summer coming, it’s a great time to talk about global warming! Check out the lost glacial ice in Antarctica, shown below from the past decade. Scientists say major coastal floods are looming. See also these maps of melting glaciers in Glacier National Park. (In fact, scientists project that soon there will be no glaciers at all in Glacier National Park!) Who cares, right? Well, rising sea levels flood coastlines and allow saltwater to poison groundwater, making it useless for farming and drinking and creating climate refugees. As for us? We’re a coastal city, ya know 😉

Week of May 22, 2017

SENIORS!!! This is it!!! Congratulations!!! (I can’t BELIEVE our time together is over (SOB!!!)) And juniors, this is our last full week together before exams next week…SOB!!! I love you all and will miss you very much. Here is (sniffle) your exam schedule. Our exam covers Units 4 (goal sets 3 & 4 only), 5, 6, 7, & 8 (only 8.1 for seniors.)

This Week in Physics if You’re a Junior
There is no homework for Monday so that you can relax and enjoy prom weekend. 🙂 On Monday we’ll complete a virtual lab in class. For Tuesday please take notes on PODCAST 2: Series Circuits. We’ll do assignment 2 in class on Tuesday followed by a quiz over both goal set 1 and goal set 2 as announced. For Wednesday or Thursday, as announced, please take notes on PODCAST 3: Parallel Circuits. We will do another virtual lab in class along with assignment 3. Exam note: There will be no in-class review for the final exam. Please start reviewing on your own early.

Cool Science of the Week
Is fairness an evolutionary moral trait? You’ve got to see what these Capuchin monkeys do when they are treated unequally. Not just clickbait: This will make you laugh!

Week of May 15, 2017

It’s finally here! Cedar Point week is upon us! AND this is the last full week of school for our seniors! With that in mind, I’m sharing the exam schedules. Senior exams run next week from May 24 – 26. In addition, junior exams run the following week from May 30 – June 1. Our exam covers Units 4 (goal sets 3 & 4 only), 5, 6, 7, & 8. Schedules are below.

This Week in Physics
Due for Monday: Please take notes on PODCAST 1: Introduction to Circuits, Current, Resistance, and Ohm’s Law. This one is a little long, so be sure to budget time for it. On Tuesday we will GO TO CEDAR POINT!!! YAY!!! 🙂 On Wednesday we will discuss what we learned at Cedar Point and will then continue to discuss the introduction to electric circuits. We’ll also do an online activity followed by assignment 1 and a quiz as announced. Time permitting please take notes on PODCAST 2: Series Circuits if assigned.

Cool Science of the Week
You will not believe what this puffer fish does to attract a mate! It’s amazing!


Weeks of May 1 and May 8 2017

The week of May 1 will be a significantly shortened week due to state testing and AP testing. We will likely only have the equivalent of two quality days together. 🙁 Therefore this entry covers a two week span.

These Weeks in Physics
By now everyone should have taken notes on PODCAST 4: Electric Potential Energy, Electric Potential, and Potential Difference. We will finish going over these and will then do assignment 4. During the week of May 8  we will complete the amazing Electric Fields Lab and will then take the unit 7 test. We’ll then do our Cedar Point orientation – fun fun! 😀

Cool Science of these Weeks
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson made history last week by spending more days in space than any other American astronaut. At the time of this writing, she has spent a total of over 538 days in space over the past fifteen years!

Week of April 24, 2017

There’s still over a month of school left to enjoy! Let’s keep going strong!

This Week in Physics
For Tuesday please take notes on PODCAST 3: Electric Fields. We’ll go over this in class and will then do assignment 3 (followed by a quiz, as announced) and the Electric Fields Lab. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 4: Electric Potential Energy, Electric Potential, and Potential Difference.

Cool Science of the Week
Did you know plants have their own internet? Thin threadlike fungi that grow underground connect the roots of multiple plants, sometimes over vast distances, and allow the plants to send each other nutrients as well as warning signals. Weak seedlings are helped to survive by the shared nutrients, and plants that receive warnings of impending diseases or pests begin early immune responses to protect themselves.
Image result for avatar tree

Week of April 10, 2017

Welcome to a very short week at ALHS! There is no school for juniors and seniors on Monday due to testing, the talent show bell schedule will be in effect on Thursday, and spring break begins on Friday. In essence, we have 2.5 days to get some stuff DONE! 🙂

These Two Days in Physics
We will work on assignment 2, will do extra practice with Coulomb’s law if needed, and will take a quiz over  learning goal set 2 on Coulomb’s law. Good times!

Cool Science of the Week
Going somewhere tropical over spring break? Alternately, want to feel passive aggressive satisfaction regarding those going somewhere tropical? Either way, you might find this Global Shark Tracker website fun and informative!

Shark Tracker

Week of April 3, 2017

This is the second week of fourth quarter. Spring break begins at the end of next week.

This Week in Physics
By Monday please take notes on everything from Unit 7 PODCAST 1: Introduction to Electrostatics, Conductors, Insulators, and Methods of Charging (Friction, Conduction, Induction, and Polarization). We began these notes in class on Thursday and Friday, but no class finished them. Therefore please watch the podcast to take the remainder of the notes for Monday. In class on Monday and Tuesday we will do some charging activities and will then complete assignment 1 in class followed by a quiz over learning goal set 1, as announced. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 2: Electric Force (Coulomb’s Law). We’ll discuss this and will then do assignment 2 in class followed by a quiz over learning goal set 2 as announced. If time permits, please take notes on PODCAST 3: Electric Fields if announced.

Cool Science of the Week
With climate change on many people’s minds, a lot of people are looking forward to advancements in solar power technology. Boy, does Tesla’s Elon Musk have a cool new way to make your home energy independent (“off grid”): Solar roof shingles! Imagine having your entire roof become a solar panel while still looking like a regular roof. Pretty cool! Video link

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.


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