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

Weeks of January 9 and January 16, 2017

Congratulations on nearing completion of your first semester of physics! That’s an amazing accomplishment! This blog post covers exam week and the following week. Note that there is no school on Friday, January 13 due to a teacher work day, and there is no school on Monday, January 16, as we observe Martlin Luther King, Jr. Day.

These Weeks in Physics
You will take your exam during the class period of your main physics class (not your lab period.) The schedule is below.  The exam is comprehensive and will cover all material from units 1-4. Your learning goal packets are your study guides. If you’ve lost your goal packets, you can find them posted at the top of each unit webpage.

For Tuesday, January 17 please take notes on Podcast 3: Conservation of Mechanical Energy. We will go over this in class and will then do assignment 3 and a the Conservation of Energy Lab.  Finally we will do a short topic, power, followed by assignment 4 and then a quiz over both goal set 3 and goal set 4, as announced. This will almost certainly take us well into the week of January 23.

Cool Science of these Weeks
You may remember that when you were back at Troy (or whatever school you went to in fifth or sixth grade) there was a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan that destroyed the country’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, leaking large amounts of radioactive material into the Pacific ocean. Last month scientists announced that the radioactive material, cesium-134, has finally reached America’s coast, showing up in Oregon’s waters and beaches. The levels are fairly low and don’t pose an immediate threat to life or the environment but caused significant damage in the region where the earthquake and leak originally occurred. What do you think about the use of nuclear power in earthquake-prone regions?

Weeks of December 19, 2016 and January 2, 2017

This entry covers the entire rest of the semester except for exam week. Please be sure to check PowerSchool for any missing assignments.

These Weeks in Physics
We are a smidge behind last week’s plans due to the snow day on Thursday (squee!) Therefore on the day after your class finishes assignment 1, you will have a quiz over learning goal set 1. Also due on that day are the notes from Podcast 2: Work-Energy Theorem. We will then do  assignment  2 together in calss. On the day after your class finishes that assignment, you will have a quiz over learning goal set 2. Also due on that day are the notes from Podcast 3: Conservation of Mechanical Energy. This will lead us up to exam week. NOTE ON THE MID-TERM EXAM: It is comprehensive and will cover all material from units 1-4. Your learning goal packets are your study guides. If you’ve lost your goal packets, you can find them posted at the top of each unit webpage. Suggestion: Start reviewing a little – just a little – now. You’ll thank yourself later. 🙂

Cool Science of These Weeks
Coming out on January 6 is a new movie called Hidden Figures (Rotten Tomatoes 95% score) that tells the amazing story of three African-American women mathematicians who were pivotal in launching John Glenn on his historic mission to orbit the globe, catching the U.S. up in the space race with the Soviet Union in the 1960s and thrilling the nation. The story has historical twists in that the women worked in a segregated part of NASA and received virtually no recognition until this fall when the movie (and the book upon which it’s based) started getting recognition – including Oscar buzz! (See last week’s Science of the Week for information on John Glenn.)

Week of December 12, 2016

This Week in Physics
For Monday please take notes on unit 4 Podcast 1: Introduction to Mechanical Energy. We will go over this in class and will do unit 4 assignment 1 together. On the day after we finish that assignment we will quiz over learning goal set 1. Also due on that day are the notes from Podcast 2: Work-Energy TheoremWe will go over this in class and will do unit 4 assignment  2 together.

Sad Science of the Week
This past Thursday, December 8, America & Ohio lost one of our great heroes when John Glenn passed away at the age of 95. Senator Glenn served in the U.S. Senate for twenty-four years (1974-1998) but first rose to prominence as a pioneer in space exploration in the 1960s. At 9:47 a.m. on February 20, 1962 Mr. Glenn launched into outer space and orbited Earth three times, making him the first American to orbit the globe. On October 29, 1998 Mr. Glenn boarded the space shuttle Discovery at the age of 77, making him the oldest person to explore outer space. Before his time as an astronaut and public servant, he flew combat missions in the Pacific during WWII. Through it all his associates noted his humble and generous nature. America has lost a true hero. Let’s remember him.

174537main_glenn_john_hr.jpg
Senator Glenn in 1998 

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.