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.

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!
Image result
The music from the movie classic Psycho typifies sounds that alarm our species.