Week of August 29, 2016

Congratulations on making it through the drudgery of the first week! Now let’s have some FUN! (*Reminder to former students receiving this in email form…There is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.)

This Week in Physics
1.) Please be sure to subscribe to this blog. If you choose not to, you’ll need to return to sgbscience.net every Friday to learn about your future.
2.) Please sign up for our Remind.com.
3.) If you did not turn in the signature page from our Course Policies and Procedures document, please be sure to do so this week.
4.) Assignments: By Monday please do two things:
****** First, please view the “How to Do Conversions in Physics” podcast on the
How Do I…? page of our website. I expect you to be proficient in doing conversions, and this method helps. If you need extra practice, you can (optionally) do the section on conversions on our Extra Math Help practice page and check your work with me. You also need to be fluent in writing and reading scientific notation. If you need extra help with that, the math help practice page also has a section on that topic along with resources. Feel free to try those problems and check your work with me.
****** Second, please take notes on Motion in One Dimension Podcast 1 – Distance v. DisplacementMotion in One Dimension Podcast 2 – Displacement & Direction, and Motion in One Dimension Podcast 3 – Speed vs. Velocity. We will go over these and will then dive into a short activity that will lead up to our first lab, which we’ll begin most likely mid-week. (Your lab report won’t be due until we’ve gone over how to write our lab reports.) It is possible that by the end of the week you may need to take notes on Podcast 4 – Slope of Position vs. Time Equals Velocity, but please do not do so until AFTER we finish the lab. (It contains secrets!)

Cool Science of the Week
One of the most fascinating areas in astronomy today is the search for exoplanets, or planets outside of our solar system. To date, we have discovered 3,374 exoplanets, 570 multi-planet solar systems, and 4.696 additional planet candidates. One of the questions scientists seek to answer about each new planet discovered is how similar the planet is to Earth. Most planets are too hot or too cold or too gassy to be considered as candidates for life or human exploration, but some planets are in the “Goldilocks Zone” with temperatures that could support liquid water, an essential ingredient for the kind of life forms we have on Earth. Amazingly, scientists this week announced the discovery of an Earth-like planet in the Goldilocks Zone around not some distant star but orbiting the CLOSEST star to us! The very short video below will tell you more.

This second 33-second video shows you what it would look like if you took a spaceship on the 4.25 light year (24,946,282,800,000 mile) journey to the planet. Happy travels!

Disclaimer: It would take more than 33 seconds to travel there. LOL

Week of August 22, 2016

Welcome to another great school year! If you are new to my classes, please be sure to subscribe to my blog by entering your email along the right side of this webpage. Then be sure to check your inbox for an activation link.

This Week in Physics

This week we will take a 45-minute assessment to provide data required by the State of Ohio. We will also take a physics readiness assessment. Let me reassure you that neither of these tests will count for a grade. They are merely skills and prior knowledge assessments.

By Friday you must review the Physics Course Policies and Procedures document with a parent or guardian and print/sign the final page. This signed final page is due by Friday, August 26. With the time we have left, we may begin Unit 1 – Motion in One Dimension.

By Monday please take notes on Motion in One Dimension Podcast 1 – Distance v. Displacement and Motion in One Dimension Podcast 2 – Displacement & Direction. We will work through that material and do some practice problems followed by a quiz later in the week of August 29.

Summer 2016!

Congratulations on completing your year of physics! Please read the important notes below.

AP Physics
Please take a moment to fill out my AP course survey. It is important to me to reflect on and improve my teaching, so I’d really appreciate your feedback. In addition, here is the website to access your AP scores. Ohio’s scores will post on Thursday, July 7 at 8:00 a.m. From the College Board: “Sign up now for a College Board account on the student AP score website. It’s required to get scores. Some students may already have an account. Have them confirm this by signing in. Remember their account username and password, and their 2016 AP number (or student ID number if they provided it on their AP answer sheet).” That should take care of your scores for you! Finally, if you’d no longer like to receive my posts via email, please scroll to the bottom of this message and click the unsubscribe link. Thank you for a great year! I’ve just loved working with you all and wish you nothing but the best!

Please take a moment to fill out my physics course survey. It is important to me to reflect on and improve my teaching, so I’d really appreciate your feedback. Finally, if you’d no longer like to receive my posts via email, please scroll to the bottom of this message and click the unsubscribe link. I’ve really loved getting to know all of you this year and hope you have a wonderful summer!

Weeks of May 16, May 23rd, and May 30, 2016

Welcome to the end of the year! On Friday we will head to Cedar Point for some intense real-world physics investigations, 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 begin next Friday, May 27 and continue on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 31 and June 1. Schedules are below.

Senior Exam Schedule

Junior Exam Schedule

Now for your assignments…

These Weeks in AP Physics
We will prep for Cedar Point by looking at the rides you will investigate. You’ll have a chance to brainstorm your experimental approach to each ride with your team. Don’t lose sight, though, of the fact that your technical drawings of your pinewood derby car need to be completed asap so that you can take it home to shape. You WILL need a parent acknowledgement signed and returned to me before you can take your car. It is important to get your car shaped as soon as possible so that you can (use your mating dimensions drawing) to assemble it and then do test runs. Our race will be the week of May 23rd, so stay on task. Remember also that you will have to write a scholarly journal article justifying your design and analyzing your tests. It ain’t over yet, angels! At least this is fun stuff, though. 🙂

These Weeks in Physics
Beginning on Monday we will begin to prep for Cedar Point by reviewing key concepts from throughout the year. Once we are done with that, we will continue our examination of waves, sound, and physics applications in musical instruments. Your mega-quiz on waves and sound will be sometime the week of May 23rd. After that we will begin exam preparations.

Cool Science of these Weeks
On Monday, May 9, Mercury passed directly between Earth and the Sun, creating something astronomers call “transit.” This time-lapse video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows the event, which lasted 7-1/2 hours. It’s amazing to me to see the immensity of the sun in relation to this tiny world. You’ll notice in the video that NASA presented several views of the sun using different filters. Some of these filters give nice views of solar prominences, and other views allow you a to see sunspots.

Week of May 9, 2016

This Week in AP Physics
YOU DID IT! Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished this year! Now onto our pinewood derby engineering project! Remember: NO USE OF THE INTERWEBS!!!

This Week in Physics
If you’re in third period, your unit 8 test is on Monday. For everyone, this week marks the beginning of our bonus unit on sound. Musicians take note: Please consider bringing your instruments to class when we’re ready (later in the week) so that we can see how physics makes them work.

Cool Science of the Week
With the NFL draft over, it’s interesting to see how science can help teams choose their picks. The ESPN sports science lab tested the acceleration abilities and vision of the Viking’s first-round pick, Laquon Treadwell and the Redskin’s Josh Doctson. Not that the Browns didn’t do a good job, but this video makes me kind of jealous!

Week of May 2, 2016

This Week in AP Physics
This is it! Study hard and, above all, relax and think positive thoughts. You’ve worked hard all year. Go in with confidence! 🙂AP Test Schedule

This Week in Physics
We will finish our unit on electric circuits by completing assignment 4 and will take the unit 8 test by the end of the week.

Cool Science of the Week
Earth Day was this past weekend, and to celebrate, the New York Times shared a story about the world’s oldest tree. Now, you may have heard of the sequoia trees in California’s Sequoia National Park. They’re famous for being very, very tall and extremely old, up to about 2700 years old! Amazing, right? Well, those trees are mere youngsters compared to the world’s true oldest tree, Methuselah, which is 4847 years old. Stop and think about that. That’s 3000 B.C., the Bronze Age. Stonehenge was just beginning to be constructed, and Mesopotamia and Egypt were just emerging as major civilizations. And Methuselah was born. Methuselah is a bristlecone pine that lives in Inyo National Forest in California. Park rangers will not disclose which tree Methuselah is in order to protect it from vandals and over-eager scientists. However, if you go to Inyo, you’re sure to see many trees that are many thousands of years old. Very cool.

This image is not Methuselah but is a different bristlecone pine in Inyo National Forest, California.

Week of April 25, 2016

This Week in AP Physics
We’re getting close! Six more class days until the tests, which take place next Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. (See partial schedule below.) This week we will wrap things up and tie them with a bow! Your unit 16 packet is due at the start of class on Monday. We’ll spend the rest of the week on optics. Please remember the after school study sessions, and you’re welcome to come in more often, as well. 🙂 Finally, I’ve mentioned this before, but you may want to check out Learnerator. It has a selection of multiple choice practice problems, most of which you can access for free. Free is good!
AP Test Schedule

This Week in Physics
(If you are in 6th period, please disregard the dates in this blog entry. I will direct you in class to relevant assignments.) On Monday we will complete assignment 3 from our electric circuits unit and will quiz on parallel circuits and the differences between parallel and series circuits on Tuesday. Next we will explore compound circuits with our fourth and final virtual lab and assignment 4. Expect the unit 8 test later in the week or early next week.

Cool Science of the Week
They’re coming! As the ground warms up (specifically, to at least 64 degrees Fahrenheit at a depth of eight inches), the (very, very harmless) seventeen year cicadas will emerge ready to make some NOISE! These interesting insects lay their eggs underground**, and seventeen years later the babies are born. When the young come to the surface, they attach themselves to trees, where they molt and then fly away to seek adventure. You may find their exoskeletons around town at places where their broods haven’t been destroyed by development in the past seventeen years, so if your neighborhood is more than seventeen years old, you’re in for some fun! It truly is a rare occurrence, and while they may be loud, they’re interesting!
(**Correction: They lay their eggs in tree branches. When the eggs hatch, the critters then crawl underground to develop over seventeen years.)
2013 Finneytown Cicada

The cicadas emerge from their exoskeletons white and soft (above) but quickly mature into their hardier adult selves (below.)

Don’t be alarmed if you find their discarded exoskeletons on trees or the ground. They’re harmless and interesting!

Last year I found a cicada exoskeleton on one of my trees. It had emerged a year early, which can happen when ecosystems are destabilized by climate or mechanical means. I felt sorry for the little guy, missing the whole party that’s happening this year!

Week of April 18, 2016

Greetings! As you know, we have limited time together this week due to state testing. Please be sure to know the special schedule so that you know where to be when.

This Week in AP Physics
We will tie up loose ends with wave motion and sound and will then begin optics. Our optics labs won’t likely happen until next week, though, so during our brief time together, we’ll mostly do notes. Expect a very small amount of problems as homework due either Friday or over the weekend. Other reminders:
** Review sessions run Monday 3:00-3:45 pm, Tuesday 7:45-11:00 am, and Thursday 3:00-4:30 pm. (They aren’t mandatory, but they sure are awesome!)
** The Units 11/12 test is due on Friday, April 22nd.
** The Unit 16 packet is due next Monday, April 25th.
** Make your lives easier by reviewing half a unit per day starting last week. 🙂
** Finally, if you’re still in the market for a review book, you may want to check out these ratings. Not all review books are as good as others, and some are certainly not yet aligned to the new curriculum, regardless of what their covers say. Caveat emptor!

This Week in Physics
We will continue to explore electric circuits, which is SO.MUCH.FUN! We will finish two more virtual labs and will do two more assignments. For the day after we finish virtual lab 3, please take notes on  Podcast 5 – Parallel Circuits and Podcast 6 – Parallel Circuits Sample Problem. For the day after virtual lab 4, please take notes on the remaining podcasts from the electric circuits unit. Unless you have physics during one of the lunch periods, most of this won’t happen until next week.

Cool Science of the Week
Quiz! Who was Yuri Gagarin?
A. The first man in space
B. The first woman to win the Nobel Prize in physics
C. My cousin’s neighbor who worked at NASA
If you answered A, you’re right! Fifty-five years ago, on April 12, 1961, the Russian cosmonaut became the first human to orbit Earth, igniting the “space race” and driving forward technology as never before. This weekend the Great Lakes Science Center will celebrate with all sorts of fun exhibits.

Week of April 11, 2016

With all of this snow and cold weather, why not wrap up in a blanket, drink some cocoa, and do some physics? Sounds good to me! 

This Week in AP Physics
1.) Study for the AP exam! Take half a unit a day, and it won’t be a huge burden.
2.) We will begin wave motion, sound, and optics (both physical and geometric.) This will take us through the next three weeks before the AP exams, which will take place on May 3rd and 4th (followed by a class party on the 5th and then some fun engineering projects!) In addition, please begin work on the modern physics packet using the podcasts located on our unit 16 webpage. Your unit 16 packet is due on April 25th. Your magnetism/electromagnetism packets 3 and 4 are due this Tuesday.
3.) Study for the AP exam some more. It’s worth it.
(Hang in there! You’re almost done! 🙂 )

This Week in Physics
When announced (either for Monday or Tuesday) you will take a quiz over the introductory electric circuits topics found in podcasts 1 and 2 and assignment 1. (You may also want to review virtual lab 1 on resistance and Ohm’s law.) If you are in 3rd or 6th/7th period, assignment 1 is due in class on Monday. Next we will do virtual lab 2. For the day after we finish virtual lab 2, please take notes on Podcast 3 – Series Circuits and Podcast 4 – Series Circuits Sample Problem. We will go over these and then do assignment 2 in class followed by a quiz on the day after we finish the assignment. Following this we’ll repeat the pattern by doing virtual lab 3 followed by Podcast 5 – Parallel Circuits and Podcast 6 – Parallel Circuits Sample Problem as announced.

Cool Science of the Week
All in a day’s work! Imagine being a bulldozer operator in Oklahoma and uncovering a mammoth skull! That’s what happened recently when digging in a sandpit on the site of an ancient riverbed. The skull belonged to a Columbian mammoth, a behemoth about twice the size of a woolly mammoth, from at least 11,000 years ago. How awesome!
The Columbian mammoth lived in North America during the Pleistocene epoch. It measured 13ft (4 metres) and weighed up to 10 tonnes. Its natural habitat included grassy landscapes (illustrated), compared to the woolly mammoth which preferred to live in the Arctic regions
Check out the size comparison to a modern elephant! Wow!
The mammoth skull found in Oklahoma held a single tooth in place.The discovery

Weeks of March 21 and April 4, 2016

The end of third quarter is upon us! Before relaxing into spring break, please be sure to check PowerSchool for any missing or absent assignments. To receive credit on any outstanding work, you must turn it in by Tuesday, March 22 at 3:00. (Those who are currently absent may have more flexibility.)

This blog covers the few days we have before spring break (remembering that we have a reduced bell schedule on Wednesday for the spirit assembly and no school on Thursday and Friday) and the week we return from break. Have a healthy and safe one!

These Weeks in AP Physics
For Monday, March 21 please complete the final book problems for our electric circuits unit. On that day and beyond we will work on magnetism, covering four short topics and culminating in a combined unit 11/unit 12 test. Additional important note: Our SLO post-test will be Thursday, April 7. If you know you will be absent on that date, please make arrangements with me to take the test beforehand. If you are absent on the 7th, please be ready to take the test on the same day that you get back. I will give you class time to do so.

These Weeks in Physics
Our electrostatics unit test will be on Tuesday, March 22. Our next unit will be electric circuits. For the Tuesday after break, please take notes on Podcast 1 – Circuits and CurrentPodcast 2 – Resistance and Ohm’s LawPodcast 3 – Series Circuits, and Podcast 4 – Series Circuits Sample Problem. We will go over these, do an online activity, and do assignment 1 followed by a quiz on the day after we finish the assignment. When assigned, please take notes on Podcast 5 – Parallel Circuits and Podcast 6 – Parallel Circuits Sample Problem. Again, we will do an online activity and will then do assignment 2.

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