Week of October 29, 2012

Welcome to the first week of second quarter!

This week in physics: We will take the unit two (chapter three) test on Monday and then begin our unit on forces and Newton’s laws of motion. For the test, refer to the unit 2 study guide and study as advised in class. Then to begin the next unit, please view three podcasts as homework for Tuesday: Force Podcast 1 – Net External ForceForce Podcast 2 – Weight, and Force Podcast 3 – Normal Force. (Note: These podcasts are cranky and may take a bit longer than usual to load.) We will do practice problems in class followed by assignment 1, and then we will take a quiz. Next up you’ll need to watch three more podcasts as homework by the date announced in class: Force Podcast 4 – Introduction to FrictionForce Podcast 5 – Static Friction, and Force Podcast 6 – Kinetic Friction. Following this we’ll do practice problems in class and assignment 2. Next week we’ll do a fun lab on friction. ***Remember to work with your lab partner to write your lab report for the projectiles lab. This is due Wednesday, November 7. Documents that will help you are: the Lab Report Writing GuideHuman Cannonball Projectiles Lab, and Human Cannonball Projectiles Lab Rubric. *** Remember that you must write using Google docs/Google Drive and share the document with me at alhsgb@alstudent.org. (Note: I use this account for documents only and do not use this account for email.) Uploads to TurnItIn.com are due on Friday, November 9 @ 3:00. (If you need the information for TurnItIn.com, please refer to the blog post from September 10, 2012.)

This week in astronomy: We will take the unit three test over the moon. Please refer to the unit three study guide and the podcasts on the unit 3 page. Also the bizarre but helpful video we saw in class will help (if you watch past the weird stuff to get to the animation of the moon orbiting Earth): Ask an Astronomer: Why Does the Moon Look Like it Changes? The Astronomy Unit 3 – Homework Questions are due the day of the test. In addition, the Astronomy Unit 2 – Outdoor Lab is due on Wednesday. You can begin the Astronomy Unit 3 – Outdoor Lab at any time now, but you’ll need some cloudless nights, so let’s make the due date realistic: November 26 (the day after Thanksgiving break.) Our next topic is eclipses, which are quite cool and beautiful! We’ll be working through notes and activities with eclipses this week.

Cool Science of the Week: Did you know that NASA has a webpage totally dedicated to satellite images of big storms? With the unfortunate presence of Hurricane Sandy, it may be of interest to you to check out what NASA’s images have to offer.

Week of October 22, 2012

 

Better late than never! Seeing that the test email from our wonderful tech helper, Andreas, went through, I’m re-sending the blog post for this week’s assignments. Thank you for your patience while the blog email system has been naughty. It should behave well now! 🙂

Week of October 22, 2012

Well, it’s here! The end of the quarter is Friday, so let’s follow through and finish strong! Please remember that Twitter users can now follow our class on Twitter to receive occasional updates and reminders about our class.

This week in physics: We will wrap up our study of projectiles by finishing assignment 2on Monday and by doing additional practice problems using the ActivExpressions on Tuesday. Look for a quiz over the conceptual and mathematical aspects of projectiles on Wednesday when we will also wrap up our study of two-dimensional motion by looking at satellite motion and doing assignment 3. Our unit test will most likely be Thursday, so be sure to start studying early using our study guide and our podcasts. Next up: The most famous un-moustached man in physics!

This week in astronomy: We will continue our investigation of lunar phases by doing several more activities followed by a quiz on Wednesday or Thursday. We’ll then conclude the unit with a look at lunar geography. Look for a test next Monday. Next up: Eclipses!

Cool Science of the Week: Another week with too much good stuff to share only one! First…

OHMYGOSHTHEREWILLBEABIGMETEORSHOWERTHISWEEKEND!!!!! Yes, we will be passing through the debris left behind from the most recent visit of Halley’s Comet (1986), and it will give us a rockin’ meteor shower in the overnight hours of Saturday and Sunday. Look to the left of the constellation Orion.

Look for the three bright stars of Orion's belt in the south/southeast quadrant of the sky.

Second, NASA’s Kepler mission has found a planet with FOUR SUNS. WHAT!?!

Finally, European astronomers have found an Earth-sized planet orbiting our closest star neighbor, Alpha Centauri! Don’t make vacation plans, though. The weather is ridiculously hot. (The link from the photo, below, is to a video. The news story is here.)

Week of October 22, 2012

Well, it’s here! The end of the quarter is Friday, so let’s follow through and finish strong! Please remember that Twitter users can now follow our class on Twitter to receive occasional updates and reminders about our class.

This week in physics: We will wrap up our study of projectiles by finishing assignment 2 on Monday and by doing additional practice problems using the ActivExpressions on Tuesday. Look for a quiz over the conceptual and mathematical aspects of projectiles on Wednesday when we will also wrap up our study of two-dimensional motion by looking at satellite motion and doing assignment 3. Our unit test will most likely be Thursday, so be sure to start studying early using our study guide and our podcasts. Next up: The most famous un-moustached man in physics!

This week in astronomy: We will continue our investigation of lunar phases by doing several more activities followed by a quiz on Wednesday or Thursday. We’ll then conclude the unit with a look at lunar geography. Look for a test next Monday. Next up: Eclipses!

Cool Science of the Week: Another week with too much good stuff to share only one! First…

OHMYGOSHTHEREWILLBEABIGMETEORSHOWERTHISWEEKEND!!!!! Yes, we will be passing through the debris left behind from the most recent visit of Halley’s Comet (1986), and it will give us a rockin’ meteor shower in the overnight hours of Saturday and Sunday. Look to the left of the constellation Orion.

Look for the three bright stars of Orion's belt in the south/southeast quadrant of the sky.

Second, NASA’s Kepler mission has found a planet with FOUR SUNS. WHAT!?!

Finally, European astronomers have found an Earth-sized planet orbiting our closest star neighbor, Alpha Centauri! Don’t make vacation plans, though. The weather is ridiculously hot. (The link from the photo, below, is to a video. The news story is here.)

 

Week of October 15, 2012

Two weeks to go until you’ve successfully conquered the first quarter! Astronomy people, can you believe you’re almost halfway done? Physics people…You’re really doing physics! That’s awesome!

Twitter users can now follow our class on Twitter to receive occasional updates and reminders about our class.

This week in physics: We will do the Lab of Great Chaos. This lab is more often referred to as the projectiles lab, and on Monday and Tuesday (and possibly Wednesday) we will divide the class into teams. Some teams will complete the lab while others do projectile practice problems and assignment 2. Then we’ll switch until all teams have done everything. Then…quiz time! …followed by a look at satellite motion and assignment 3. I’d love to tell you that we’ll be ready for the test on Friday, but with the PSAT on Wednesday, we likely won’t get to this test until early next week. Stay tuned! Oh, and our next topic will be about this Mystery Man. Can you name him?

This week in Astronomy: Having bested the first two astronomy units, you are now ready to explore our nearest astronomical buddy, Earth’s BFF, the Moon. We will start by looking at the rotation and revolution of the moon and then do some good hard data analysis to figure out how the phases of the moon work. Remember that your Astronomy Unit 2 – Outdoor Lab is due on Halloween, but you have to start now in order to get all of the observations done.

Cool science of the weekI’m not sure if this is cool or crazy (leaning toward crazy), but a man named Felix Baumgartner planned this week to use a stratospheric balloon to climb 120,000 feet to the edge of space, where he will leave said balloon and then fall with the aim of traveling faster than the speed of sound, which is about 340 m/s depending on air quality. Weather prevented him from jumping this week. Will he do it next week? It’s in the stars…

Week of October 8, 2012

TWITTER! You asked for it, and now you’ve got it! I’ve started a Twitter feed to share cool science and class alerts. Follow our class at twitter.com/MrsGouldBurgess.

This week in physics: On Monday we will finish assignment one and use the ActivExpressions to do our final vector addition practice problems. Then we will begin to work with projectiles. Therefore, for Monday you should watch Podcast 7 – Introduction to Projectile Motion part 1Podcast 8 – Introduction to Projectile Motion part 2, and Podcast 9 – Introduction to Projectile Motion part 3. On Tuesday we will take a quiz over the first set of learning goals (covered in assignment 1 and the first four podcasts from this unit,) and then will begin to dive deeply into the math of projectiles. Therefore also for Tuesday you should watch Podcast 10 – Projectile Formulas Podcast 11 – Projectile Sample Problem part 1, and Podcast 12 – Projectile Sample Problem part 2. We will spend the rest of the week doing practice projectile problems in class along with assignment 2. You’ll notice that we aren’t viewing podcasts 5 and 6. The state standards no longer include these, but I’ve kept them posted for your reference. Also, if you’re having trouble with the trig, please view the Bonus Podcast – Trigonometry Review. (No, it’s not for bonus points. Just bonus fun!!! :)) Next week look for the most chaotic lab you will ever enjoy, the “Shoot the Marbles out of the Launcher Contraption all over the Room” lab. It’s…a mess. But it’s fun, and you’ll learn! 🙂 Then we’ll take the unit test toward the end of next week. Awesome!

This week in astronomy: We will go to the planetarium to view what the sun’s path would look like from different latitudes. On Tuesday we’ll take a quiz over the ecliptic and the equinoxes and solstices. Then we’ll cover solar radiation by doing an activity. We’ll finish up by looking at Earth’s orbit in more detail. Expect the unit test Thursday. A podcast containing all of the information from this unit is now available at Unit 2 Podcast – The Ecliptic and its Implications. Please be sure to use it to help you prepare. Next up: The Moon! 🙂

Cool science of the week: A comet as bright as the full moon!?! Yes way! A newly discovered comet is likely to soar through our sky starting in November 2013 shining brightly enough to be visible in the daytime. Way! …Unless, that is, it crashes into the sun first.