Week of February 25, 2013

Welcome to another great week! Juniors, please remember to bring your scheduling forms to class with you on Monday. 

This week in physics: This week we mark the beginning of the end of our study of mechanics as we venture around the topic of circular motion in unit 6. Having covered the material in podcast 1 on Thursday and Friday of last week, you should take notes on podcast 2 and podcast 3 as homework for Monday. We will digest these quickly, so be ready to take notes on podcast 4 for Tuesday when we will also have a quiz over introductory concepts. We will work together on assignment 1 during the middle part of the week followed by a quiz. We will also examine circular motion by collecting data to analyze the relationship between period and centripetal force, but this will likely be early next week.

This week in astronomy: OH MY STARS. WILLWEEVERGETANIGHTWITHOUTCLOUDS? The five-day forecast says it won’t happen any time soon, so the Astronomy Unit 1 – Outdoor Lab is again postponed. Let’s try again for a due date of next Monday, February…what? March already!? OK, Monday, March 4th. (Note: You must print out the lab and do your work on the actual printed document.) THIS week we will continue our look at our brightest star, our own Sun, as we explore Unit 2: The Ecliptic Motion of the Sun in more detail. Our key independent variables will be time of year and latitude, and through a variety of activities we’ll examine the motion of the sun in relation to changes in these variables. A quiz will follow, and then we’ll turn up the heat by analyzing solar radiation in relation to the time of the year and the path of the sun. This is a quick unit, so expect a test next week. 🙂
P.S. Move yourself up on the awesomeness scale if you figured out what that red sentence said. 😛

Cool Science of the Week: Spring is coming, and with it come flowers…and, of course, electricity! New research suggests that flowers emit a slight electric field (a physics topic for us), and bees seem to respond to this field as much as they respond to fragrance and color. Sweet!

Week of February 18, 2012

You’ve all been working so hard that I’ve decided that you can take Monday off from school. Enjoy! (While you’re off, you might want to consider the important contributions our presidents have made to our country. ;))

Everyone, this will be a bit of a wonky week. First, it’s only a four-day week. Second, we have to do course recommendations for next year, which means I will conference with all juniors individually during class activities. Finally, I have a professional conference with the Ohio Department of Education on Friday. We will do our best, but be ready for some adjustments to our routines.

This week in physics: On Tuesday we will finish unit 5 by completing assignment 4 and doing a culminating activity in which you’ll have to figure out a solution to an engineering conundrum. The test is on Wednesday. Study early and make arrangements soon if you need extra help. Please remember to do to write a research paragraph about the topic you chose related to momentum. We will not be turning in hard copies, so be sure to upload it to TurnItIn.com by Thursday at 3:00 so that I can grade your electronic document. (Class ID: 5463766; Password: physicsrules) Next we will take a look around the topic of circular motion in unit 6. This nice, short unit and will mark the end of our exploration of mechanics. I hesitate to give assignments for Thursday and Friday at this time, as we won’t know quite how the week will go until we get there.

This week in astronomy: Please remember to do the Astronomy Unit 1 – Outdoor LabIt requires you to go outside at night to make observations, and it is due the day of the test, which is Wednesday. In addition, you should also do the Astronomy Unit 1 – Homework Questions as homework, due the day of the test. Remember to use the Astronomy Unit 1 – Unit Overview, the podcasts, and (if needed) the Astronomy Unit 1 – Readings to help you study. If you’ve lost your star maps, you can print new ones, since you’ll need them for the test (no sharing during the test): Star Map – North and South Declination and Star Map – Circumpolar Stars. On Thursday we will begin our next unit, The Ecliptic Motion of the Sun, which deals with the same things we did in unit 1 but during the daytime instead of the night. To get us started, in class on Thursday you’ll examine some data in order to draw conclusions about the sun’s motion, and then we’ll put it together cohesively as a class.

Cool Science of the Week: With all of the objects streaking through our sky from outer space this past week, it’s an appropriate time to tell you about a non-scary streaking sky object, our International Space Station. You can “Spot the Space Station” by signing up for emails and texts that will alert you when the space station will be visible in your area. Cool!

…and finally, I need not say more than simply…

Week of February 11, 2013

We’re past the mid-point of third quarter! Parents, interim reports are finalized for viewing on GBW.

This week in physics: On Monday we will complete assignment 3 followed by a quiz on Tuesday over elastic, totally inelastic, and inelastic collisions (podcasts 5-9 from Unit 5- Momentum). Then we’ll explore the last set of this unit’s learning goals which cover the Impulse-Momentum Theorem. We will start by collecting and analyzing some data about the variables force, time, mass and velocity in order to draw conclusions about momentum change. You should watch the remaining podcasts for this unit for either Tuesday or Wednesday as announced in class. We’ll end by completing assignment 4. The unit test will be at the end of this week or early next week. Oh, and YOU! Yes, YOU! Please remember that your lab report for the conservation of momentum lab is due on Wednesday, February 13. Uploads to TurnItIn.com are due Friday by 3:00. (Class ID: 5463766; Password: physicsrules), and you need to share your Google Drive document with me at alhsgb@alstudent.org by then, as well. (Note: I do not use that email for correspondence.)

This week in astronomy: We will continue our analysis of the appearance of the celestial sphere at different latitudes by deepening our exploration of the circumpolar stars. The end of podcast 2 and all of Celestial Sphere Podcast 3 – Circumpolar Stars will support your work. A quiz will follow early in the week, and then we’ll analyze the phenomenon of the seasonal constellations as we differentiate between Earth’s sidereal and solar days. Celestial Sphere Podcast 4 – Seasonal Constellations and Star Magnitude coincides with this topic. We’ll end the week with a fun activity in which you’ll analyze data without having any idea what you’re supposed to find. The best part is that you’ll find it anyway! And that will be the end of that. Test next week! Oh, and YOU! Yes, YOU! Please remember that you should begin the Astronomy Unit 1 – Outdoor Lab once we finish our exploration of circumpolar stars. It requires you to go outside at night to make observations, and it will be due the day of the test. Also please remember that if you need some extra perspective on our topics, the Astronomy Unit 1 – Readings may be of help. 🙂

Cool Science of the Week: First item of business: We explored this in a blog post earlier in the year, but since the post-Valentine’s Day asteroid event will occur next Friday, let’s take another look! Long story short: An asteroid will pass between a layer of our satellites (called the geosynchronous satellites) and Earth on Friday, February 15th. That’s pretty stinkin’ close, but by no means is it an all-that-rare event, and it is also not dangerous. Unfortunately it will not be visible to us here in the western hemisphere, and those on the other side of the world will need telescopes to see it. How-evs, this website will post links to live telescopic video, so check it out if you’re interested!

Finally……hedgehogs. Just…hedgehogs. In little habitats. That people make. In their backyards. In England. (They’re not native to North America.) I mean, seriously. Ridiculously cute.

 

Week of February 4, 2013

Onward!

This week in physics: On Monday we will continue to work on analyzing and solving problems related to the Law of Conservation of Momentum as we plow through assignment 2, aiming for a quiz on Tuesday/Wednesday, as announced. The following podcasts will support your studying:  Momentum Podcast 2 – Conservation of Momentum part 1Momentum Podcast 3 – Conservation of Momentum part 2, and Momentum Podcast 4 – Conservation of Momentum Sample Problem. On Tuesday we will analyze data from last week’s lab with a slight twist: Instead of analyzing momentum, we’ll analyze kinetic energy. This will lead us to draw some sweet conclusions about the role energy plays in collisions. The podcasts you watch for Wednesday will further illuminate the concepts, so for Wednesday please view and take notes on…

Working through these concepts and practicing problems (with the ActivExpressions) will take us some time, so expect to spend the rest of the week on this. It is likely that we’ll work on assignment 3 on Thursday/Friday, but I doubt we’ll get to the quiz by the end of the week. Next week we’ll explore the last set of learning goals for this unit, so a test looms on the horizon! 😛 Finally, please remember that your lab report for the conservation of momentum lab is due on February 13.

This week in astronomy: As announced, we’ll take a quiz over: the diurnal motion of Earth as well as the apparent diurnal motion of the celestial sphere; the location of the celestial equator based on latitude; determining the limits of south declination stars visible at different latitudes. Celestial Sphere Podcast 2 – Celestial Equator and Celestial North Pole up to but not including the information on the celestial north pole will help you, and you may also want to review the concept of declination from Celestial Sphere Podcast 1 – Star Mapping if that’ still a struggle for you. Following the quiz we’ll continue our analysis of the appearance of the celestial sphere at different latitudes by figuring in the location of the celestial north pole and exploring the circumpolar stars. The end of podcast 2 and all of Celestial Sphere Podcast 3 – Circumpolar Stars will support your work. A quiz will follow, and then we’ll start to distinguish between seasonal constellations and circumpolar stars by exploring the concept of sidereal and solar days. Celestial Sphere Podcast 4 – Seasonal Constellations and Star Magnitude will help, but this will be toward the very end of the week (if that) and into next week. We are nearing the end of this unit, so start gearing up for a test by the end of next week/early the following week. In addition (TAKE NOTE!) you should begin the Astronomy Unit 1 – Outdoor Lab once we finish our exploration of circumpolar stars. It requires you to go outside at night to make observations, and it will be due the day of the test. A final item: If you need some extra perspective on our topics, the Astronomy Unit 1 – Readings may be of help. 🙂

Cool Science of the WeekWell, this is weird, even by my standards, and sort of Frankenstein-ish. Scientists have created conditions under which a synthesized compound behaves as if…”It’s alive. ALIVE!!!”