Week of March 18, 2013

Welcome to the first week of the 4th quarter! Soon-to-be graduates, this is your last quarter of high school!

This week in physics: We will start off the week with the unit 6 test.* That means that your personal learning goal research paragraph on a topic related to circular motion and/or gravitation is due to be uploaded to TurnItIn.com by 3:00 PM on Tuesday. The fun continues, as the hardcopy of your Centripetal Force Lab report is due at the start of your class period on Wednesday and must be uploaded to TurnItIn.com by Friday at 3:00 PM. Remember also to write using Google Drive and share your document with me at alhsgb@alstudent.org by the same deadline. (Note: I do not use that address for emails.) IMPORTANT: As discussed in class, I’ve revised the scoring rubric for our lab reports. Here are two important documents you should use while writing: Lab Report Writing Guide and Lab Report Rubric. ONTO NEW STUFF! 🙂 We are beginning unit 8 on electric circuits, which is a LOT of fun. We’ll have a surprisingly hard challenge to solve on Monday involving creating a circuit. It’s one of my favorite activities of the year, and I think you’ll have fun with it! Electric Circuits Podcast 1 – Circuits and Current is due for Tuesday, and we will have a quiz over it at the start of class, so please come prepared. As the week progresses we’ll do some virtual labs using circuit simulators. Electric Circuits Podcast 2 – Resistance and Ohm’s Law will be due as announced in class (followed by a quiz), and assignment 1 will follow. Full week! 🙂
*** For those of you on the chorale field trip, please visit this website to answer questions based on the following three simulations:
1.) Ohm’s Law
2.) Resistance
3.) Battery-Resistor Circuit
AND watch/take notes on Electric Circuits Podcast 2 – Resistance and Ohm’s Law AND do assignment 1.

*6th period, you will race your mousetrap cars since you already took the test. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

This week in astronomy: We will take a quiz over the first set of learning goals, which is covered in Moon Podcast 1 – Introduction and Orbit. Then we’ll use models to figure out how the phases of the moon work in relation to the positions of the Earth, the moon, and the sun, and we’ll analyze rise/set data to determine the visibility periods for each phase. This will take all week, and it will be awesome. Moon Podcast 2 – Lunar Phases and their Appearances and Moon Podcast 3 – The Phases and their Timings will support your work, as will Lunar Phases Interactive. However, don’t look at these before we do them in class, or it will spoil all the fun. Finally, those outdoor labs are still haunting us. Look at the image below and feel the emotion of my tears. I have full confidence that we can get these done by the week we return from spring break, though. The new due date for BOTH the Astronomy Unit 1 – Outdoor Lab and the Astronomy Unit 2 – Outdoor Lab is Tuesday, April 9. The unit 2 one is spread out over a couple of weeks, and you need to take measurements at the same time of day, so get moving asap. Four days in the coming week should have some sun, so don’t delay.

Cool Science of the Week: So this is big news. I mean BIG news. Like, so big that it almost could be, like, the BIGGEST kind of news…and yet it’s not quite the biggest kind of news. Still, it’s BIG. Really, REALLY BIG.

…so getting on with it then…

The NASA Curiosity Rover that’s been robotically joyriding all over the surface of Mars taking pretty pictures and running chemical analyses of rocks has found…(here’s what it’s found get excited)…evidence that Mars may have sustained life. WHOALIKEWHAT? Here’s the scoop: All of the chemical elements required by living organisms and running, potable water were present on Mars. Now, it’s not like they found fossils, but the fact that it is truly possible that Mars could have supported life is, like, BIG science news. I mean, like, “I’m a scientist and this is me freaking out” big.

Pop quiz: Which one is a real robot?

P.S. Don’t forget to try to find the comet if there’s a timely break in the clouds!