Week of March 9, 2015

We’re looking forward to a WARMER week with a more NORMAL bell schedule now that mid-year PARCC tests are done. Awesome! The following week of March 16, however, brings us right back to another special bell schedule due to OGT testing week. We’re going to have to focus hard this week, as some of you will barely see me during OGT week. That week also marks the end of the third quarter. Since we will barely be together during that last week of the quarter, be sure to make time to see me if you have any outstanding work to do.

This Week in AP Physics
On Monday we will finish going over electric fields and will do our modified demo version of the electric fields lab. A full lab report will be due for this lab on Wednesday, March 18 (hardcopy due at the start of class, upload to TurnItIn.com by 3:00.) Homework 2 will be due on Tuesday of this week (March 10) when we will also begin covering electric potential. This will lead us into homework 3, capacitors, homework 4, and a test. The test will likely be on Monday or Wednesday of next week (no class on Tuesday), but we may be able to get it in this Friday. Finally, remember that our comprehensive “end-of-course” testing required by the state will take place on Tuesday, March 24.

This Week in Physics
Depending on which period you have physics, your circular motion unit test will be on Monday or Tuesday. We will then spend some time getting geared up for our comprehensive “end-of-course” testing required by the state, which will take place this Friday, March 13. We will also begin electrostatics this week. For those of you writing the formal lab report on circular motion, please turn it in at the start of class on Tuesday (even if we have our test that day) and upload it to TurnItIn.com by 3:00 of that day.

This Week in Astronomy
On Monday we’ll be in the planetarium viewing the path of the sun at different latitudes at different times of year. Then we’ll analyze data to answer the question, “Why does the sun’s position change throughout the year?” We’ll spend the remainder of this week doing activities to prepare us for the sun unit test by Friday. Then we’re off to the moon! Remember that every lecture is included in the podcast for this unit, so if you’ve been absent or want to review, you can use that resource. Also remember that on the day of the test, the Unit 2 – Homework Questions are due as a review. Finally, remember to keep working on your first outdoor lab, which is due this Friday, March 13. (See the blog entry from February 23 for details.)

Cool Science of the Week
In physics we’ve talked a lot about planetary and satellite orbits. What happens to old satellites and rockets that are now “space junk?” There are a lot of them out there cluttering up the region above Earth, and they keep colliding with each other, creating massive amounts of shrapnel. If you’ve seen the movie Gravity, you know that the 300,000 pieces of broken satellite and rocket parts floating around in outer space are truly an issue. Eventually there could be enough junk out there that we won’t be able to safely replace old satellites with new ones nor even consider launching ourselves into the universe. How are we going to clean things up?