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!