About Shelly Burgess

Shelly Burgess is a veteran high school physics and astronomy teacher in Northeast Ohio.

Week of September 25, 2017

We are fully into the last half of first quarter, so be sure to pay attention to PowerSchool to check that your assignments are complete and up-to-date.

This Week in Physics
For Monday complete Goal Set 3 in your goal packet. We will go over this and take a quiz over these goals by the end of the period on Monday. For Tuesday take notes on PODCAST 4: Kinematic Equations and Free Fall but stop at 8:52 (where the topic of free fall begins.) We will go over this on Tuesday and Wednesday and complete assignment 3 together in class, followed by a quiz, as announced. When announced please take notes on the remainder of Podcast 4.
NOTE: For 8th and 11th periods…Follow these instructions except that your Goal Set 3 quiz will be Tuesday.

Cool Science of the Week
As icebergs melt and break apart due to climate change, researchers standing on the ice can feel vibrations under their feet. They have recently recorded those vibrations and realized that the icebergs are making sounds! Played at high speed, the sounds make a strange, eerie music. Listen here!

Close Look at a Crack on Larsen C
The rift in this iceberg is about three football fields wide and runs all the way through to the bottom of the iceberg. When it finally breaks off, it will be the size of Delaware.

Week of September 18, 2017

This Wednesday we have a late start, and classes will begin at 8:45. In addition, please be certain to check the schedule of Princeton Review pull-out sessions, which begin on Wednesday.

This Week in Physics
On Monday we will continue to experiment with acceleration in order to examine its effects on motion. This will include graph analysis and analysis of signs. We will then complete assignment 2 together in class followed by a quiz, as announced. By the end of the week you may be asked to take notes on Podcast 4: Kinematic Equations and Free Fall.

Cool Science of the Week
Twenty years ago NASA sent the Cassini space probe on a mission to Saturn. After visiting Saturn’s moons, flying through its rings multiple times, and taking atmospheric data, NASA today sent Cassini plummeting down into Saturn’s gaseous body where Cassini would be crushed to oblivion. On its way dowm it sent back to us information about Saturn’s surface and gravitational forces. Pretty amazing!

Week of September 11, 2017

On Monday we will have a special bell schedule to allow us to participate in an important presentation in observance of 9/11. In addition, we will have a special bell schedule on Wednesday, September 13, as the juniors will take a practice PSAT.

This Week in Physics
On Monday (and possibly Tuesday) we will complete assignment 1 from unit 1 together in class, so please be sure to bring your textbooks. (Note: 8th period has this assignment DUE on Monday.) On the day after we finish this assignment, we will take a quiz over learning goals sets 1 and 2. (Note: 8th period won’t have this quiz until Tuesday.) We will then begin to experiment with accelerated motion as we explore learning goal set 3. To prepare for this, please watch Podcast 3: Acceleration by the date announced in class, most likely Tuesday or Wednesday. Time permitting we will work on assignment 2 from unit 1, but this may carry over into next week. 

A hard copy of your lab report for the uniform motion lab is due at the start of your class period this Wednesday, September 13. All documents needed to write the lab can be found in last week’s blog entry. 

Finally, every student needs to add this class to her or his TurnItIn.com account by Tuesday at the start of your class period. The class ID and enrollment key are below. We will discuss in class how you should use the website. (Don’t forget to check out the Cool Science of the Week below.)

Cool Science of the Week
As the Western Hemisphere deals with so many horrible and tragic hurricanes, you can track the winds with this real-time
world wind map and this United States wind map. Both are pretty amazing.

Week of September 4, 2017

Remember to take Monday off to “honor the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country.

This Week in Physics
If you have not yet subscribed to this blog, you should. Look on the right side of this page (if you’re on a computer) or scroll to the bottom (if you’re on a phone) to find the subscription link. If you have not yet subscribed to Remind for this class, text @shellyburg to 81010. Read on…

For Tuesday please take notes on Unit 1 Podcast 2: Interpreting Graphs of Position v Time. (Remember that your podcast notes go in a notebook, not your composition book, although you need to bring both books to class.) We will debrief this in class as well as tie in the discoveries we made while doing our uniform motion experiment. We will also progress through some graph interpretation activities using the Moving Man application from PhET.

As the week progresses we will spend time in the media center learning how to write lab reports for this course. It is essential that you can log into your @alstudent.org account in order to work on the report, so be sure you have confirmed your login information before class on Wednesday. Your lab report for this class is due next Wednesday, September 13 at the start of your class period. Documents you will need to write the lab report are:


Cool Science of the Week
Imagine finding out that someone invented an iPhone long, long ago…A similar thing has just happened to mathematicians! We have long regarded Greek astronomer Hipparchus to have been the founder of trigonometry in 120 BC, but researchers have finally decoded a stone tablet found in the early 1900s (by the guy who was the inspiration for Indiana Jones!), and it turns out this tablet shows that trigonometry was founded long before Hipparchus did his work…3700 years ago around the year 1700 BC in Babylon! That’s 1900 years earlier in a totally different part of the world! (The tablet, known as Plimpton 332, was found in Babylon’s ruins near Baghdad, Iraq. Babylon was a major city in ancient Mesopotamia.)To mathematicians and scientists, this discovery is like finding out someone invented an iPhone 1900 years ago in the year 100 CE!
Dr Daniel Mansfield with the 3,700-year-old trigonometric table

Week of August 28, 2017

Great job on your first week of physics! Now we’re ready to roll!

This Week in Physics
For Monday please take notes on PODCAST 1: Displacement and Velocity. We will discuss this podcast and will then complete a quick assignment together in class. Following that excitement we’ll learn how to use our physics laboratory software, which is called Capstone, and by the end of the week we’ll complete our first experiment. Nothing but awesomeness ahead!

Cool Science of the Week
We discussed multiple dimensions in class this past week, but it sure is a hard thing to imagine for us four-dimensional mortals. This video helps us begin to grasp how additional dimensions may be possible. Of course, we can only prove the existence of four dimensions, but physics speculates that there could be many more!
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
~Albert Einstein, What Life Means to Einstein (1929)

Week of August 21, 2017

Welcome to another great school year! If you are new to my classes, please be sure to subscribe to my blog by entering your email along the right side of this webpage. Then be sure to check your inbox for an activation link. 

This Week in Physics

  • This week we will take a 45-minute assessment to provide data required by the State of Ohio. We will also take a physics readiness assessment. Let me reassure you that neither of these tests will count for a grade. They are merely skills and prior knowledge assessments. Please bring your calculators and #2 pencils.
  • By Friday you must review the Physics Course Policies and Procedures document with a parent or guardian and print/sign the final page. This signed final page is due by Friday, August 26.
  • Please be sure to sign up for Remind for our class using the codes given in class.
  • Please be sure to have a composition notebook for this course by next Monday, August 28.

Cool Science of the Week
As you know, this week Cleveland experiences a fairly decent partial solar eclipse. This diagram gives us a quick glimpse of why we’re experiencing a partial eclipse and not a total eclipse. We are in the moon’s partial shadow, or penumbra, which is relatively large. The moon’s total shadow, or umbra, is very, very small compared to the size of the Earth itself, so only a tiny portion of Earth is exposed to a total eclipse. Click on the image for more information.
Image result for solar eclipse alignment

Exam Week and into SUMMER!

Thank you for a wonderful year! (Be sure to unsubscribe to this blog using the link at the bottom of this email unless you want me to spam you next year. 🙂 )

This Week in Physics
We’ll take our exams according to the schedule for juniors shown in the second calendar pictured below.

Hot Science of the Week
With summer coming, it’s a great time to talk about global warming! Check out the lost glacial ice in Antarctica, shown below from the past decade. Scientists say major coastal floods are looming. See also these maps of melting glaciers in Glacier National Park. (In fact, scientists project that soon there will be no glaciers at all in Glacier National Park!) Who cares, right? Well, rising sea levels flood coastlines and allow saltwater to poison groundwater, making it useless for farming and drinking and creating climate refugees. As for us? We’re a coastal city, ya know 😉

Week of May 22, 2017

SENIORS!!! This is it!!! Congratulations!!! (I can’t BELIEVE our time together is over (SOB!!!)) And juniors, this is our last full week together before exams next week…SOB!!! I love you all and will miss you very much. Here is (sniffle) your exam schedule. Our exam covers Units 4 (goal sets 3 & 4 only), 5, 6, 7, & 8 (only 8.1 for seniors.)

This Week in Physics if You’re a Junior
There is no homework for Monday so that you can relax and enjoy prom weekend. 🙂 On Monday we’ll complete a virtual lab in class. For Tuesday please take notes on PODCAST 2: Series Circuits. We’ll do assignment 2 in class on Tuesday followed by a quiz over both goal set 1 and goal set 2 as announced. For Wednesday or Thursday, as announced, please take notes on PODCAST 3: Parallel Circuits. We will do another virtual lab in class along with assignment 3. Exam note: There will be no in-class review for the final exam. Please start reviewing on your own early.

Cool Science of the Week
Is fairness an evolutionary moral trait? You’ve got to see what these Capuchin monkeys do when they are treated unequally. Not just clickbait: This will make you laugh!

Week of May 15, 2017

It’s finally here! Cedar Point week is upon us! AND this is the last full week of school for our seniors! With that in mind, I’m sharing the exam schedules. Senior exams run next week from May 24 – 26. In addition, junior exams run the following week from May 30 – June 1. Our exam covers Units 4 (goal sets 3 & 4 only), 5, 6, 7, & 8. Schedules are below.

This Week in Physics
Due for Monday: Please take notes on PODCAST 1: Introduction to Circuits, Current, Resistance, and Ohm’s Law. This one is a little long, so be sure to budget time for it. On Tuesday we will GO TO CEDAR POINT!!! YAY!!! 🙂 On Wednesday we will discuss what we learned at Cedar Point and will then continue to discuss the introduction to electric circuits. We’ll also do an online activity followed by assignment 1 and a quiz as announced. Time permitting please take notes on PODCAST 2: Series Circuits if assigned.

Cool Science of the Week
You will not believe what this puffer fish does to attract a mate! It’s amazing!


Weeks of May 1 and May 8 2017

The week of May 1 will be a significantly shortened week due to state testing and AP testing. We will likely only have the equivalent of two quality days together. 🙁 Therefore this entry covers a two week span.

These Weeks in Physics
By now everyone should have taken notes on PODCAST 4: Electric Potential Energy, Electric Potential, and Potential Difference. We will finish going over these and will then do assignment 4. During the week of May 8  we will complete the amazing Electric Fields Lab and will then take the unit 7 test. We’ll then do our Cedar Point orientation – fun fun! 😀

Cool Science of these Weeks
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson made history last week by spending more days in space than any other American astronaut. At the time of this writing, she has spent a total of over 538 days in space over the past fifteen years!