About Shelly Burgess

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

Week of March 6, 2017

This week you have no classes on Thursday and Friday due to parent-teacher conferences. (See below under the Cool Science of the Week.)

This Week in Physics
On Monday we will take our test over the momentum unit.  For Tuesday please take notes on PODCAST 1: Circular Motion part 1 AND PODCAST 2: Circular Motion part 2. These podcasts are longer than usual (about thirty minutes in total), but they comprise almost all of the material for this unit, which is very short. We will go over this material on Tuesday and will then do assignment 1, followed by a quiz on the day after we complete the assignment. Since this is a short week with a lot of material, it is possible we may not take the quiz until next week. 

Cool Science of the Week
Cool twin study time! From March 27, 2015 through March 2, 2016 astronaut Scott Kelly and Cosmonaut  Mikhail Korniyenko spent a year living in space aboard the International Space Station. The purpose was to see how well the human body could handle possible future travel to other places, such as Mars. In a twist of super-convenient fate, Scott Kelly has a TWIN! His brother, Mark Kelly, is a retired astronaut, and NASA has released information about how their bodies compared after Scott’s year in space. Among many differences: Scott’s GENES changed while in space! Scott became TALLER than his brother! And many, many more…wild! Video link

Conferences: Avon Lake High School will be hosting parent/teacher conferences on Wednesday, March 8th from 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and again on Thursday, March 9th all day. You do not need to make an appointment for conferences on March 8th. Feel free to stop in anytime between 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to see your child’s teacher. However, if you will be joining us on March 9th, you will need to make an appointment by clicking THIS LINK.  If you’re having trouble signing up, please give us a call here in the office and ask for Mrs. Wetzig. Just a reminder, there is no school for students on March 9th or March 10th. 

Week of February 27, 2017

There are four more weeks until the end of the third quarter, and March starts this week. Time is flying by!

This Week on Physics
On Monday we will take a quiz over goal set 2 (classifying collisions based on system kinetic energy.) Also for Monday please take notes on PODCAST 3: The Impulse-Momentum Theorem. We will discuss this podcast in class and will then analyze impulse and momentum change data through the Impulse-Momentum Theorem Lab. After that we will do  assignment 4. Expect the momentum unit test by the end of this week or (more likely) early next week.

Cool Science of the Week
This week NASA announced the discovery of a solar system a mere 40 light years away (relatively close) that has SEVEN small, rocky planets, three of which are in the “habitable zone,” the region around a star in which a planet could have liquid water and a temperate climate and could, therefore, harbor life.* The system is called TRAPPIST-1, and the planets are so close together that if you lived on one, you’d be able to see other planets in the sky in such detail that you could see their atmospheres! Scientists’ next step is to analyze chemical signatures of the planets to determine if they have water along with other chemical conditions required by Earth-like life forms. Video link

Do you think if you lived there you’d take vacations from one planet to another?

*Given how close they are to the star, the intensity of the star’s radiation, and the potential for atmospheric composition, all seven could have liquid water!

 

 

Week of February 20, 2017

This will be a short week as we observe Presidents’ Day on Monday.

This Week in Physics
If you have not already done so (which would have been a mistake 😉 ) please take notes on PODCAST 2: Types of Collisions – The role of kinetic energy by Tuesday. We will go over the different types of collisions with an analysis of system kinetic energy and will then do assignment 3 together in class followed by a quiz over goal set 2 as announced. That should fill up our week, although it is possible that we will assign PODCAST 3: The Impulse-Momentum Theorem for Friday. ~*Due on Wednesday*~ Your Conservation of Momentum lab report is due on Wednesday (postponed from Friday the 17th.) A hard copy is due at the start of class, and an upload to TurnItIn.com is due by 3:00 on that day. Use our writing guides to organize and create your reports properly: Lab Report Writing Guide and Lab Report Rubric. As always, you must write while logged into your Google account on a shared Google Drive document. You must share your document with me as an editor. Use this email address: burgessm@alstudent.org.

Cool Science of the Week
About a decade ago the BBC set viewership records with its series Planet Earth. Known for its extraordinary photography and storytelling, the show has finally returned with Planet Earth 2, filmed in ultra HD. Here’s a preview as a young sloth goes in search of love (awww!!!) The series premiers this Saturday, February 18th at 9:00 on BBC America.

Week of February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! <3

This Week in Physics
On Monday we will take a quiz over momentum goal sets 1 & 2. Next we will crunch numbers from our  momentum lab and analyze the role of kinetic energy in the two types of collisions we explored. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 2: Types of Collisions – The role of kinetic energy. Important notes:
~*1*~ This is course recommendation week, so expect significant disruptions to our physics work as we explore your many options for next year. I will conference with each of you individually to help you make informed decisions. Please spend some time looking through our Program of Studies. As seniors you will have more choices than ever before, and it’s worth taking time now to ensure that your senior year will be both productive and enjoyable.
~*2*~ Your Conservation of Momentum lab report is due on Friday. A hard copy is due at the start of class, and an upload to TurnItIn.com is due by 3:00 on that day. Use our writing guides to organize and create your reports properly: Lab Report Writing Guide and Lab Report Rubric. As always, you must write while logged into your Google account on a shared Google Drive document. You must share your document with me as an editor. Use this email address: burgessm@alstudent.org.

Cool Science of the Week
Did he flop? (link) The physics of inertia, energy, and momentum holds the answer! (Hint: Look at the inertia and momentum of the lower half of LeBron’s body when Draymond Green so viciously attacks him)
P.S. LeBron is the GOAT

Week of February 6, 2017

This Week in Physics
We will complete assignment 1 & 2 on momentum and will take a quiz on goal set 1 when announced. Next up we’ll analyze system momentum experimentally by doing the Conservation of Momentum Lab. If/when announced, please take notes on PODCAST 2: Types of Collisions – The role of kinetic energy.
The Conservation of Energy Lab is due on Thursday. A hard copy is due at the start of class, and an upload to TurnItIn.com is due by 3:00 on that day. Use our writing guides to organize and create your reports properly: Lab Report Writing Guide and Lab Report Rubric. As always, you must write while logged into your Google account on a shared Google Drive document. You must share your document with me as an editor. Use this email address: burgessm@alstudent.org.

Cool Science of the Week
In honor of our snow day, here’s some LITERALLY cool science that takes you on a “Snowflake Safari” to discover whether the old adage is true that no two snowflakes are alike.

Week of January 30, 2017

This Week in Physics
For Monday (first period and eight/nine periods) or Tuesday (all youze other people) please take notes on Podcast 1: The Law of Conservation of Momentum from unit 5. We will go over these together and will then complete assignment 1 in class, followed by a quiz on the day after we finish. This will be a bit of a disrupted week due to the spirit assembly and other conflicts, so stay tuned in class for further instructions and assignments.

Cool Science of the Week
In last week’s CSotW entry we mentioned climate refugees. A climate refugee is a person whose homeland becomes uninhabitable due to the effects of climate change. For example, Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana will soon be flooded with seawater beyond the point of habitability. Rising sea levels allow salty seawater to infiltrate soil and groundwater, causing plants to die and making agriculture impossible. It also “poisons” sources of drinking water with salt. Moreover these coastal areas are more susceptible to the stronger storms that come along with climate change. Some island countries are facing complete elimination as all of their livable land disappears. For example, the island nation of Kiribati used its remaining resources to buy land from Fiji to relocate their entire country. One of the most heartfelt problems faced by climate refugees is the loss not only of their property and economic stability but also the loss of their entire culture as people leave and move into the wide world. What solutions can you think of to help climate refugees?

Week of January 23, 2017

Hello! 🙂

This Week in Physics
For Monday please finish  assignment 3. We’ll go over this and do our goal packets on Monday in class. For Tuesday please take notes on PODCAST 4: Power. We go over this and will then do  assignment 4 together in class. On the day after we do assignment 4 we will take a quiz over the topics of power and the law of conservation of mechanical energy. This quiz will be worth twice the points of a normal quiz. Finally we will complete the  Conservation of Energy Lab. Next up? Momentum!

Cool Science of the Week
Or, rather, hot science of the week. Scientists this past week released 2016 climate data that shows that, once again, we’ve set another record for the hottest year ever. The global average temperature last year was 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average for the entire 20th century, and in some locales (notably near the poles) this average was around four degrees higher! Obviously this results in melted sea ice, which has reached its lowest values in thousands of years. (Melting sea ice is a major topic that we should dive into another time! Check out 2017 compared to 2016 in the second graph below!)

temperature map
ice graph

Weeks of January 9 and January 16, 2017

Congratulations on nearing completion of your first semester of physics! That’s an amazing accomplishment! This blog post covers exam week and the following week. Note that there is no school on Friday, January 13 due to a teacher work day, and there is no school on Monday, January 16, as we observe Martlin Luther King, Jr. Day.

These Weeks in Physics
You will take your exam during the class period of your main physics class (not your lab period.) The schedule is below.  The exam is comprehensive and will cover all material from units 1-4. Your learning goal packets are your study guides. If you’ve lost your goal packets, you can find them posted at the top of each unit webpage.

For Tuesday, January 17 please take notes on Podcast 3: Conservation of Mechanical Energy. We will go over this in class and will then do assignment 3 and a the Conservation of Energy Lab.  Finally we will do a short topic, power, followed by assignment 4 and then a quiz over both goal set 3 and goal set 4, as announced. This will almost certainly take us well into the week of January 23.

Cool Science of these Weeks
You may remember that when you were back at Troy (or whatever school you went to in fifth or sixth grade) there was a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan that destroyed the country’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, leaking large amounts of radioactive material into the Pacific ocean. Last month scientists announced that the radioactive material, cesium-134, has finally reached America’s coast, showing up in Oregon’s waters and beaches. The levels are fairly low and don’t pose an immediate threat to life or the environment but caused significant damage in the region where the earthquake and leak originally occurred. What do you think about the use of nuclear power in earthquake-prone regions?

Weeks of December 19, 2016 and January 2, 2017

This entry covers the entire rest of the semester except for exam week. Please be sure to check PowerSchool for any missing assignments.

These Weeks in Physics
We are a smidge behind last week’s plans due to the snow day on Thursday (squee!) Therefore on the day after your class finishes assignment 1, you will have a quiz over learning goal set 1. Also due on that day are the notes from Podcast 2: Work-Energy Theorem. We will then do  assignment  2 together in calss. On the day after your class finishes that assignment, you will have a quiz over learning goal set 2. Also due on that day are the notes from Podcast 3: Conservation of Mechanical Energy. This will lead us up to exam week. NOTE ON THE MID-TERM EXAM: It is comprehensive and will cover all material from units 1-4. Your learning goal packets are your study guides. If you’ve lost your goal packets, you can find them posted at the top of each unit webpage. Suggestion: Start reviewing a little – just a little – now. You’ll thank yourself later. 🙂

Cool Science of These Weeks
Coming out on January 6 is a new movie called Hidden Figures (Rotten Tomatoes 95% score) that tells the amazing story of three African-American women mathematicians who were pivotal in launching John Glenn on his historic mission to orbit the globe, catching the U.S. up in the space race with the Soviet Union in the 1960s and thrilling the nation. The story has historical twists in that the women worked in a segregated part of NASA and received virtually no recognition until this fall when the movie (and the book upon which it’s based) started getting recognition – including Oscar buzz! (See last week’s Science of the Week for information on John Glenn.)

Week of December 12, 2016

This Week in Physics
For Monday please take notes on unit 4 Podcast 1: Introduction to Mechanical Energy. We will go over this in class and will do unit 4 assignment 1 together. On the day after we finish that assignment we will quiz over learning goal set 1. Also due on that day are the notes from Podcast 2: Work-Energy TheoremWe will go over this in class and will do unit 4 assignment  2 together.

Sad Science of the Week
This past Thursday, December 8, America & Ohio lost one of our great heroes when John Glenn passed away at the age of 95. Senator Glenn served in the U.S. Senate for twenty-four years (1974-1998) but first rose to prominence as a pioneer in space exploration in the 1960s. At 9:47 a.m. on February 20, 1962 Mr. Glenn launched into outer space and orbited Earth three times, making him the first American to orbit the globe. On October 29, 1998 Mr. Glenn boarded the space shuttle Discovery at the age of 77, making him the oldest person to explore outer space. Before his time as an astronaut and public servant, he flew combat missions in the Pacific during WWII. Through it all his associates noted his humble and generous nature. America has lost a true hero. Let’s remember him.

174537main_glenn_john_hr.jpg
Senator Glenn in 1998