Weeks of November 19 and November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Because we only have two days of school next week, I’m combining these two weeks together into one post.

These weeks in physics: Unless your class took a quiz over friction on Friday, you will take it on Monday. All physics classes will spend Monday and Tuesday scraping things together in an awesome friction lab. For Monday, November 26, please view Force Podcast 7 – Elastic Force, and Force Podcast 8 – Elastic Force Sample Problems. We will do practice problems in class with the ActivExpressions and then dive into assignment 3. Expect a quiz on Tuesday the 27th over elastic force. Also for Tuesday, please view the podcasts on inertia and static equilibrium: Force Podcast 9 – Inertia and Force Podcast 10 – Static Equilibrium. We will have some fun with demos in class, do a little practice with the ActivExpressions, and then do assignment 4, followed by a quiz on Wednesday or Thursday. Then things will get a bit intense when we explore Newton’s Second Law. Podcasts 11-18 cover this topic to great depth. I’ll let you know when you should watch each of these. We’ll practice a lot in class, and each class will follow a pace natural to that class. My aim is to finish Newton’s second law, visit Newton’s third law, and take a test by the end of the week of December 3rd.

This week in astronomy: We are just about finished with the unit on eclipses, and I have uploaded the last podcast for this unit: Eclipses Podcast 3 – Lunar Eclipses. We will take a test over this unit on Tuesday, November 20. (Remember my policy that if you have more than two tests on the day we have a test, and you bring me signed and dated notes from the other teachers verifying that you have those tests, you can postpone my test by one day. This will mean you have to schedule to take the test on the Monday after Thanksgiving break during a lunch or study hall.) When we return from break, we will explore the solar system…not literally, but figuratively speaking. 🙂 After some preliminary basic information from me, you’ll begin a research project on a planet of your choice. Fun times ahead!

COOL SCIENCE! Lot’s of fun stuff again! First, there’s a big NASA conference called Technology Days that’s taking place RIGHT HERE IN THE LAND OF CLEVE from November 28–30! According to the website, “this three-day event and technology showcase will bring together a broad community of stakeholders from industry, academia, and the U.S. government to engage in strategy development, partnership building, and implementation of ways to foster technology transfer and innovation.” It’s free and open to the public! That includes you!

Second, outer space right around Earth is becoming a bit of a giant trash can, filled with broken bits of satellites, old rocket boosters, and other debris. The US military is asking for help from amateur astronomers in identifying trajectories of this debris so that we can try to protect our valuable equipment that’s in orbit. A shout out to Gavin for sending in this article!

Finally, this has nothing directly to do with science, but I thought it might interest you. Here’s an excerpt from an article on college admissions officers checking prospective students’ social media footprints at an increasing rate, to deleterious effectIt’s no secret that college and university admissions officers run semi-frequent social media checks of prospective students, but the practice has turned increasingly dismal for students who failed, in one way or another, to exercise Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube caution. Admissions officers who responded to a national survey this fall said the percentage of applications that had been negatively affected by social media searches had nearly tripled, from 12 percent in 2010 to 35 percent in 2011.

Did that say 35%? Yikes…

Nagging completed! I wish all of my students and their families a great Thanksgiving!