Week of February 18, 2012

You’ve all been working so hard that I’ve decided that you can take Monday off from school. Enjoy! (While you’re off, you might want to consider the important contributions our presidents have made to our country. ;))

Everyone, this will be a bit of a wonky week. First, it’s only a four-day week. Second, we have to do course recommendations for next year, which means I will conference with all juniors individually during class activities. Finally, I have a professional conference with the Ohio Department of Education on Friday. We will do our best, but be ready for some adjustments to our routines.

This week in physics: On Tuesday we will finish unit 5 by completing assignment 4 and doing a culminating activity in which you’ll have to figure out a solution to an engineering conundrum. The test is on Wednesday. Study early and make arrangements soon if you need extra help. Please remember to do to write a research paragraph about the topic you chose related to momentum. We will not be turning in hard copies, so be sure to upload it to TurnItIn.com by Thursday at 3:00 so that I can grade your electronic document. (Class ID: 5463766; Password: physicsrules) Next we will take a look around the topic of circular motion in unit 6. This nice, short unit and will mark the end of our exploration of mechanics. I hesitate to give assignments for Thursday and Friday at this time, as we won’t know quite how the week will go until we get there.

This week in astronomy: Please remember to do the Astronomy Unit 1 – Outdoor LabIt requires you to go outside at night to make observations, and it is due the day of the test, which is Wednesday. In addition, you should also do the Astronomy Unit 1 – Homework Questions as homework, due the day of the test. Remember to use the Astronomy Unit 1 – Unit Overview, the podcasts, and (if needed) the Astronomy Unit 1 – Readings to help you study. If you’ve lost your star maps, you can print new ones, since you’ll need them for the test (no sharing during the test): Star Map – North and South Declination and Star Map – Circumpolar Stars. On Thursday we will begin our next unit, The Ecliptic Motion of the Sun, which deals with the same things we did in unit 1 but during the daytime instead of the night. To get us started, in class on Thursday you’ll examine some data in order to draw conclusions about the sun’s motion, and then we’ll put it together cohesively as a class.

Cool Science of the Week: With all of the objects streaking through our sky from outer space this past week, it’s an appropriate time to tell you about a non-scary streaking sky object, our International Space Station. You can “Spot the Space Station” by signing up for emails and texts that will alert you when the space station will be visible in your area. Cool!

…and finally, I need not say more than simply…