Week of April 8, 2013


This week in physics: On Monday we’ll have an open-notes quiz over podcasts 3 & 4 from the electric circuits unit. (These were announced for the Thursday before break, but the assemblies got in our way. Hopefully you already have the notes and can veg over break. :)) After the quiz, we’ll debrief the podcasts to answer any questions you may have, and then we’ll work together on assignment 2 followed by a formal quiz the day after we finish the assignment. The next fantastic thing we’ll do is another mini-lab in which we’ll uncover the secrets of a second type of circuit. The day after you do this lab, we’ll have another open-notes podcast quiz over Electric Circuits Podcast 5 and Electric Circuits Podcast 6. Then we’ll follow the same pattern (debrief, assignment, formal quiz.) It’s entirely likely that some of this will spill elegantly into next week.

This week in astronomyWe’ll study one of the most fantastic phenomena in astronomy, eclipses, by creating some conceptual building blocks with notes and activities on Monday. You’ll have to put some puzzle pieces together to figure out how eclipses work, so it should be good fun. We’ll have a quiz on Tuesday or Wednesday over this introductory material. Then we’ll turn our attention specifically to solar eclipses by first doing a “jigsaw” in which you’ll each become an expert on one type of eclipse and then team up to share your expertise to solve problems. Notes and a second project will follow. If we finish the topic by Thursday, you’ll take a quiz over solar eclipses on Friday. Next week we’ll examine lunar eclipses, and it’s possible we’ll test by the end of next week. Like eclipses themselves, this unit is short-lived!

Cool Science of the Week: I’m fairly jazzed about this beautiful, although obnoxiously-narrated, montage of NASA footage of the surface of the sun. Seen through many different filters, the footage allows us a glimpse of various types of radiation to illuminate the activity along the sun’s surface. Fantastic! SUN