Week of February 23, 2015

Well, who expected a two day week last week? Obviously we’ll be continuing with some of the items from last week’s blog. We ALSO have to do scheduling this week, so that will take up some extra time. We’ve got to stay focused and work efficiently, so be ready! 🙂

This Week in AP Physics
The Analysis of P-V Diagrams lab is due on Monday along with homework 3. We wil debrief these on Monday and possibly into Tuesday. On Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday we will finish the unit on thermal physics by examining the 2nd and 3rd laws and doing homework 4 for Wednesday or Thursday. Expect the test by the end of the week UNLESS our course scheduling takes more time than I anticipate.

This Week in Physics
We spent a lot of time last week discussing scheduling options for next year, so we still need to debrief the first three podcasts on circular motion. Then we will do our Centripetal Force Lab and assignment 1 followed by a quiz as announced. Expect the test late next week.

This Week in Astronomy
We’ll examine how and why the sky changes throughout the year so that you’ll know how to figure out what the sky should look like on any day at any time at any latitude. Cool stuff! Podcast 4 – Seasonal Constellations and Star Magnitude covers the topics we’ll be going into to finish this unit. To do a final reinforcement of our skills, we will do a virtual lab using Stellarium freeware. We will likely test by the end of the week, although we may not test until early next week. On the day of the test, Unit 1 – Homework Questions are due. These make for a quick review to prepare you for the test. It is also time for you to begin your first outdoor lab. This will require you to go outside on a clear night at one hour intervals to make a total of three observations of the night sky. Please follow the instructions on the lab to complete it correctly, and see me if you have any questions. Obviously the weather is pretty dangerously cold right now, so I will give you a few weeks to do this lab. We’ll watch the weather and can extend the due date if necessary, but as of now, I’m anticipating making it due on Friday, March 13. Note: You do not have to print the homework questions. You can just write your answers on notebook paper. However, you will need to print the outdoor lab, which is only two pages. (Be sure to print in black-and-white. 🙂 )

Cool Science of the Week
You may have heard in the news this week about a privately-funded, privately-run project called Mars One, which plans to send humans to Mars to begin colonization in 2024. This week Mars One announced that it has narrowed the applicant pool down to 100 candidates for the 24 spots available to go to Mars…and never return. Will it work? MIT says it will face big technological challenges that will make it impossible using today’s technology. This will be an interesting project to watch over these next nine years!