Week of September 3

This week in physics: Having completed the data collection phase of our first lab, we will journey to the computer lab to begin writing our lab reports “physics style” (which, by the way, is very stylish. :)) For a preview, you can check out our Lab Report Writing Guide and the Analysis of Uniform Motion Lab Rubric. In addition, we will learn to use Google docs to write our lab reports. If you do not already have a Google account, you will create one in class through our school’s Google accounts. Following our work on the lab reports, we will dive deeply into analyzing graphs of motion. (For a preview, you can check out The Moving Man if you’d like. It’s fun! :)) Finally, by the end of the week we will begin our first real set of “homework” problems, which, in keeping with the flipped classroom model, we will do in class. Look for your first quiz mid-week the following week. Note: If I assigned extra math practice problems to you, please be sure to do those asap. You can find them here: Extra Math Help Information and Practice Page

This week in Astronomy: We will wrap up the star mapping phase of our first unit as we complete the constellation project on Monday and Tuesday. Then we’ll explore the Celestial Equator in more detail followed by the Celestial North Pole and the Celestial South Pole. Look for a quiz mid-week on star mapping.

Cool Science of the Week: There was WAY too much cool science this week just to pick one thing! Here are some terrific things that happened this week:

How delicious does that sound? Chilean astronomers have identified sugar crystals surrounding a star. What’s the significance? Sugar is one of the building blocks of life. Interesting!


Find out how this guy played the first song broadcast from another planet!


Photos of Mars…Taken on Mars!
So, seriously, these are amazing. The Curiosity rover on Mars has a Mast Camera (“MastCam”) that’s taking beautiful pictures. It’s almost like you’re there!

Finally, this past Saturday America lost one of its great scientific pioneers, Ohio native Neil Armstrong, who was the first human to set foot on the moon back in July of 1969. To read more, you can check out this tribute from NASA.

Neil Armstrong
August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012
Moon walk: July 20, 1969

Week of August 27, 2012

A big “GOOD JOB” goes out to all of you for a great start to the school year! You were prepared and focused, and I’m excited to work with you!

This week in physics: If you have not already brought in a composition book for this class, you really need to do so by Monday, as we’ll be using it all the time. Also be sure to bring your scientific calculator and notes with you every day. If you haven’t already done so, you must take good notes on the following podcasts by Monday at the latest: Motion in One Dimension Podcast 1 – Distance v. DisplacementMotion in One Dimension Podcast 2 – Displacement & Direction, and Motion in One Dimension Podcast 3 – Speed vs. Velocity. We’ll be going over these on Monday and then doing classwork based on the notes you take. Come prepared! As the week goes on we’ll also cover Motion in One Dimension Podcast 4 – Slope of Position vs. Time Equals Velocity (I will announce when these notes are due), and we’ll learn how to use the lab equipment and software. By the end of the week we’ll be working on the Analysis of Uniform Motion Lab and will explore how to write our lab reports. Finally, everyone should read over the Math & Measurement Reference Sheet to be up to speed on skills I expect you to bring with you to this course. If you found via the pre-test or from reading the Math & Measurement Reference Sheet that you need to boost your math skills, please go to https://sgbscience.com/helpful-how-to-podcasts/ and view the relevant podcasts.  You also should consider coming to see me for extra help. My interest is to help you be prepared for success! 🙂

This week in astronomy: We will dive into star mapping! The podcast Celestial Sphere Podcast 1 – Star Mapping will help you be successful by reinforcing what we will cover in class. Absolutely positively bring your flashlight every day this week.   We will do a star mapping lab and then have a quiz. After that we’ll explore the Zodiac constellations! 🙂

Cool science of the week: As (I hope!) you know, this summer NASA landed a rover on Mars to collect and send data back to Earth. This week they shot Mars rocks with lasers! Read about it!

WELCOME! – Week of August 20, 2012

Welcome to the start of a great new school year! I can’t wait to get to know you and work with you this year in physics or astronomy! This is the weekly assignment blog. It is important you take a moment to subscribe to it via the link at the right. Please read and digest the Physics Course Overview and Policies document or the Astronomy Course Overview and Policies document. You will need to print and sign the last page and return that page to me by the end of the first week. (Parent/Guardian signatures also required.) We will begin the week with introductory work, going over course descriptions, expectations, and class policies. We’ll also set goals for the year and get to know important tech resources that you will use. In addition, we will do specific work in each course, as follows:

Physics this week: Welcome! This week in physics we will take an important skills assessment test on Thursday. This test requires a scientific calculator. If you do not bring one, you will have to retake the test during a study hall or after school when you do have a calculator. I do not have extra calculators for class use. By Friday you should view and take notes on the following podcasts: Motion in One Dimension Podcast 1 – Distance v. DisplacementMotion in One Dimension Podcast 2 – Displacement & Direction, and Motion in One Dimension Podcast 3 – Speed vs. Velocity.  There are certain materials you will need for class. You should bring these to class starting this week. You will need:
1.) A scientific calculator (This may be graphing or non-graphing; our math department offers a low-cost calculator rental program.) – have by Thursday
2.) A spiral notebook or binder with loose leaf paper – have by Thursday
3.) A composition book (like the one you used for chemistry labs) – have by Friday
Finally, please ask your parents to view the video on the Introduction to Flipping.

Astronomy this Week: Welcome! This week we will take a skills assessment test on Thursday followed by the start of our work in the planetarium mapping stars. Please be sure to bring a flashlight to class with you starting Thursday.