Week of March 31, 2014

We enter the fourth quarter this week. Congratulations to the seniors! You’re almost there! (But you’re not there yet, so keep working hard. 🙂 )

This Week in AP Physics
On Monday we will begin unit 11 on electric circuits and will also spend a little time practicing some FRQs on electrostatics as a warm-up to Tuesday’s unit 10 test. Also for Tuesday please complete your unit 10 lab report. Throughout the remainder of the week we will continue through unit 11 and will do homework as assigned. *** Review workshops over spring break: Please email me if you’d like to meet either Tuesday morning or Wednesday morning from 9:00-11:00. I will be happy to come in if enough people can attend. (Michelle.Burgess@avonlakecityschools.org)

This Week in Physics
We will continue to work on the material from Podcast 1 – Introduction to Charge and Podcast 2 – Conductors, Insulators, and Charging on Monday and will conduct some informal experiments to investigate methods of charging. Next we will reinforce these concepts by doing assignment 1 in class. Our next topic will be electric force. Please take notes on Podcast 3 – Electric Force when assigned. We will follow this by doing assignment 2 together in class. If there is time, we will start to work on electric fields, so please take notes on Podcast 4 – Electric Fields part 1 and Podcast 5 – Electric Fields part 2 if announced.

This Week in Astronomy
At long last, after many snow (and…ahem…”senior skip”) days, we will complete our examination of our day star in unit 2 by doing an activity linking solar radiation to climate. The unit 2 test will be on Tuesday. To help you prepare, please do the Unit 2 – Homework Questions, which is due before the test. It is also time to begin our second outdoor lab, the Unit 2 – Outdoor Lab. This takes many days to complete, so it will be due in three weeks on Monday, April 21. (Do not delay starting, because you need to take multiple measurements spaced days apart.) After the test we will examine the Big Bang and the big news announcement this week from researchers at the South Pole. (See “Cool Science of the Week,” below.) This will prepare us for Thursday’s guest Skype speaker. Physics students are welcome to join this Skype conference during 2nd period on Tuesday with permission from your teachers.

Cool Science of the Week*
Well, this one is a doozy! Scientists from one of two telescopes at the South Pole announced this week clear evidence of what occurred in the first 0.000000000000000000000000000001 second of our universe’s existence. Think about that. Do you have trouble remembering what you did yesterday? Well, we’re talking about the very, very beginning of everything…and it happened 13.8 billion years ago! The evidence was detection of a specific type of radiation that confirmed that the universe underwent tremendous inflation in an incredibly short amount of time. This mechanism for formation of the universe set the stage for everything that followed, giving us the galaxies, stars, planets, critters, and smart phones that we know today. We will learn more about this in class as we prepare for our guest speaker, University of Chicago software engineer Ken Aird, whose work at the South Pole Telescope is linked to the ground-breaking research. There has been a lot written this week about the inflationary theory and the discovery. Try these two articles for starters: Gravitational Waves from Big Bang Detected and Primordial Gravitational Waves Provide a Test of Cosmological Theories. Also be sure to read up on the South Pole Telescope to be prepared for our guest speaker. (P.S. This data may suggest a Multiverse exists!)

*As always, remember my disclaimer that since this is a science class, we explore the universe by offering the perspective of science. All world views are respected.


Week of March 17, 2014

Welcome to the last week of the quarter! Please be sure to check PowerSchool and turn in any missing assignments asap.

Due to the snow day this past week, we are following last Wednesday’s OGT schedule on Monday. Juniors and seniors have late arrival, and only periods 4/5, 6/7, 8/9, 1, 2, and 3 will meet.

This Week in AP Physics
As we will not meet on Monday, we will not be able to test this week.  Homework 3 will be due on Wednesday, and  homework 4 will be due on Thursday. Your  electrostatics lab report is due Friday (with upload to TurnItIn.com by 3:00) and will be the last grade for third quarter. Expect the unit 10 test right after break, likely on Tuesday, April 1. Also note: Your Cedar Point ticket money and permission slips are now due on Tuesday by 3:00pm.

This Week in Physics
Your Cedar Point ticket money and permission slips are now due on Tuesday by 3:00pm. Your circular motion lab report is due on Tuesday at the start of class, and an electronic copy must also be uploaded to TurnItIn.com by Wednesday at 3:00. Sixth period: Assignment 3 is due at the start of class on Monday. Both classes will take the unit 6 test on Wednesday. For Thursday please take notes on Electrostatics Podcast 1 – Introduction to Charge and Electrostatics Podcast 2 – Conductors, Insulators, and Charging. I know this is a lot, and I feel bad, but we need to accomplish these things by the end of the quarter. On the plus side…you’ll get to rest next week! Spring break! 🙂

This Week in Astronomy
Because class was canceled on the due date for our Unit 1 – Outdoor Lab, and since we haven’t had class since, the lab is now due on Monday. This week we will continue to work through unit 2 on the apparent motion of the sun. It is unlikely that we will be able to do the unit test this week. Also note that we will have an assembly during our class period on Friday.

Cool Science of the Week
Do you love spicy food? Check out this video explaining the science of spiciness!

Week of March 10, 2014

This is the second-to-last week of the quarter, so please stay on top of things and finish strong! 🙂
As this is OGT week, we have a heavily-modified schedule:
golden_glitter_starAstronomy class only meets Monday and Wednesday.
golden_glitter_starPhysics 3rd period only meets Monday and Wednesday. Note that our lab period (4/5) is the first period of the school day, and our 3rd period will meet later in the day.
golden_glitter_starPhysics 6th period meets every day as usual. Note that our lab period on Tuesday and Thursday will be your first period of the school day.
golden_glitter_starAP Physics only meets Tuesday and Friday. (That means we have only three periods together instead of nine.)

This Week in AP Physics
We will conduct our electrostatics lab on Tuesday and will hopefully do homework 3 for Friday. Expect the unit 10 test the following week, the week of March 17. Please remember: YOUR CEDAR POINT MONEY AND PERMISSION SLIPS ARE DUE ON FRIDAY. 

This Week in Physics
We will (hopefully) finish our unit on circular motion and gravity, although the test won’t be until the following week, the week of March 17. For Monday please take notes on Podcast 5 – Gravity and Podcast 6 – Center of Mass, Gravity, and Planetary Orbits. We will discuss those on Monday and do assignment 2. What we don’t finish in class will be due as homework for Wednesday if you are in 3rd period. For 6th period, we will finish the assignment in class and then spend the rest of the week doing an enrichment engineering project. Please remember: YOUR CEDAR POINT MONEY AND PERMISSION SLIPS ARE DUE ON FRIDAY. 

This Week in Astronomy
We will continue to examine the daily and annual appearance of the sun’s motion in our sky and will (if time) relate it to climate. There will be a unit test the following week, the week of March 17. NOTE: We have had plenty of clear nights, so your Unit 1 – Outdoor Lab is still due. However, since we’re not meeting on Tuesday, I’m extending the due date to Wednesday, March 12.

Cool Science of the Week
This past week the movie Gravity won an Oscar for visual effects. Have you ever wondered how CGI works? Check out this article and video that shows you how the Gravity  team made the movie magic happen!

Scene from Gravity, movie.