Week of June 2, 2014

Congratulations on completing your junior/senior year! Well done! Please remember that you can now unsubscribe to this blog by using the link at the bottom of this email. Thank you for a wonderful year. You’ve all touched my life in positive ways, and I appreciate my time with you. 🙂

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AP Physics Course Survey
Physics Course Survey

The exam schedule is…

Junior Exams
Cool Science of the Week
Let’s file this under biodiversity. Here’s a website with just pictures of cute animals.

JustCuteAnimals.com just has pictures of cute animals from domestic to wildlife. Awwww!!!!!

Week of May 26, 2014

Seniors, this is it! Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished! Juniors, you are doing great, too…and you’re about to be the seniors. That’s awesome.

Before the year ends, you have your exams. Below are the senior and junior exam schedules. All of my physics classes will take their exams during their regular class period and not the lab period.

Senior ExamsJunior Exams

This Week in Astronomy
Seniors, your exam is on Wednesday. I’ve provided star maps, so the only things you need to bring are a pencil(s) and a calculator if you wish to use one. For my remaining two juniors, we will keep moving forward with eclipses. 🙂

This Week in AP Physics
Your two remaining lab reports are due on Friday. You will have time in class to finish conducting those experiments

This Week in Physics
Sixth period: You will take your electric circuits unit test on Wednesday. (Third period has already taken their version of it.) We will spend the remainder of the week covering special topics of interest and perhaps reviewing for the final.

Uncool Science of the Week
No more bananas? A fungal disease is spreading globally that is wiping out farms that produce the banana we are all used to, the Cavendish banana, and extinction is a distinct possibility. This has actually happened before to another supposedly more delicious banana variety, the Gros Michel banana, which went extinct from a similar disease in the 1950s and was replaced by the Cavendish. Other banana varieties exist, but they are decidedly different from the yellow beauty that for so long has been standard grocery shop fare. The situation highlights the practice of monoculture, or cloning a species so that every plant grown is exactly the same…helpful in some ways, but when one plant is susceptible to a disease, they all are. This is certainly an example of how science impacts economics, politics, world hunger, and so on…What do you think about it?

Banana blight: Cavendish banana from Maracaibo

Week of May 19, 2014

P.S. Juniors, you still have one week to go after this. Caps lock is off.

This Week in AP Physics
This week is mostly about what’s due. Your Units 13 & 14 homework sets are due on Wednesday, and your two remaining lab reports are due on Friday, May 30th with an upload to TurnItIn.com by 3:00 on that date. Oh, and there’s the small detail of GOING TO CEDAR POINT ON THURSDAY!!!! (CAPS LOCK IS BACK ON!!!!)

This Week in Physics
We will spend some time preparing for our CEDAR POINT LAB ON THURSDAY!!!! (CAPS LOCK IS ON AGAIN!!!!) With the remaining time we’ll finish our unit on electric circuits by completing assignment 4 on Monday. Third period, your circuits test is Tuesday, whereas sixth period will their test when announced.

This Week in Astronomy
We will present our research on the planets and discover asteroids, meteors, and comets. We may have a test by the end of the week.

Cool Science of the Week
Since we’re heading to Cedar Point in the physics classes to apply what we’ve learned to the real world, why not try your hand at designing a coaster of your own? There are many online sims, including this one and this one and this one and this one and this one!

Week of May 12, 2014

Four more weeks until summer = four more weeks of awesome learning! Stay strong! 🙂
Students in AP classes, please remember to let me know if you need some flexibility from me so that you can focus on your exams.

This Week in AP Physics
Your gateway to greatness is on Monday at noon! (Bring your calculator, put it in DEG mode, and bring extra batteries.) Remember to stay in touch via email over the weekend if you have questions. After the test? Well, nothing but experimental and analytical fun remains from Tuesday forward! (But, of course, all outstanding homeworks are due on Wednesday.)

This Week in Physics
We will complete our unit on electric circuits. On Monday we will complete assignment 3 followed by a quiz as announced. (If you were in an AP test this past Friday (May 9), be certain you’ve caught up on the parallel circuit podcasts, since those are the notes you missed.) For Tuesday please take notes on Podcast 7 – Compound Circuits. We’ll spend some time analyzing series, parallel, and compound circuits followed by an exploration of electric power, real-life wiring applications, and circuit safety features. Please take notes on Podcast 8 – Electric Power and Podcast 9 – Circuit Safety Features when assigned. We will finish the unit by completing assignment 4 in preparation for the unit test at the end of the week.

This Week in Astronomy
Long-term work: We delayed our test on the universe unit until after AP exams, so it is this Wednesday. Next Monday your unit 3 outdoor lab on the moon is due. (We did push the due date back a week because of cloudy weather.) This week we soar through the solar system, which will include a research project with presentations. Unlike your past explorations of this topic, you will learn how the planets appear to move in our sky so that you can find them and impress your friends.

Cool Science of the Week
The time for outdoor awesomeness is upon us, so check out this invisible bike helmet!

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Week of May 5, 2014

We are getting close! As this is the first of two AP testing weeks, please let me know if you need me to be flexible with you about due dates. Preparing for all of your tests is important.

This Week in AP Physics
We will complete Unit 14 and Unit 15 this week. As announced I will run an additional after-school review session covering thermodynamics. Be sure to view the podcasts (and print the notes) for Unit 16. Homework from unit 13 and unit 14 is due on Wednesday, May 21. This due date allows you freedom to choose how best to spend your time before next week’s AP Physics B exam. I do recommend that you try to get the homework done prior to the exam so that you are reinforcing your learning. However, the choice is yours. Keep your spirits up, stay focused, and remember to get some rest every now and then, too. You’ve done a great job overcoming the loss of so much class time due to snow days, and I’m really proud of you!:)

This Week in Physics
Almost all of you have heavy AP schedules this week, so we will take things a little easy. By Tuesday please take notes on Podcast 3 – Series Circuits and Podcast 4 – Series Circuits Sample Problem. We will do assignment 2 together in class. We will also do another virtual lab which will lead us into Podcast 5 – Parallel Circuits and Podcast 6 – Parallel Circuits Sample Problem, so please take notes on these when I assign them. We do need to take a quiz this week, but we can talk about the best day to do this. I want to support your work in your AP classes. 🙂

This Week in Astronomy
We will finish our creepy fun unit on the universe and will take a test at some point this week. As with my other courses, I’m willing to be somewhat flexible so that I can support you in your work preparing for the AP tests many of you have this week. After the test we will begin our exploration of the solar system! 🙂

Cool Science of the Week
This is a pretty rock, right? Well it’s also making news! Geologists regularly discover new minerals. However, most newly-discovered minerals bear strong resemblances to the characteristics of known minerals. This pretty purple noob mineral that scientists just discovered in Australia consists of a chemical combination never before seen in nature. That rocks!

A Strange New Mineral Has Been Discovered in Australia

Putnisite, the world’s newest mineral