Week of December 17, 2018

Exams are next week, but our quarter grades will continue after winter break. The exam schedule is available at this link. You will take your exam during your class period, not your lab period. AP, you get to take an exam on both periods. Yay!!!

There is no homework over winter break. Nothing will be due until the Monday after we return. Enjoy a well-earned rest! 

This Week in AP Physics
Your exam will cover units 1-6. When we return from break you will have one week to make test corrections on the unit 6 test, and we will begin unit 7. We will most likely test unit 7 before the end of the quarter and will begin unit 8. (The unit 7 test, however, will go on quarter 3 so as to allow you time to make test corrections. )

This Week in Physics
Your exam will cover units 1-3. On Monday, January 7 we will take a test over unit 3.

Week of December 10, 2018

Exams are next week, but our quarter grades will continue after winter break. Exam reminder: The exam schedule is available at this link. AP Physics: Your exam will cover units 1-6. Physics: Your exam will cover units 1-3. Use your learning goal sets as your study guides.

This Week in AP Physics
We will complete unit 6. For Monday please do homework 3. On Monday and Tuesday we will cover angular dynamics with notes, a lab, and practice problems, Homework 4 is due on Wednesday, and our unit test will be Thursday. I’ve changed my mind and decided to cover unit 7 on Friday and the Monday before exams. Just kidding hahahaha! In reality we’ll use those two days to review.

This Week in Physics
If you are in my afternoon section, notes from unit 3 video 5 on Newton’s second law are due by the start of class on Monday. (Morning classes should NOT take notes on this video over the weekend.) We will analyze various problems involving net force and acceleration using Newton’s second law and will do assignment 5, goal set 5, and a quiz over goal set 5 as announced. When assigned, please take notes on unit 3 video 6. We’ll discuss Newton’s third law, do assignment 6, and hopefully get our unit 3 test in on Friday.

Cool Science of the Week
In 2015 two filmmakers went to the Nevada desert and crafted a perfectly-scaled, miles-long model of our solar system and then used a drone to make an award-winning video, which you can see here (or below). Their current project is a new video, To Scale: Time, in which they model time from the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago to 2018, mapping out major events along the way. As far as I can tell this flick is yet-to-be-released, although you can read about it here in an article from a great magazine, Popular Mechanics.
To Scale: The Solar System from Wylie Overstreet on Vimeo.
On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.
A film by Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh
Copyright 2015

Week of December 3, 2018

This is the second-to-last week before exams! Wow! The exam schedule is available at this link. AP Physics: Your exam will cover units 1-6 (and possibly 7). Physics: Your exam will cover units 1-3. Use your learning goal sets as your study guides.

This Week in AP Physics
On Monday unit 6 homework 1 is due along with the problem packet you received in class on Friday. (I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Homework 1 is one lengthy beast, so start early.) On Monday we will also finish the experiment we began on Friday. During the rest of the week we will explore rotational kinematics and torque. This will include homework 2 and possibly 3, more problem sets, and an experiment on rotational equilibrium.

This Week in Physics
Bring your books to class on Monday, because we’re going to have a blast doing unit 3 assignment 3
. Early in the week we will also wrap up our friction experiment. As the week progresses, please take notes on video 4, which covers inertia, when announced. We will complete assignment 4 and possibly progress to video 5.

Cool Science of the Week
NASA dropped something on Mars this week! Check out the video!

Weeks of November 19 and 26, 2018

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! This blog entry covers the week of Thanksgiving and the week after, since we only see each other for TWO DAYS next week!

These Weeks in AP Physics
We will continue to strive for excellence as we complete our investigation of linear momentum. We will study the role of kinetic energy in different types of collisions by taking some AWESOME and INSPIRING notes, doing our last homework of the unit, doing some EXCITING practice problems, and conducting a RAD experiment! Then we’ll take our momentum unit test. Woot! Next up: circular and rotational motion #thankful!

These Weeks in Physics
For Monday, please complete goal set 1 from unit 3. We will take a quiz over this goal set on Monday. Please take notes on Video 2: Friction by the date announced right here for your class period: 3rd and 11th periods due Monday, 1st period due Tuesday. We will go over this topic, do assignment 2, do a spectacular experiment, and when announced take a quiz over goal set 2. Following that, if announced, please take notes on Video 3: Elastic Force. It will be fabulous! #thankful!

Cool Science of these Weeks
Meet the Balloonatics! This is the team of people who engineer the balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and believe it or not, they use PHYSICS…some of the same physics we’ve been learning, in fact! Here’s a short video from Science Friday that shows you how it’s done! Below the video I’ve included the science of cranberries, which I think is really cool.

The science of CRANBERRIES! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to make homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Did you know that cranberries are grown in BOGS? They’re grown on vines like strawberries, but they thrive if those vines are planted in wetlands. That’s cool. Also, 60% of our cranberries come from Wisconsin, while 25% come from Massachusetts, and if you have the chance to head out to those states, you can go to a cranberry farm (like we go to blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry farms here.) Here’s a little more information and a couple of awesome pictures.

Week of November 12, 2018

This week is the third week of second quarter, and it’s almost Thanksgiving! Yay!

This Week in AP Physics
We will explore the law of conservation of linear momentum in systems this week by taking some enlightening and exciting notes, doing some intellectually stimulating practice problems, completing a mind-blowing experiment, and doing a very fulfilling homework 2. None of this is hyperbole. That last sentence was not glib. These are not the droids you’re looking for. By the end of the week we will explore the role of energy in collisions. Woot!

This Week in Physics
For Monday please take notes on unit 3 video 1, Net External Force, Weight, and Normal Force. We will do assignment 1 together in class and will take a quiz over goal set 1 as announced. When assigned please take notes on video 2, Friction.

Cool Science of the Week
In September researchers announced an incredible breakthrough treatment for paralyzed victims of spinal cord injuries. The treatment involves implanting a stimulator directly into the spinal cord to prompt the spinal cord to “relearn” how to move limbs. The man walking below is “paralyzed.” At long last, there is some real hope!
Image: Jeff Marquis with trainers Justin Vogt and Katelyn SmithPhoto credit: NBC News

Week of November 5, 2018

Mark your calendars for May 21! Our field trip to Cedar Point is approved for that day. While it’s not mandatory, if you’d like to go, you can toss it with confidence on your calendar now.

This Week in AP Physics
Problem packet 3 is due on Monday, when we will tie up loose ends from unit 4 on energy. The unit test will be Tuesday. This week we will also begin our unit on linear momentum. There are three topics in this unit, and we should work through the first topic, first homework, and first lab throughout the week. Woot!

This Week in Physics
This week we will take a quiz over horizontally-launched projectiles, complete goal set 2, do an experiment on projectiles, explore projectiles launched at an angle, and take our unit 2 test. YEAH! Here’s one more optional practice problem for your enjoyment. The solution is on page 2, so scroll for it. (Please see below for what is due for your particular class on Monday/Tuesday, as the schedules differ based on lab period.) By the end of the week we’ll begin talking about forces on our path toward Newton’s laws. If assigned, please take notes on unit 3’s video 1 on net external force, weight, and normal force.
Period 1: Goal set 2 is due on Monday, and we will take the quiz on Monday. The lab is Tuesday.
Period 3: Assignment 3 and goal set 2 are due on Monday. We will do the lab on Monday. The quiz is Tuesday.
Period 11: We will do the lab on Monday. Goal set 2 and the quiz are for Tuesday.

Cool Science of the Week
In these post-Halloween, candy-heavy days it’s fun to think about all of the critters we unintentionally live with. A new study is asking people to seek out and photograph the spiders and insects who keep us company. Grab that phone and take some snaps!

Image credit: The New York Times

Week of October 29, 2018

Welcome to the first week of the second quarter! Woot! Remember that there is no school for students on Monday, making this a short week for us. 🙁

This Week in AP Physics
This week we will complete our unit 4 study of energy. We will complete notes and do practice problems on Tuesday, and homework 2 will be due on Wednesday. (You probably can figure out most of homework 2 already, so if you’d like to get started, don’t hold back!) Throughout the rest of the week we will cover the topic of power and will do another set of practice problems. If this weren’t a short week we’d certainly be ready to test by Friday, but there is the possibility that we will test this unit at the start of the week of November 5. Our next move will be our unit on momentum!

This Week in Physics
We will continue to practice the math associated with projectile motion, as discussed in videos 3 and 4, which you’ve already taken notes from. In class we’ll do practice sets, assignments 3 and 4, and a lab. This will spill into the week of November 5. Expect the unit test sometime that week. Then we’ll force our way into unit 3 on Newton’s laws!

Cool Science of the Week
I’d love for you to have awesome jobs that make you happy in the future. Here’s a field that is in high demand, and it involves physics! Quantum computing involves using quantum mechanics to create quantum computers that function at levels inconceivable by today’s standards. The New York Times reported this week that there are not enough Americans qualified in this field, so many companies are offering visas for people to come here to do the work. That’s the definition of a job that’s high in demand. Maybe it will interest you!

Week of October 22, 2018

This is the final week of first quarter. If you have late work to turn in for half credit, it is due by 3:00 on Monday, October 22.

This Week in AP Physics
We will explore the work-energy theorem with a lab, practice problems, and homework 1 from unit 4. The homework won’t be due until Wednesday or, more likely, Thursday, but it is quite long, and by Monday you’ll have enough information under your belts to get started on it. The lab will result in a formal lab report that will be due the following week. By the end of the week we’ll begin the law of conservation of mechanical energy. It is likely we’ll take our unit 4 test by the end of the week of October 29 or the very beginning of the following week.

This Week in Physics
We will begin the week with vector resolution. All classes: Both assignment 2 and the six extra problems in our Vector Resolution Practice  are DUE on Monday if you have not already finished them. If you’ve been absent or are still struggling, unit 2’s video 2 will guide you to finishing these assignments on time. We’ll go over these and do a smidge more practice if needed so that we’re ready for a goal set 1 vector resolution AND vector addition quiz on Tuesday. Also by the start of class on Tuesday please take notes on unit 2 video 3 on the concepts related to projectile motion. For Wednesday or Thursday, as assigned, please take notes on unit 2 video 4, which is the final lecture for this unit. We’ll spend the remainder of the week practicing analyzing projectile motion.

Spooky Science of the Week
Why does monster movie music scare us? Or why do screams make us shudder? And what’s it like to unwrap a 3000-year-old mummy? Most important, how can I make bloody-broken glass cupcakes? Ask Ira Flatow of NPR’s Science Friday radio show! NPR (public radio) has a weekly show called Science Friday that plays every Friday from 2:00-4:00 on our local NPR station (90.3 FM.) It’s a great show with lots of cool stories about science news. And, yes, in months other than October they cover LOTS of fantastic science stories that are not at all spooky!
Image result
The music from the movie classic Psycho typifies sounds that alarm our species.

Week of October 15, 2018

October 26 is the end of first quarter, so please keep checking PowerSchool to make sure you are making the most of your opportunities.

This Week in AP Physics
We will take our unit 3 test on Tuesday. We will also begin unit 4 on the topic of energy. The vast majority of our work in this three-phase unit will be in phase 1, which covers internal energy, work, and the work-energy theorem. We will do a problem packet, homework 1, and an experiment, which will result in a formal lab report, as announced. This will certainly spill into next week. We will not take the unit 4 test until second quarter.

This Week in Physics
On Monday in class we will finish assignment 1 from unit 2 followed by a quiz, likely on Tuesday, as announced. For Tuesday please take notes on unit 2 video 2 on vector resolution. We will practice this skill in class and will then complete assignment 2 together in class followed by a quiz, as announced. Weather permitting we will head outside for a “vector treasure hunt” later in the week. If announced, please take notes on unit 2 video 3, which is a conceptual introduction to projectile motion.

“Cool” Science of the Week
As many of you know, Hurricane Michael is the latest major storm to pummel our United States coastlines. What is unusual about Michael is that it went from a tropical storm to an almost category 5 hurricane over a very short time and distance, giving residents little time to evacuate. How could such a rare event happen? Climate science has the answer. Also check out the wind map again. It’s always interesting during a hurricane.
satellite image of Hurricane Michael

Week of October 8, 2018

This is a three-day week for students due to parent-teacher conferences. That means there are just two-and-a-half weeks until the close of the first quarter grading period. Please be sure to stay on top of PowerSchool so you can feel awesome on October 26 when you see your grade! Yeah!

This Week in AP Physics
It’s all downhill on Monday as we complete our Friction and Vector Analysis of Forces experiment and then do a very short (only four page) packet of tremendously great problems to solve. We will also continue our unit notes so that on Tuesday and Wednesday we can do our final packet for the unit and homework 4, which will be due on Wednesday. We would have had the unit 3 test on Thursday, but the short week means it will be Monday or Tuesday of the following week, depending on your preference, noting that if we delay the test until Tuesday we’ll likely begin the unit 4 on that Monday.

This Week in Physics
For Monday please take notes on the first video from unit 2Introduction to Vector Operations. We will practice vector addition in class and will then do assignment 1 together. Next, when assigned, please take notes on the second video from unit 2, Vector Resolution. We’ll practice vector resolution in class and will then do assignment 2 together AND go outside for a treasure hunt! By the end of the week expect a quiz over goal set 1 as announced.

Cool Science of the Week
This week the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to a woman for the first time in fifty-five years, and for only the third time in its 117-year history. (Canadian physicist Donna Strickland shares the 2018 Prize with two male physicists for work in laser physics.) The Nobel Committee has even awarded the Prize to men when women did the work, such as was the case in 1974 when astrophysicist Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars but saw the Prize go to the man who was her adviser. Prize or no Prize, there are plenty of women doing groundbreaking work in physics. To my women students, consider yourself invited to the party!

Women Nobel Prize in Physics recipients Marie Curie (1903), and Donna Strickland (2018), Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1963)