# Day 20: Forces and Jumping

In our last class (which was a week ago), the Mechanics kids had whiteboarded a problem about a student jumping (which I got from Noah Segal, who—in addition to being a great physics teacher—is also a wizard of MS Word art): The discussion (last class) was centered around the first situation. The original whiteboard showed the forces as balanced. Might be tough to see in … Continue reading Day 20: Forces and Jumping

# Day 13: Newton’s 2nd Law Experiment

We started Unbalanced Forces, so now we’re really doing physics! Of course, we started by doing an experiment. It was so cool to jump into our first real pre-lab with kids who’ve been there with me before. I showed them something and they exclaimed, “Observations!” and started listing them before I even really finished showing them the relativity exciting thing. They drew an FBD for the … Continue reading Day 13: Newton’s 2nd Law Experiment

# Day 11: Bear and the Honey and the final day of CAPM

We spent our Mechanics class solving problems and working on good habits (keeping units attached to numbers, using physically meaningful symbols). I let it take up the time today, and I went around to different groups as they worked to get as many people as possible to see how using the slope and the area of the v-t graph wasn’t as overwhelming as it seemed … Continue reading Day 11: Bear and the Honey and the final day of CAPM

# Day 9: Rules for the Direction of the Unbalanced Force

The set of problems today asked students to draw multiple representations based on given velocity-time graphs, but also to say whether the forces were balanced, unbalanced in the positive direction, or unbalanced in the negative direction. After the first problem, one student volunteered a rule (I didn’t prompt this!)—that the unbalanced forces were correlated with the acceleration. That 0 acceleration means balanced forces, positive acceleration means positive unbalanced forces, … Continue reading Day 9: Rules for the Direction of the Unbalanced Force

# Day 8: “Aha” moments with kinematics graphs

Kinematics is clicking into place for the Mechanics students. We wrapped up the TIPERs problems in our packet (including whiteboarding), and we’re ready to add in the quantitative side by using the graphs to solve problems. For this problem, there was a lively discussion about tangent lines (ARE THEY REAL OR MADE UP???), the intermediate value theorem, and whether you could say two things had the same speed … Continue reading Day 8: “Aha” moments with kinematics graphs

# Day 6: Translating between graphs, TIPERs, and Light Clocks

Relativity (the class) made the shift from “regular old” relative motion to the beginnings of Special Relativity by thinking about the light clock. When we were trying to think about the difference in path length for the light in the stationary clock versus moving clock, one student went up to make the connection to the ball falling on the moving cart from the Frames of … Continue reading Day 6: Translating between graphs, TIPERs, and Light Clocks

# Day 4: Position, Velocity, Acceleration

We sorted ourselves into new (random) groups, worked for a bit, started whiteboarding problems, and finished with our first quiz in Advanced Mechanics. We were working on this TIPERs problem (pasted into a page in my CAPM packet): It’s the first time I’ve used this problem, and I am totally in love with it. Amazing conversations are happening, and the whiteboarding is really productive so … Continue reading Day 4: Position, Velocity, Acceleration