# Day 13: Building Air Capacitors

The Circuits class is continuing to work through the CASTLE curriculum. At the end of our last class and for the first part of today’s class, they worked on building air capacitors (and solving all of the materials problems involved in figuring out how to build them). I shared the diagram and instructions from the CASTLE teacher guide with them, and they figured out how to … Continue reading Day 13: Building Air Capacitors

# Day 8: Welcome to The Fermilab

Modern Physics met today and spent a little more time on their particle adventure. Even though they didn’t finish, we moved on to a new activity so that we didn’t spend too much time at once buried in a website with so many new terms (and tigers and top hats!). During the particle adventure, one group spent some time talking to me about where the … Continue reading Day 8: Welcome to The Fermilab

# Day 7: What is happening in the wires when a capacitor is in the circuit?

Physics 10 wrapped up the Constant Velocity Particle Model packet with a couple of really great and subtle class discussions about what information they could get from position-time and velocity-time graphs that included ideas about translating between representations to get a better understanding of what was happening with an object’s motion. The Circuits class started figuring out more about what must be happening in the … Continue reading Day 7: What is happening in the wires when a capacitor is in the circuit?

# Day 6: Quarks, Whiteboards, and What in the world are capacitors doing?

The Modern Physics class had a board meeting to discuss the rules they came up with for how quarks combine. They also watched a couple of Physics Girl videos to give more overview of quarks and then went on a particle adventure. Both of my Physics 10 sections met today. Both classes finished the Constant Velocity Particle Model packet on paper and have only a couple of … Continue reading Day 6: Quarks, Whiteboards, and What in the world are capacitors doing?

# Day 5: Rutherford Upgrades and Quarks

In Modern Physics, students worked in groups and suggested improvements to the QuarkNet activity that simulated the gold foil experiment. The goal was to think of ways that we could alter the activity to make it more closely relate to the actual experiment. Then they started figuring out patterns and rules for how quarks combine with the Quark Workbench activity. Continue reading Day 5: Rutherford Upgrades and Quarks

# Day 4: Circuits Assessment and Whiteboarding Motion Diagrams

The first assessment of the year happened in my Electric Circuits class. I am adding in “practical objectives” to the list of skills, so the test included building a simple circuit. (This is Unit 1, folks.) I’m sure it seemed trivial to them today, but I was really glad to see them all find it so easy since it wasn’t an obvious task (even when looking … Continue reading Day 4: Circuits Assessment and Whiteboarding Motion Diagrams

# Day 3: Starting Particle Physics

My Modern Physics class started thinking about particle physics with the gold foil experiment. We used another QuarkNet Data Portfolio activity and simulated the experiment using marbles as the alpha particles and dice as the gold atoms. They made a histogram of hits per 10 rolls by using sticky notes on the wall, then figured out the size of the particles (the dice and marbles are … Continue reading Day 3: Starting Particle Physics

# Day 2: “Where something is” and Lighting Bulbs

One section of Physics 10 had its second day today. We articulated what position was and did a second take of the buggy lab with measurements of position instead of distance. Another amazing board meeting happened by the end of class, along with some beginnings of realizations about how important units really are for communication. (“How could some of us have a slope of 19 and some … Continue reading Day 2: “Where something is” and Lighting Bulbs

# Day 1: Dice, Histograms, and Buggies

Modern Physics (for 11th/12th graders) started with a variation of a Quarknet Data Portfolio activity to learn how to make histograms and to start thinking about how they could be useful. There were multiple parts to the activity. In one part, they found sums for pairs of dice. They made histograms for their groups, but also pooled data as a class and made one big … Continue reading Day 1: Dice, Histograms, and Buggies

# 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