Days 11 and 12: Talia’s Law (N1L), System Schemas, and FBDs

After the bowling ball investigations, we returned to the classroom to look at the hover puck and the fan carts. We talked a little about confirmation bias and how difficult it is to really observe (rather than explain why you expect to see something). We spent a lot of time observing what happened when the dueling fan carts started at off-vs-high and then changed to high-vs-high. … Continue reading Days 11 and 12: Talia’s Law (N1L), System Schemas, and FBDs

Day 10: Bowling Balls and Balanced Forces

New packet day! My friend and fellow physics teacher Leah was visiting today* (and gets all of the photo credits here). We immediately went out into the hallway and started playing with the bowling balls. The first two questions have pretty obvious answers (How do you speed up a bowling ball using taps? How do you slow down a bowling ball using taps?).   The … Continue reading Day 10: Bowling Balls and Balanced Forces

Day 30: Finishing the First Force Problem Set

Physics 10 beautifully tackled the rest of the first forces problem set. Here are all four problems: And here are some photos of kids being amazing during that last problem: With problems 2 and 3, it’s usually quick and easy for them to all agree (after agreeing on problem 1). Then that last section of problem 4 brings up all sorts of different ideas again. … Continue reading Day 30: Finishing the First Force Problem Set

Day 28: My Favorite Day, AKA the first force problem

To be totally fair, my favorite day takes more than one day. But that’s not really that important. So we start our balanced forces unit. We get our idea of Newton’s 1st Law. We get some forces vocabulary. I show them the bare minimum in drawing system schemas and free body diagrams. And then we get this amazing problem from Matt Greenwolfe: It’s actually the … Continue reading Day 28: My Favorite Day, AKA the first force problem

Day 20: Tapping, Net Tapping, and Lauren’s Law

Physics 10 started balanced forces today, and I tried a sequence inspired by Frank’s 180 posts. Thank you to Bowlmor for donating two bowling balls yesterday and to the art teacher for loaning us a rubber mallet (because Lowes only had one in stock). We started in the hallway with the bowling balls and some planning and testing for a few different cases (how to … Continue reading Day 20: Tapping, Net Tapping, and Lauren’s Law

Day 57: Momentum Transfer Model Building // Gravitational Force Experiment

One section of Honors Physics came up with an expression of conservation of momentum today. We finished taking some data, then broke into groups to do some thinking about how we could represent it to highlight a pattern. After about 15 minutes, we came back together for a board meeting to talk about strategy. We had some graphical representations, some ratios, and a lot of consensus … Continue reading Day 57: Momentum Transfer Model Building // Gravitational Force Experiment