Day 10: Interaction Stations

Today was the start of some important changes in how I am viewing and structuring my intro physics class (Physics 10). We are just into our second day of the Balanced Forces Particle Model. On the first day, we built Olivia’s (First) Law — that unbalanced interactions mean changing velocity and balanced interactions mean constant velocity (more on this later, maybe, if I get around … Continue reading Day 10: Interaction Stations

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 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 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 12: First Quiz and Density Experiment in Chem 9

We started class by talking about my weird and hippie grading ways. Then we took our first quiz. I didn’t announce it ahead of time because I thought it would be better if we talked about how the grading would work right before they took it (and minimized the potential anxiety about assessments and grades). I think that worked well. Here’s what it looks like … Continue reading Day 12: First Quiz and Density Experiment in Chem 9