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 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 5: Unbalanced Force Experiment Post-lab

The regular physics classes put together Newton’s 2nd Law today. Once we got the big idea, we chatted a bit about why it was such a big deal. A few choice quotes: “We did this. It’s our idea.” and “Does this mean we can get values for things now when the forces are unbalanced the same way we could when the forces were balanced?” and … Continue reading Day 5: Unbalanced Force Experiment Post-lab

Day 3: Unbalanced Force Particle Model Experiment

The regular physics classes have been working on the UBFPM experiment for the first few days of the week. Most groups are about finished, and we should be having board meetings to put together the big relationship by the end of the week (probably in our next class meetings). The theme of the first photo is “I love to pose for physics photos”. The theme … Continue reading Day 3: Unbalanced Force Particle Model Experiment

Day 49: Whiteboard Speed Dating

We are almost finished with the Unbalanced Forces unit in Honors Physics at this point. We mixed up the whiteboarding process by doing some speed dating. At the end of one session, they had a board meeting, then voted on the best board. Lucy won best board (she was the odd person out on our final date—one person was by themselves each round since we … Continue reading Day 49: Whiteboard Speed Dating

Day 46: Unbalanced Forces Lab

Today was a huge day for Honors Physics—we got out first fundamental principle. More importantly, we finally nailed down the relationship between unbalanced force and acceleration that we’d been thinking about and talking about for the past month (through our investigation of balanced forces then constant acceleration). Read more about the experiment in this model building post on my teaching blog. Continue reading Day 46: Unbalanced Forces Lab