Welcome to Physics I, Lab Science 9 (Semester 2, January--June 2011)


Please bookmark this page. It will be the primary source of information about assignments and classwork this semester. Feel free to send an email to Mr. Happer (james.happer@saschina.org) if you need to ask a question.

June 8, Wednesday

  • EXAM is at 8:30 am for 2 hours
  • BRING YOUR TEXTBOOK to turn in to either Mrs. Goruk or Mrs. Nakai
  • You can bring a calculator to the exam
  • I'll give you a short "formula sheet" (similar to the last quiz)
  • Here is what to expect
    • About 50 multiple choice questions related to Newton's Laws and Energy (only one right answer each!)
    • 20 pts. Questions on series and parallel circuits
    • 12 pts. Questions related to simple machines, mechanical advantage, and efficiency
    • 16 pts. Questions related to controlled experiments and to magnetism (chapter 10)

June 3, Friday

  • Here are some of your old quizzes, in case you lost them
  • For your semester exam, you should study
    • Chapter 9 on electricity--mainly on current in circuits (pages 158-169). Also, pay some attention to the concept of electrical power. You may want to review the Circuit Construction Kit which could be used as the basis for a question on your exam.
    • From chapter 10, you should know that electricity can be created by running a motor in reverse (a "generator"), and you should know how an electric motor works.
    • Chapters 2-4 and 6 (on Newton's Laws and Energy), you should be prepared for any questions from these chapters. Check the questions at the end of these chapters for practice.
    • Review all your past quizzes!
    • The Minds on Physics modules that we have done this semester may also be worth reviewing
      • Newtons Laws
      • Work and Energy
      • Electric Currents and Circuits
    • These simulations may also be worth studying

June 1, Wednesday

  • Turn in Design Report to Happer's dropbox on the server (please put into the "DESIGN REPORT" folder for your class). If you need an extension, see me about when your work will be submitted
  • QUIZ FRIDAY (Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 6)
  • On Friday, we will also review for your semester exam (which includes basics of circuits and electricity along with the same topics from the quiz)

May 30, Monday

  • What to know for your quiz (on Friday) and for the Semester Exam (the following Friday, I think)
    • Friday's Quiz: Newton's Laws and Energy (Chapters 2-4 and 6)--Study your text, all past quizzes, and the MOPS on these topics that have been assigned
    • Semester Exam: You should be most prepared for all the same topics mentioned above. In addition, you should review basics of circuits (voltage, current, resistance and series/parallel circuits).
  • Finishing your report and checking out the design challenges of your classmates
    • Open your design report so far--Mr. Happer will come around and make suggestions if you need them
    • During class, Mr. Happer will interrupt you to share your work with some of your classmates
  • HW Unless you have checked with Mr. Happer about it, you should plan on submitting your design report on Wednesday. All Wednesday will be spent reviewing concepts that you are likely to see on the quiz and the exam.

May 26, Thursday

  • See Tuesday instructions below!

May 24, Tuesday

  • Design challenge work today and Thursday (final two days)
    • Don't forget to check this: Design Report.docx
    • Mr. Happer will be coming around to check that you are making progress on the "Quantitative Investigation" part of your design challenge. Be prepared to open your "design report" document so far and take notes on Mr. Happer's suggestions!
  • Next Friday, June 3, you will have one more quiz on energy and Newton's Laws. Make sure you are studying chapters 2-4, 6 and the Mops questions (see May 18 below)
  • HW Start writing up the quantitative investigation (see Part 2 of Design Report.docx). You need to explain how you are taking data and then present that data in tables and graphs). NEXT MONDAY you will need to show your design challenge to your classmates (for a few minutes) and on WEDNESDAY you should turn in your report. During class next Wednesday, we will only be reviewing for the quiz and the semester exam.

May 20, Friday

  • We have a short period (40 minutes) today because of Career Day
  • If you are not sure how to include a "quantitative investigation" in your design challenge, see Mr. Happer for help
  • Mr. Happer will ask to see your written work so far on Tuesday
  • HW (same as last) Minds-on-Physics module "Work and Energy" has several sublevels that will help you build your understanding in the final few weeks. Please do sublevels 1-4 and 8 if you have not already done them! (Complete these sublevels and those from Newton's Laws by next Tuesday at latest--see Mr. Happer during flex for help if you are having trouble!)

May 18, Wednesday

  • If you are not taking quantitative data today, see Mr. Happer for help
  • A few words on Newton's 3rd Law
  • You should already have completed sublevels 1-9 and 12 from Newton's Laws. If not, see Mr. Happer for help.
  • HW Minds-on-Physics module "Work and Energy" has several sublevels that will help you build your understanding in the final few weeks. Please do sublevels 1-4 and 8 if you have not already done them! (Complete these sublevels and those from Newton's Laws by next Tuesday at latest--see Mr. Happer during flex for help if you are having trouble!)

May 16, Monday

  • Welcome back from China Alive!
  • Finishing up our semester (only a little more than 3 weeks!)
    • How and when to finish your Design Challenge Investigation: See this handout Design Report.docx
    • For your challenge, check "Quantitative Investigation" at this page
    • What ideas from the textbook you will have to know for quizzes and your semester exam
    • E = mc2 movie
  • Einstein's Big Idea movie episode
    • Marie du Chatelet and the idea of Kinetic Energy. A formula for kinetic energy...
    • Einstein's big idea--Energy can be converted into mass, and mass can be converted into energy!
  • HW Study chapter 4 of your textbook on Newton's Third Law. Try all of the multiple choice questions at the end of the chapter.

May 6, Friday

  • Get as far as you can on the design challenges, being sure to DOCUMENT (including photos) what decisions you are making
  • HOMEWORK
    • Make the most of your opportunities on China Alive. See you when you get back!
    • We will try to complete your design challenge in the week after you return from China Alive.

May 4, Wednesday

  • Quizzes have been graded. Your "best of 4" quiz grade has been added in Powerschool.
  • Before you leave for China Alive, you should have tried each of the sublevels 1-9 and 12 from the Newton's Laws module from Minds on Physics
  • Design Challenge
    • Do you have a web page where you are recording your work so far?
    • Have you checked this page yet? here
  • HOMEWORK
    • Minds on Physics subleves 1-9 and 12 from the Newton's Laws module should be completed before China Alive
    • If your "best of 4" quiz results are below a 78, please plan to come to work in Mr. Happer's room during your flex. If I don't see you during flex, I will send a note home to your parents that you need some more encouragement to study these concepts!

April 29, Friday

  • Ugh. Mr. Happer has a horrible cold. I wanted to be in class to see all the great work you all are doing on your design challenges, but I'll have to wait until next week.
  • Today--QUIZ for the first 15-20 minutes.
  • Then, you may work on your design challenge. Here are some specific comments for each of you (I wrote them for the substitute)
    • || 3A Baron and Hugo || Maglev || Okay to work on this in class (please take photos along the track to see car’s stability) ||
      || Ethan and Daniel || Arduino || Okay to work on this in class (they will need to get the Arduinos from Mr. Merdes) ||
      || Jeff, Josh and Sabrina || Water Rockets || http://www.seeds2lrn.com/rocketSoftware.html and download this version v3.4 Mac using OSX.3 (Panther) or later (1.3 Mb) -- Zip File
      Explore this simulator and record your results (take screen shots if necessary to show your tests). You will have to wait until next week to go outside. ||
      || Kevin, Justin, Heather, Brittany || Rube Goldberg || Okay to work on this in class ||
      || Julia and Josephine || Radio || These two young scientists are building a crystal radio, which needs a good antenna. I suggested they string a long wire out the window and figure out how to tie it to a window in the middle school building.
      If they want to try this, I would say they could leave the classroom to fix the antenna. ||
      || Jenny, Angela, and Angela || Edison Bulb || Okay to work on this in class (it is okay to use the power supply for this) ||
      || Edward || Toy car || Okay to work on this in class ||
      || Nicolas || Stirling Engine || Nicolas, I experimented a little with your engine. One thing I think you might do is to be sure there are no leaks from the chamber. They suggest adding a little glue to each of the little nails in the chamber (I am suspicious of the masking tape you are using).
      Otherwise, please search for resources online that explain the physics behind how the Stirling engine works. ||
      || 4A Mary and Alexandre || Catapult || Okay to test their catapult in class. Try to measure the precision of this device. ||
      || Lisa || Water Rocket || http://www.seeds2lrn.com/rocketSoftware.html and download this version v3.4 Mac using OSX.3 (Panther) or later (1.3 Mb) -- Zip File
      Explore this simulator and record your results (take screen shots if necessary to show your tests). You will have to wait until next week to go outside. ||
      || Harschal, Joseph, Royce, Lens || Rube Goldberg || Okay to work on this in class ||
      || 1A Rahul, Levi, and Lian || Water Rockets || http://www.seeds2lrn.com/rocketSoftware.html and download this version v3.4 Mac using OSX.3 (Panther) or later (1.3 Mb) -- Zip File
      Explore this simulator and record your results (take screen shots if necessary to show your tests). You will have to wait until next week to go outside. ||
      || Helen, Kate, Vrishti || Hydraulic crane || Okay to work on this in class, but it may be hard if they don’t know where to get materials. ||
      || Kailey, Peggy, Angela || Bridge || Okay to work on this in class and to use the “West Point Bridge Design” simulator ||
      || Shane and David || Catapult || Since there is a sub today, you should NOT go outside (wait until next week). Instead, I would like to see you try to calculate the work done on the marble at a given pressure. You can assume that the air pressure stays nearly constant as the marble is pushed out of the tube. Try to calculate an estimated velocity of the marble as it leaves the tube. ||
      || Dennis and Ryan || Water rockets || http://www.seeds2lrn.com/rocketSoftware.html and download this version v3.4 Mac using OSX.3 (Panther) or later (1.3 Mb) -- Zip File
      Explore this simulator and record your results (take screen shots if necessary to show your tests). You will have to wait until next week to go outside. ||
      || Iraj and Maxima || Maglev || Okay to work on this in class (please take photos along the track to see car’s stability) ||
      || Peter || Catapult || Okay to work on this in class. ||
  • HOMEWORK
    • Minds on Physics Newton's Laws, sublevels 8 and 9! Remember to keep your "success codes"!

April 27, Wednesday

  • Before any work on your design challenges today, you should show evidence of completing the minds-on-physics Newton's Laws sublevels from 1-7. If you have not completed these, you should work on them in class!
  • Please send the url for your wiki (or other web page) detailing your design challenge work (send to james.happer@saschina.org or see Mr. Happer in class to link your page here)
  • Your wiki should include evidence of your work from the past two class periods
  • HOMEWORK
    • Expect a short quiz on chapters 2, 3, and 6 (about 15 minutes). I will take some questions from the minds-on-physics problems and some related to the "check your understanding" questions from the text

April 25, Monday

  • Clean up task (before working on your designs--see Mr. Happer)
  • Web pages for your designs (wikis, blogs? Mr. Happer will need the link to your page by Wednesday)
  • Chapter 3 ideas and Minds on Physics (Newton's Laws module--sublevels 1-4 should be mostly done by now)
  • HOMEWORK
    • Minds-on-Physics "Newton's Laws" module, work on sublevels 5, 6, and 7 (remember to record the codes when you complete each level)
    • Expect a short quiz on FRIDAY (questions again from chapter 6 and from the Minds on Physics sublevels 1-7 that you have worked on recently)

April 21, Thursday

  • Please show evidence of your study of chapter 2!
  • Choosing a design challenge! See possibilities here
    • When you think you have found a challenge that could help you focus for the next few weeks, see Mr. Happer for permission.
    • Clean up task!
    • Starting a web page to document your design challenge (this may be a blog, wiki, or some other page you use, but it must be RELIABLY accessible with a "click" from Mr. Happer's web page
  • HOMEWORK
    • Study chapter 3 on Newton's 2nd Law. Show written evidence of your understanding.
    • Go to Minds on Physics: http://www.physicsclassroom.com/mop/module.cfm and the Newton's Laws module. Do sublevels 3 and 4 and copy the "success codes" as evidence of completing these levels.

April 19, Tuesday

  • Please show evidence of your study of homework questions
  • QuizGoodWork
  • Energy, Forces, and Motion investigations--this is most of what will occupy us to the end of the semester! There are three major parts to these investigations:
    • "Big Ideas"--concepts like Newton's Laws, acceleration and equilibrium, energy and heat. Primary resources for studying these big ideas will be your textbook (chapters 2-4, 6, and 8) and several Minds on Physics modules
    • Design Challenges--see possibilities here
    • Controlled experiment (best if motivated in some way by your design challenge)
  • Your work today will depend on your performance on quizzes from last week
  • HOMEWORK
    • Study chapter 2 on Newton's Law of Inertia. Show written evidence of your understanding (notes, problems you tried to solve, or Minds on Physics module "Newton's Laws" sublevels 1 and 2)

April 15, Friday

  • Quick quiz #3 (we will discuss all quizzes on Tuesday)
  • "Einstein's Big Idea"
    • Mysteries of light--"electromagnetic waves"
    • What do objects "have"? Inertia? Energy? Momentum?...
    • Today is the last day of the movie for a while. We will come back to it in a few weeks to finish.
  • HOMEWORK Last "look at chapter 6" homework
    • On pages 111-112 do "Think and Compare" questions 3 and 4
    • Do the "Think and Solve" questions 1-5
    • We will discuss on Tuesday and then plan for the next "Design and Experiment" activities

April 13, Wednesday

  • Another quick quiz on energy from chapter 6
  • Summarizing ideas from the quiz
  • "Einstein's Big Idea" movie
    • Antoine Lavoisier, the "Father of Chemistry", who was killed in 1794 during the French Revolution. The big idea of CONSERVATION OF MASS and the experiments he performed to support this idea.
  • HOMEWORK
    • Another quiz from chapter 6 on Energy on Friday. Note that these quizzes are not going in the gradebook at this time. The expectation is that by next week, you should be better able to handle quiz questions from this chapter.
    • On Friday, we will continue with our movie, looking at what confused Einstein about light, and how the idea of kinetic energy arose long ago.

April 11, Monday

  • Quick quiz "check for understanding" from chapter 6 on Energy (10 minutes)
  • Summarizing the "big ideas"
  • Beginning "Einstein's Big Idea" movie about the equation "E = mc2"
    • How did thinking about "the elements" change between the 1700's and 1800's?
    • How did thinking about "forces" change between the 1700's and 1800's change?
    • During the movie, note down questions that come to your mind
  • HOMEWORK
    • Please take a second look at chapter 6. Expect another "quick quiz" similar to another of the "Check your understanding" questions on Wednesday (when we will also continue with the movie)

April 6, Wednesday

  • If you need to sign up for parent conferences, Happer's list is on the door
  • Keep laptops away today
  • Energy ideas and Experiments
    • Electrical and Chemical Energy: Break water apart into hydrogen and oxygen gasses; Check with a match!
    • Simple Machines
      • Pulleys: Find work done to lift a weight up a certain height
      • Incline: Find work done to slide a mass up an incline
    • Nuclear Energy: Blocking nuclear radiation (Mr. Happer will use his laptop to record data)
  • HOMEWORK
    • Study chapter 6 of your textbook on Energy carefully. I will give you a 10 minute quiz on Monday on "Checks for Understanding" in the chapter

April 1, Friday

  • Newton's Laws and Motion
  • Connections to Work and Energy
  • HW 20-30 more minutes on the Gizmos--use the guiding worksheets if necessary to get the big ideas behind these simulations

March 30, Wednesday

  • Returned work for your controlled experiment is on the server: shared files/Mr. Happer/Experiment Return Please check the comments carefully! Very nice work!
  • Survey for course selection next year
  • Two important attitudes towards scientific research (to use when studying the Gizmos)
    • The curious, "playing around" method. Also known as "quick and dirty". This is meant to get an idea of what matters in an experiment. Sometimes this even involves making choices in which the scientist relies on instinct! But most of the time, the scientist could provide some reasoning to explain her expectations.
    • The disciplined, well controlled experiment method. Being able to do this is a necessity to make real progress in science. You need to know how to do this as well. With the Gizmos, it means changing only ONE variable to several values in order to understand its affect on the system.
  • HW 20-30 more minutes on the Gizmos. Please be sure you have looked at all four by Friday.

March 28, Monday

  • ENERGY--this will be a theme that we will try to develop for the rest of the semester. The idea of energy has many subtleties and complexities for us to explore:
    • Conservation of Energy
    • "Useful" energy vs "Wasted" energy
    • Simple machines and "efficiency" of machines
    • Potential vs Kinetic Energy
    • Energy transformations
    • Potential energy storage: Gravitational (like water behind a dam), Chemical (like the energy stored in a battery or in a glucose molecule), Nuclear, ...
  • Explorations (today--developing concepts and vocabulary through Gizmos...)
  • HW Spend at least 30 minutes exploring the four gizmos listed above. Provide evidence in a word document that you are working and reflecting on these concepts. Evidence should include screenshots of the gizmo experiments, graphs, and your reflections

March 17, Thursday

  • Since the nuclear power plants in Japan are in the media now, some discussion about what nuclear energy is and is not
  • Time to put finishing touches on controlled experiment if necessary
  • HW Have a great holiday!

March 15, Tuesday

  • 2nd try quiz OR putting final touches on you controlled experiment report
  • HW Please submit your controlled experiment to the server on Thursday

March 11, Friday

  • 2nd try quiz Tuesday ONLY if you see Mr. Happer for a "ticket" no later than Monday (If you don't do the quiz, you can take the time on Tuesday to work on your experiment report.)
  • DUE DATE FOR CONTROLLED EXPERIMENT REPORT: next Thursday
  • HOMEWORK
    • Analyzing your data and Evaluating your experiment
    • Writing an Abstract
    • (Note: Check sample work from last semester to examples of an abstract--it is just a summary of what you were trying to do, how you tried to do it, and your main results)

March 9, Wednesday

  • Controlled experiment--you can get working right away!
  • HOMEWORK

March 7, Monday

  • "Tickets" for the "2nd try quiz"? The "2nd try" will be given next Tuesday
  • Circuit Assignment feedback (to be returned in "Shared Files" on the server)
  • All classes this week will be devoted to your controlled experiment
  • HOMEWORK
    • Write up the "Expectations" section of your report. Try to use vocabulary from chapters 9 and 10 in your explanations.
    • If you have enough data, you should also try to properly format your tables and graphs.

March 3, Thursday

  • Magnetism questions?
  • Controlled experiment goals for today
    • Try to get your method working to a point that you are confident about your data collection. It is better to get one reliable data point today than to get ten points that have problems!
    • Take some photos of your setup so that you can include them in a description of your method
  • HOMEWORK
    • Write up the details of your method, including sketches, so that another scientist would be able to repeat your work
    • Use the "excellent work" samples (you should have them on your machine) as a guide for high quality work

March 1, Tuesday

  • Beginning a controlled experiment
    • You will need a clear plan before you can get started officially. Mr. Happer will come around to check your ideas before you can start on your experimental work. I will be looking for the following:
      • A research question that clearly mentions an independent and dependent variable
      • A labeled sketch of a possible method for taking sufficient measurements
    • If it takes some time for Mr. Happer to get around to you, you should do the following:
      • Have at least one person check your ideas and provide you with feedback
      • Work on the "Minds-on-Physics" Electric Circuits module to earn your "2nd try quiz ticket"
  • HOMEWORK
    • Study chapter 10 on Magnetism for at least 20-30 minutes. On pages 192-3 do all multiple choice questions. Write down a few of your own questions as you think of them.

February 25, Friday

  • Today's goal: Come up with a plan for a controlled experiment that you can start working on next week.
    • Go to Shared Files/Mr. Happer on the server and copy the folder "ExcellentWork" to your machine. In this folder, there are reports from 4 students last semester showing outstanding reports of experimental work
    • Look over these reports for 15-20 minutes and identify at least six decisions that the students made which you think helped the reports.
    • Identify at least one significant improvement you would suggest for one or more of the reports
  • Controlled experiments, relationships between variables, and ideas for data collection--share your ideas
  • More explorations of Vernier sensors
    • Try at least three different sensors
    • In Logger Pro go to "Experiment" and "Data Collection" to select a sampling rate. Explore how the usefulness of the sensors for taking data
  • HOMEWORK
    • Those wishing to earn a "ticket" for a 2nd try quiz should work on more sublevels from the Electric Circuits module from Minds on Physics

February 23, Wednesday

  • Quiz results
    • What was good
    • What you can do if you want to show a deeper understanding of these topics
      • To take another quiz on the same topics, you will need to complete all sublevels from the "Minds on Physics" module on Electric Circuits. It will be necessary to record all of your success codes to show that your have completed these.
      • Come in during flex to practice making measurements of series and parallel circuits using the multimeter
      • Show evidence of completing this study in order take a "2nd try" quiz
  • What's next--doing a controlled experiment
    • Example work from last semester--what are characteristics of an outstanding report of a controlled experiment?
    • How to plan a controlled experiment for a physics-related investigation
      • Coming up with a focused problem for investigation--how to connect the "big picture" to something "smaller and specific" that you can investigate
      • Knowing your instruments so that you know what you can measure
      • Knowing the important background ideas, so that you can state some reasoned expectations
      • Planning how to analyze your data, so that you can compare results with expectations
      • Deciding on a minimum amount of data you will need and how to present that data (usually in graphs)
  • HOMEWORK:
    • If you were not satisfied with your quiz grade and would like to improve your understanding for a second quiz, show Mr. Happer evidence on Friday that you are completing more sublevels from "Minds on Physics" from the Electric Circuits module.
    • Make sketches with comments to show two possible ideas for a controlled experiment that you could imagine doing in class. Each idea should include
      • Identification of an independent and dependent variable that you could measure
      • A suggestion of what instruments you would use to make measurements
      • A blank data table with heading for independent and dependent variables, and a list of values for the independent variable

February 21, Monday

  • Quiz today!
    • You will need the following materials (at your table): multimeter, 100 ohm resistor, bulb and bulb holder, 2 AA batteries and battery holder, 6 alligator clips
    • Leave yourself enough time to do all three parts
  • HOMEWORK: If you have not finished the circuit assignment, please complete that for Wednesday

February 17, Thursday

  • Please submit your "Circuit Assignment" (be sure your name is in the filename) to Happer's dropbox on the server
  • Today you will practice many quiz questions from the "Minds-on-Physics" site. You can check instructions on how to do this in this document: MOPS.docx (or just wait for Mr. Happer to explain in class)
  • The concept of "Internal Resistance"
  • HOMEWORK: Finish all of the sublevels and make sure you are prepared for the quiz on Monday (see topics below)

February 15, Tuesday

  • On Monday, there will be a quiz in which you will need to know and do the following:
    • Set up a circuit using batteries, resistors, and light bulbs
    • Make measurements of voltage and current using the multimeter
    • Answer questions related to I = V/R ("Ohm's Law") and circuits with batteries or resistors in series and parallel
    • Make appropriate use of terms like "conductor", "insulator", "open circuit", and "short circuit"
    • Explain how an electric motor works, and why some motors might behave differently from others
    • Explain the concept of "internal resistance" in batteries and how this can affect the current going to a motor
  • Voltage, current, and resistance--analogies to water flowing in pipes
  • Experiments 2 and 4 (see links from last Wednesday)
  • "Minds-on-Physics" practice problems (if there is time)
  • HOMEWORK: Finish your graphs and comments for the "Circuit Assignment" and be ready to submit this work on Thursday. Note that basic comments are "good" (= B/B+) while to get higher marks, you need to show a step beyond in thought, questions, and understanding...

February 11, Friday

  • Last in class Motor Building day--if you get the motor spinning for more than 1 minute, tell Mr. Happer to receive credit
  • OR you may work on "experiments 2 and 4" (to get ahead)
  • OR you may start on your homework (see below)
  • HOMEWORK: Read/Study pages 154-162 on Electricity. We will be building understanding of these concepts next week

February 9, Wednesday

  • Please copy this file to your machine: Circuit Assignment Part 2—Measurements of Real Circuits.docx After opening the file, copy everything and paste to the END of your CircuitAssignment.docx (in which you have explored simulations of circuits with batteries)
  • Rename your CircuitAssignment.docx so that your name is included in the filename
  • You will have one more class period on Friday to focus on motor building, testing, and improvement. You will also try to measure your motor's speed using the Vernier sensors...
  • Experimenting with real batteries and making measurements of current and voltage
    • Mr. Happer will show you how to make measurements of current using the multimeter (as an "ammeter")
    • Complete the experiments listed in the document you just copied
  • HOMEWORK: Complete thoughtful captions and comments for all graphs of data that you took today

January 27, Thursday

  • Motor building--try to get it spinning!
  • HOMEWORK: Please complete the CircuitAssignment by February 9th (after Chinese New Year)

January 26, Wednesday (40 minute class)

  • Additional research? Open your MotorReport document to show me your discoveries and questions.
  • Get this document here or copy from the server: CircuitAssignment.docx
  • Download the Circuit Construction Kit
  • Some big ideas related to your motors
    • Forces and "Net Force"
    • Torques and "Net Torque"
    • Voltage, current, and resistance in electric circuits (experiments with the Circuit Construction Kit simulation)
  • HOMEWORK: Please complete the CircuitAssignment by February 9th (after Chinese New Year)

January 24, Monday

January 20, Thursday

  • Adding a "Research" section to your MotorsReport document
  • How to check the strength of batteries--using a multimeter (and how to combine batteries)
  • How to use a soldering iron to attach the "commutator" to wires
  • Time to work on your motor--try to get it to "budge" when you add the battery
  • HOMEWORK
    • Study How electric motors work by spending 10 minutes reviewing the animations on this page. Add a few notes/images to your "MotorsReport" document
    • Study this article also on How Electric Motors Work Check all 6 pages and again add a few notes/images to your "MotorsReport" document

January 18, Tuesday

  • Submit "Graphing Assignment" to Happer's dropbox on the server
  • Making an electric motor
    • The main goals
    • Working in groups (one rotor each student, but several may share a stand)
    • The main design
  • Using tools and materials appropriately in the lab
    • Using saws safely and efficiently
    • Taking care of one another!
    • Safety goggles when near certain tools
    • Labeling and storage of work (use baskets for your group)
  • Get started
  • HOMEWORK: Start documenting your understanding and questions about motors
    • Take this document and add your name to the file--MotorsReport.docx
    • In the "Background Knowledge" section, write your understanding and questions about electric motors at this time

January 14, Friday

  • Graphing motion--sharing discoveries so far
  • Preparing for a design challenge--Electric Motors...
    • A few stories of science
      • Ben Franklin, the Wimhurst Machine, Amber, and Static Electricity
      • Frogs, Frankenstein, and Current Electricity
      • Lodestones, ships, and compass needles
      • Electromagnetism!
    • Exploring these phenomena!
  • HOMEWORK: The "Graphing Assignment" is due on Tuesday

January 12, Wednesday

  • Physics is largely a study of motion--of airplanes, atoms, light, buildings, planets, and just about anything else you can imagine. Two common types of questions are:
    • How is an object moving? (we call this "Kinematic" and talk about "Position", "Velocity", and "Acceleration")
    • What is causing this motion? (we call this "Dynamics" and also talk about "Forces" and "Net Force")
  • A common scientific technique for investigating Nature is to take measurements and then look for patterns. Graphing data is a great way to see patterns
    • Graphing assignment to investigate motion
    • Discussion of discoveries towards the end of class
  • HW Work for at least 30 minutes on the graphing assignment. This should be completed to turn in next Tuesday

January 10, Monday

Welcome to lab science with a Physics flavor!

  • What's cool about physics
    • Careers (Pay? note mean salary for physicists, as well as engineers requiring backgrounds in physics!)
    • Everyday life
    • Mystery! Origins of physics--asking questions about "the Wanderers" of the night sky
  • Tell me about yourself--get the "Personal Background" document from the server (Shared Files/Mr. Happer) and respond to the questions in class (Personal Background.docx)
  • Physics in the days of Benjamin Franklin
    • The Wimhurst Machine
  • HOMEWORK: There are several new students in grade 9 who are not in class today. So that they don't feel behind on their first day of class, homework will not start until next class.