Cup Bowling

49 Some students had some extra time after working on their bowling ball video in class, so they decided to bowl against plastic cups. Fun Friday!



47 I stayed home sick for two days. That head cold really hit me hard. But I am better now and the conceptual classes are making videos with bowling balls! Some groups are more dramatic than others. The videos are due Tuesday the 20th, and if any groups agree to share the links I will post them. We’re also continuing to discuss forces and equilibrium.



40  Today my AP class did a team building activity. We do these every so often, because I think it helps the kids “bond” and also get to know each other and themselves in a team environment where they are working on something other than a physics problem or lab. In this case, they were using PVC pipes to move a marble from one location to another. Each pipe had to have two students touching it at all times, and I assigned the pairs randomly. The first time they did it, the marble went from a high spot to a low spot and the distance was within the range of all the tubes placed end-to-end. The second time, the starting and ending locations were farther apart and at the same level.
I still have a few kids who place blame or who shout disparaging remarks. Maybe by the end of the year they will have stopped doing that.


38 We were back to school after Hurricane Sandy and it was Halloween! Fun! (Click images for enlargements)


25 One thing I have noticed is that the Modeling Instruction materials for physics do not have a lot of practice materials in them. Practice is what helps you get better at things (it builds myelin layers around the circuits in your brain), so over the years I have made various practice materials for my students.  Today we were getting ready for tomorrow’s assessment of x vs. t and v vs. t graphs with my conceptual classes. So last night I made some practice problems. I drew them by hand on graph paper with a sharpie pen and a ruler, which was much more relaxing for me than trying to create them all on the computer. Doing it on the computer is easy enough with OmniGraphSketcher and Excel, but drawing these out by hand is very soothing for my brain. Soldering is like that too. I am perfectly happy to sit and solder for hours at a time.

Anyway, we did not get to go over the answers in class, so I made a colorful answer sheet, scanned it, and put it on Moodle. I hope the different colors help the students get which parts are which. The photo above shows two of the six “problems” I gave the kids.

Also, it was “Disney/Pixar” day at school for spirit week:

(Army guy, Buzz Lightyear, shiny Superman (?), Dalmation, Elastigirl, kid from Up, ?, Cheshire cat, “Kitty” and in front is Hercules)


##CVPM  ##graphing




 24 Today we were testing more toothpick devices for protecting eggs, for Physics Olympics. The student who made this one wanted frame-by-frame analysis so he could see how his device hit the wall. So we turned to Logger Pro, of course!

Also, today’s theme was “Crazy Sports Fan Day” and as you can tell we are near Philadelphia. The signs I am wearing proclaim that “I love ALL the sports” and “Sports ‘R’ Great”, plus my face has small “I ❤ sports” messages where people put decorative eye-black.


18 OK so this is a little lame. I had an awesome day today, using ultrasonic motion sensors with the conceptual classes to match position vs. time graphs and discover what the velocity vs. time graphs look like. But I did not get any photos or videos of it happening, because I was hopping all around the classroom working with each group and making sure the graphs were set up correctly and fixing it when the velocity vs. time graph suddenly had a scale of -50 to 50 m/s when -2 to 2 m/s was much more appropriate. I had a good time, and I think students are starting to get it. This is in addition to the Super Ultimate Graphing Challenge that I had the kids do over the weekend, which helped some kids a lot with the position vs. time graphs.

Anyway, the photo above is one student’s notes from the motion sensor activity, which accidentally got left behind in class. Sigh. Maybe tomorrow there will be something more exciting.

##CVPM  ##motion_sensor  ##graph_match


17 Today’s Physics Olympics practice was going fine, and then it turned into a Gangnam Style dance party. Luckily, I had my phone handy!