AP Physics: Missing Energy
Students started working on an activity to determine whether a bouncy ball mostly dissipates energy due to air resistance or due to the impact with a table (I’ll have an article on this activity in the January issue of The Science Teacher). Today, students worked on sketching LOL diagrams and velocity vs. time graphs for each explanation, which lead to some good conversations about the connections between energy and motion. Each group also recorded a video of a bouncy ball that they’ll analyze in LoggerPro tomorrow.
Physics: Goal-Less Problems
Students worked on some goal-less problems for Newton’s 2nd Law in two dimensions. I was very explicit with my students that I use them to make it okay to start a problem without knowing where you are going. We also spent some time discussing key steps students should take (like deciding whether the forces are balanced or unbalanced, drawing and annotating diagrams, etc) which helped a lot of students see where to start.
Chemistry Essentials: Mass vs. Volume
Students worked on finding a relationship between the volume of water and its mass. I had students design their own procedure for the lab and I think they could have used more pre-lab discussion; I usually keep the pre-lab pretty short in favor of doing a lot of coaching lab groups, but the class is bigger than usual this year and I was spread pretty thin, which in turn fed some classroom management issues. I’ll need to keep that in mind for future labs.