Day 163: Final Review & Half Life Data Analysis

Physics: Final Review

Students started reviewing for next week’s final exam. I put together a lab practical for each of the four major topics from this trimester, and groups can pick and chose which ones they complete.

  • Simple Harmonic Motion: Given a 50 g mass, spring, ruler, and stopwatch, find the mass of a set of washers.
  • Mechanical Waves: Predict what length an adjustable tube needs to be for a given tuning fork to resonate when (a) both ends are open and (b) one end is plugged.
  • Reflection: Given the placement of a laser pointer and a target, use at least three mirrors to direct the beam to the target.
  • Refraction: Determine the index of refraction of oil.

There was a lot of demand for the simple harmonic motion and mechanical waves practicals since those were the oldest content. I’d prepared three sets of equipment for each practical, and ended up putting together a few more simple harmonic motion sets during my largest class, especially since they just did the index of refraction task for water yesterday.


Chemistry: Half Life Data Analysis

Students graphed their half life data from yesterday, then we compared their results to their predictions and the class totals, including data from previous years. We had some good conversation about the role randomness plays in the lab and why its useful to have data that relies on thousands of pennies, rather than just the 100 students had.

half life class data

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