AP Physics: Torque
Students started the classic lever lab to start building some ideas about torque, though we haven’t used the term yet. Today, I had them work on a relationship between the forces on either side of the lever, and encouraged different groups to use different distances from the fulcrum.
Earth Science: Spectra
To introduce why spectroscopes are useful in astronomy, students played with diffraction gratings. We started by looking at some of the regular light sources in the classroom, and they were quick to come up with interesting observations and ideas to explain their observations. Then, we shifted to observing gas lamps. We only have one power supply, so we did those observations as a whole class. Then, in their lab groups, I had students look for patterns in where colors appear to get the idea that the same color always has the same distance, then to try to identify the gasses we’d observed.