AP Physics: Board Meeting
Students whiteboarded their results from yesterday’s lab. I forgot to remind my 2nd hour to zero their force sensors yesterday, which made for a good opportunity to talk about what the intercept means. They were initially bothered by the units on the slope of their graph, but the units of N/(m/s2) became really valuable when we made a “for every” statement about the slope; interestingly, a lot of students phrased their “for every” statement in terms of how the acceleration changes for every 1 N of force, even though that required inverting their slope. I thought about having students plot acceleration on the vertical axis, especially since the College Board’s formula sheet gives a = F/m, but I think the mass pops out more nicely when force is on the vertical. I may still flip the axes next year since acceleration on the vertical would fit better with how they talk about the graph.
Students whiteboarded their answers to last Friday’s problems. We spent a long time on a problem about using a log to hold a book against the wall, and there was a lot of great discussion about what that force should be and why, as well as whether there should be any horizontal forces. I think a lot of students don’t see that discussion as productive, but I heard a lot of great physics talk.
Chemistry Essentials: Atomic Models
Students shared the information on the atomic models they looked at yesterday. They were surprised by the gap between Democritus and Dalton and were also very interested in the personal stories. I tend to skip past those, since most of the people the state standards call for are white guys, but its probably worth having some reminders in my class that science is done by people who live in a particular place at a particular time. Maybe next time, I’ll do a little more background research to try to come up with some other names, especially women and people of color.