Today was our first day back from spring break! We have kind of an odd start to the week since tomorrow freshmen and seniors have an off-campus learning day to accommodate state testing for sophomores and juniors.
AP Physics: Universal Gravitation
Students worked on an activity Lucas Walker presented at AAPT last summer using exoplanet data to find a relationship between centripetal acceleration and orbital radius. I was nervous about having students calculate the orbital velocity and acceleration in a spreadsheet since most of my students don’t have much experience with spreadsheets, but my students were very willing to dive in using the resources I provided and were very successful with the calculations.
Students collected data to model the impact of weight, drop angle, and mass on the period of a pendulum. I’m continuing to see students much more confident in their physics abilities than even the end of last trimester, and working more independently as a result.
Chemistry Essentials: Formula Mass
Students started making sense of formula mass by predicting the mass of various combinations of nuts, bolts, and washers. I wanted to give them something pretty concrete they could test directly in the lab before diving into true stoichiometry. When we shifted to chemical formulas at the end of the hour, a few students got tripped up if they skipped the particle diagram, but the math was pretty obvious to everyone once they got that step.
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