Day 136: Electrostatics & Permeability

AP Physics: Electrostatics

I missed class for a field trip today, but the rest of this week is all about squeezing in superficial coverage of the last few topics. Today, students worked some problems I wrote to refresh their memory on some electrostatics from chemistry, then help them reason their way to what they need for physics. There are no classes tomorrow, so I’ll find out Thursday how it went.

Earth Science: Permeability

Students whiteboarded yesterday’s lab results, then we did a quick demo on permeability. Then students used what they’ve learned to design an aquifer.

Day 135: Closed Pipe Waves & Porosity

AP Physics: Closed Pipe Waves

I started class by showing students a few examples of sound waves in open pipes to establish that standing sound waves follow the same rules we saw last week for a standing wave on a string fixed at both ends. Then, I had students use our speed of sound materials to find the pattern for sound waves in a closed pipe. To keep the follow-up discussion short, I went back to standing at the front of the room and asking students to share their general results. In one class, students spontaneously started answering my questions by pointing out a lab partner who’d said something interesting and asking them to share, which lead to some students who don’t always speak up in whole-class settings getting their voices heard, which was pretty cool.

standing wave (1).jpg

Earth Science: Porosity

Students designed their own experiments to compare the porosity of sand, gravel, and Play-Doh. Students needed a little more scaffolding on how to measure the amount of water absorbed, but they ended up with nice results overall. Tomorrow, we’ll spend some time connecting these results back to the structure of aquifers.


Day 134: Board Meeting & Artesian Wells

AP Physics: Board Meeting

Students whiteboarded the results of yesterday’s lab. Several students had already seen λ=c/f in AP Chemistry, and I was pleased to hear them discussing how their results fit with that formula.

wave wb

Earth Science: Artesian Wells

Students simulated an artesian well to find how the change in elevation affects the flow rate. I wish I’d spent more time on the pre-lab discussion to help set up what students should measure and why. I really liked the connections to energy it was possible to make; a few of the students I had last tri sketched bar charts and were able to generate some very nice explanations for why the big elevation change produced a high flow rate.