Day 134: Spring Week Assembly and Airband

There is a tradition during Spring Week that groups of seniors organize, prepare, and perform in Airband. I assume that Airband started as a lip-syncing competition but has grown into quite a sophisticated production. The groups competed Thursday night, but the top three also performed at the Spring Week assembly today. The top group was The Last Airbanders. Their performance was fantastic and very creative.


Day 133: Sticky Tape Lab

Today, in Honors Physics, we left behind mechanics (oscillating particle model) and made the huge shift to start the charged particle model (CPM). We started our exploration of electrostatics with the classic sticky tape lab. The students made careful observations and readily proposed a reasonable hypothesis for most of the observed behaviors. However, when I asked why the paper strip was attached to both the top and bottom tape, they were stumped. So, devising an explanation for that behavior became homework.


  ##cpm ##paradigmlab  

Day 132: Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Spectra

The following whiteboard is of Giancoli Physics 5e, Chapter 28, problem 42. One of the big ideas in the AP Physics B unit on atomic physics and quantum effects is that Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle describes a fundamental uncertainty in the universe regardless of the measurement uncertainty of the technology being used to perform the measurement.


  ##whiteboarding ##quantum  

Day 131: Photoelectric Effect Lab

The student completed this lab last Wednesday when I was gone. One student needed to make up the lab this afternoon; so, I took a picture of the apparatus. The AP Physics B class does the photoelectric effect lab in the unit on atomic physics and quantum effects. I have an old PASCO h/e apparatus which is probably irreplaceable. I have students complete a series of prefab questions where they use the wave model to determine how changes in intensity and frequency affects the stopping potential and then they use the particle model to determine the same. After conducting the lab, they state which model fits their observations. They also graph stopping potential versus frequency which allows them to determine the work function and Planck’s constant. Great modern physics lab.


  ##paradigmlab ##quantum  

Day 130: Helmholtz Resonators

Based on a great suggestion by @wslaton, today’s lab practicum for the Oscillating Particle Model unit was to have students modify the volume (e.g., add water to) their Helmholtz Resonators (e.g., water bottles) to produce the specified frequency. The results were fantastic. Students based their calculations on this article.

I also shared a video of how Dyson uses a Helmholtz cavity to reduce the noise of their vacuum.


  ##practicumlab ##opm  

Day 126: Travel to the FIRST Robotics Competition Lake Superior Regional

This morning Huskie Robotics, FIRST Team 3601, left for Duluth, Minnesota with 27 students to compete in the Lake Superior Regional of the FIRST Robotics Competition. We spend most of the day driving and then unloaded our equipment and robot into the “pits.” The robot was sealed in a bag on “stop-build day” which was February 18th. I was relieved and surprised that before we left our pit, the inspector had checked our paperwork and cleared our robot to be unbagged first thing tomorrow morning!


  ##local ##omgrobots  

Day 125: Mathematical Models for Simple Harmonic Motion

In Honors Physics, students performed an activity to connect the graphical model for simple harmonic motion to the mathematical model and to the physical apparatus. I posted about this lab in the fall when my AP Physics B class did it. This year we are “piloting” the AP Physics 1 curriculum with Honors Physics; so, the Honors Physics classes are doing some of the same labs as my AP Physics B class. It is odd to have two different classes do the same lab at two different times in the same school year. Regardless, I love this lab as it really helps students make connections among the multiple representations for simple harmonic motion.


  ##paradigmlab ##opm