Spring 2013 Share n’ Tell

Further updates and links to come… If you have any corrections please let the secretary know.

Tom Woosnam , Crystal Springs Uplands School

Tom discussed the Perimeter Institute; more information is available here: Perimeter Institute Catalogue (1)

Don Rathjen, Exploratorium

Don passed out materials for two activities on work, power and efficiency. He demonstrated using wind up toys to determine the work needed to lift a paperclip or for them to rise on a pre-made ramp. He also demonstrated a miniature winch that can raise washers and be used to calculate the efficiency of the machine.

Don’s Handout is available here: Electromechanical Efficiency NCNAAPT 4-26-13

Tucker Hiatt, Wonderfest

Tucker discussed an experiment that will be featured at the Skeptical 2014 Northern California Skepticism Conference in Berkeley and Bay Area Science Festival this year. For more information on the experiment of hot water freezing faster than cold water, check out www.wonderfest.org/ice. Email tucker@wonderfest.org

Richard Piccioui, Bay School High School

Richard discussed the Physics First program at his school. He believes the most important topic to be taught in Physics First (prior to Chemistry) is Energy. He uses the equation:

ΔKE+ΔPE+ΔTE=W+Q for a closed and isolated system.

Process System ΔKE+ΔPE+ΔTE=W+Q
Drop ball (in vacuum) ball Pos.  + 0  + 0     = Pos + 0
Ball + Earth Pos + neg + 0 = 0 + 0
Lift book Book
Book + earth
Book slides across table Book + surface
Rub hands hands
LED glows LED
Cold pack activated Cold pack

The materials that are used in Richard’s school for 9th grade Physics are available here.

Bree Barnett Dreyfuss, Amador Valley High School

Bree discussed neodymium magnets and safety. She recently created ¼” plastic containers for them from materials at TAP plastics to insure they were stored safely. Two neodymium magnets of this size can come together with a lot of force and can cause injuries. She also shared an acrylic marble as a concave lens. Bree asked for anyone who would be interested in filling her position from late October to June of next year.

Neodymium Magnets Video of her containers and additional video about magnet safety here.

James Lincoln, President of SCAAPT

James shared two sound experiments to share with students:

  1. Plug your ears and you’ll hear a low frequency hum. James proposes that it is the sound of your muscle fibers. If you flex your arms while plugging your ears you can hear the frequency change.
  2. The opening note of “Happy Birthday” is approximately 60 Hz.

Check out his website www.physicsvideos.net and the Southern California version of PTSOS called New Physics Teacher Workshops (www.nptw.org).

Alex Warten, Piedmont High SchoolFluorescent Bulbs

Alex built a plexiglass base and drilled holes in it to hold 12 two prong 4W fluorescent bulbs. He suggests only using a low power setting on the microwave and having the apparatus in there for only a few seconds. The lightbulbs flash on because of the electromagnetic waves but he hopes to use it with a high speed camera to find the frequency of the microwave.  Questions were raised about getting a 3D layout or using neon bulbs or LEDs.

Brogan Miller, Stanford student

Brogan is studying how to create cheaper and more accurate classroom demonstrations. He asked for input on his Two-Masses and A Pulley Module prototype to be emailed to him BroganM@stanford.edu.

A website for the system is available and the teacher handout for his apparatus is available here: Fisix Teacher Handout

Dan Burns, Lost Gatos High School

Dan discussed the classic thought problem of the change of the gravitational field around Earth if there was a hole into the center of the Earth that something fell through. He discussed his lab regarding the math, calculations, etc. Dan has a full write-up on Pretty Good Physics under “Gravity” including a video. Dan does a lot with showmanship and has a large cylinder with a shiny red light that he drops a golf ball into. Students learn through their calculations that the ball will take 84 minutes to return due to its simple harmonic motion. He tells students that he has a colleague in China that will let them know when the ball reaches him (42 minutes) and even goes so far as having a phone call at that time in the period. Dan worked through some of the equations on a white board, and I attempted to copy them down here:  Notes from Dean Baird’s Show ‘n Tell.

Dean Baird, Rio Americano High School, Phyz.org

Dean demoes his refraction tank with Karo Syrup and a green laser. Dean shared a few videos of “magnetic boys” that claim that children are magnetic and metal things stick to them. Magically even ceramic plates will stick to him. Students are given prompt questions to discuss potential causes and problems with these videos. The lesson ends with a video of powder being applied to the bare chests of the “magnetic” people to reveal that it is in fact perspiration that causes these materials to stick to them. Follow Dean at www.phyz.org and www.phyzblog.blogspot.com.

Bernard Cleyet, retired, Cleyet.org

Bernard asked if anyone was interested in passive element delay lines. Bernard discussed his trials on delay lines using capacitors and inductors. He will share his results next time.

Leanna Felardo, Oroville High School

Leanna discussed a shift from traditional lab set ups to more open ended labs. This will hopefully become easier with the shift to the Next Generation Science Standards. She allows students to create their own lab hypothesis and complete their own procedure. She does allow students to test hypothesis that will fail but does catch students that have an untestable hypothesis. Her AP Lab Write-up is available here: AP Physics Lab Notebook

1 Comment

  • By Tucker Hiatt, April 29, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    This summary of “Share ‘n’ Tell” presentations is FANTASTIC — and it was posted so promptly! Big THANKS to both the note-taker and the web-poster.

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