Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day 19: Fleet on Fleek!

Infrared, UV and X-Ray astronomy lend themselves to pretty pictures much more easily than radio astronomy.

By the end of class today, I had introduced my classes to 10 different observatories and telescopes.  Tomorrow and Wednesday, they will be in the library conducting research on an observatory of their choice to present on Monday.

I have uploaded my presentations and completed notes for the chapter to my site on Schoology so all of the students (theoretically) have access.  Next week, after the presentations, will be the chapter test.


I'm not totally convinced that we NEED to have a test.  The telescope presentations should, in theory, give me a good idea of who knows what.  If I can move away from tests, I would like to.

As it is, I'm pretty sure I know where everyone stands.  I know who's paying attention, who's answering questions, who's sleeping, and who is screaming profanity at me before storming out the room.

Yes, that happened today.  I made the mistake of asking the young lady to please fill out her planner for a bathroom pass for me to sign.

When I kept my calm and she exploded, I think I kept most of the students on my side, with them vocally wondering what happened to her.  I'll try to find her later and hope she cooled off a bit.

In physics news, we did a lab today on constant velocity.

Fun Fact 1: It's hard to find motorized cars that move at constant velocity.

Fun Fact 2: It's harder when you need 8-15 of them and you're paying yourself.

The kids self-selected their groups and picked cars from my fleet.  They were asked to design an experiment that would help them to determine various aspects of velocity and position.

At some point, we thought about using phones to capture more accurate data.  One of my students recorded a video and slowed it down, examining the time stamp as they went.

Technology for the win! Thank goodness phones are allowed in the classroom...

After a bit of fiddling, they made another video with the stopwatch in the frame to get a better idea for the time.

I'm very pleased with their ingenuity!

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