Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Archive for June 2009

cosbyHow do you see light’s path through a lens?  We did this experiment at the DAMOP teacher’s workshop at Penn State last year.  Make Jello in a flat bottom pan, about 3/4″ deep.  Use half the water so the Jello is firmer than normal.  You’ll have to experiment with the color and tell me which works best, I haven’t done this on my own yet.

Obviously the Jello is made the day before.  Now cut the Jello into the shapes of the lenses.  You can make prisms, double concave, convex, whatever you like.  You can float the pan in warm water to release the lenses from the pan.  Don’t do it too long, just enough for the Jello to lift out undamaged.

Now shine a laser pointer through the Jello.  You will be able to see the path of the laser and follow as the light is bent by the lens.  Set up a series of lenses and have fun.  When you are done, you can eat the experiment.

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robot-starwarsI’ve been searching for a curriculum and some ideas for teaching robotics.  I’m looking to build a course that is half a year of robotics and half a year astronomy.

I haven’t found very much so far.  Some stuff at Carnegie Mellon and constant links to Lego products, but not much else.  I’m looking to make this an elective the following year and I need to start figuring out how I’m going to make this happen.

Some of you must either teach this course or have someone in your school who teaches this course.

I need some help please.

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One Year!!!

Posted on: June 1, 2009


Today is the 1-year anniversary of this blog and I get the feeling it has been rather successful.  I’m currently getting roughly 7,000 page views a month.  I never would have expected 78,000 page views to a physics teaching blog in a single year.  I guess I’m not the only one that needs help figuring out what to do each week.

Best of all, I’ve made some new friends around the world.  That’s just too cool.

Thanks for all the support and comments.  Live long and prosper.


What’s New in 2013/2014?

Every year brings a change, this one is no exception.

I will be picking up the sophomore honors Algebra II class to keep them separate from the juniors. This should help accelerate them and put them on a stronger track towards Calculus. Looks like there will be only one section each of Physics and Calculus, but still two of Robotics & Engineering.

Hot topics this year are going to be the Common-Core Standards, Standards-Based Grading (SBG), improving AP Calculus scores, and somehow adding Python, maybe as a club.

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Just a quick poll to help me understand who is stopping by my blog.

Yeah sure, lots from America, but look who else is here…

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June 2009
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