Our final day we looked at matter on a molecular and atomic level. We played an atom building game. We had a visit from Susan Dahl who informed the class about the Teacher Resource Center. We explored repelling and attraction strengths of magnets. After lunch we tried to generate electric current by passing magnets through coiled wire. Later in the day we explored properties of liquids and gases.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
This morning we finished our explorations of light energy by studying shadows. We learned how shadows can tell us what time of day and season it is. We went to worldclock.com to see how the surface of the earth is divided into night and day. We even made a human sundial before walking over to Wilson hall for lunch. Before that, however, we shifted gears and started to investigate heat energy. We learned how heat is transferred through solids liquids and gases. We also made a claim that heat energy and temperature are two different concepts. We found quantifiable evidence to back up this claim by using our "speedometers" to measure the molecular motion of liquids in two different beakers. One beaker had more heat energy because it had more heated liquid. Our next topic in phriendly physics was electricity. Static was our first exploration but we soon learned that a humid August day was not the optimum time to study static electricity. We used an energy ball to model an open and closed circuit. Then we used bulbs and batteries and motors to make our own series and parallel circuits. We wrapped up our lab experience by stacking 9 volt batteries to light up strings of Christmas lights.
Our day ended with a very informative tour by David Harding who is the Deputy Head of Fermilab's Technical Division. We learned how this critical component of fermilab makes, calibrates and tests the magnets for high energy physics.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
This morning we finished working with multiple pulley systems and levers. We calculated mechanical advantage, once again incorporating more math into our investigations. We studied the electromagnet spectrum and explored wave theory. we created our own waves on butcher paper manipulating amplitude and frequency. We learned that in light energy amplitude is light intensity and frequency produces various colors. In sound energy amplitude is volume and frequency produces the various pitches. Sue Sheenan stopped by to explain how participants could sign up for field trips. At lunch we finished touring the 15th floor of Wilson Hall.After lunch we explored other characteristics of light energy. We reflected a laser off mirrors to demonstrate that light travels in a straight line. We used prisms to separate light and create a spectrum. We used light boxes to mix red, green and blue light to make yellow, magenta and white light. Students learned that angles were very important to creating the reflection of images. If the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection, we will have a perfect reflection of an image. At the same time we realized that light reflects off all surfaces and that the color of objects is caused by the absorption of certain wave lengths. Finally our day concluded by taking a field trip to the Sea quest experiment where we met scientist Josh Ruby who explained how they were studying muons.