Friday, August 5, 2016



    Today we finished some our simple machine explorations. We moved on to magnetism and electricity. We started by looking at a variety of magnets; bar magnets, circular magnets, horseshoe magnets and even cow magnets. We even looked at some very powerful magnets from the accelerator at fermi lab.  we then explored their magnetic properties and strengths. We also discussed how electricity and magnetism are the same force just different sides.   

We explored with various materials to see what interacts with magnets. Finally we made visual pictures of the magnetic fields using iron filings. We even created a quadrapole magnetic field. Next we explored electromagnets.
After lunch we looked at electricity. We started by working with static electricity. We discussed what charged through induction means. We used transparent tape to produce statically charged pieces of tape that were attracted to electrically neutral objects. We moved on to direct current and used energy balls to create circuits. students were then given bulbs and batteries foil and wire to create their own circuits. We wrapped up our afternoon by using 9 volt batteries to light up strings of lights. 
 At 2:20 we went on another Fermilab Field Trip. Today we went to see the huge G2 magnetic.


Thursday, August 4th, 2016


Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

     We refocussed our attention on Mechanics and simple machines. We started by exploring periodic motion with our ramps and rollers system. Establishing our definition for frequency, we
investigated what affected frequency in our ramp and roller system. Next we used our physics station to explore swinging pendulums.  Was it the length of string, the weight or the release angle that change the frequency of our pendulum?
        Next we looked at simple machines. We classified simple machines into the following two groups; pivot group or wheel and axle, pulley, and lever. The second group is the wedge, screw and incline plane.  Then we used a giant lever to lift our teacher with one hand. This was accomplished by moving the fulcrum towards the load and making the effort arm as long as possible. we wrote a simple equation F d = f D ;
                         with D meaning big distance and f meaning little force
                         while d meaning little distance and F meaning big force.


To sum up,  simple machines make work easier because we are spreading force out over a distance.
We used small levers and spring scales to explore this concept. We moved on to explore pulley systems. We learned that there was no mechanical advantage with one pulley. However, when we added more pulleys onto our system we could cut the effort in half, thirds and even down to a quarter
of the force needed to lift a load.

At the end of the day we went on a field trip to the test beam facility. In this facility we met a fascinating scientist who took us on a tour. The test beam facility is used to test detectors to see if they are functioning properly. Scientists and companies from around the world use Fermilab's beam to test their equipment. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

   Our second day of Phriendly Physics and we are exploring the properties of heat and light energy. We seriously contemplated  the existence of the concept of "cold". After all, isn't cold just the absence of heat energy? We started by placing an ice cube in our hand and asking ourselves; are we sensing cold or the absence of heat?  Using a discrepant event titled the amazing ice melting blocks, we activated our curiosity even further. How can this be?Why does the cooler block melt ice faster than the warmer block? 
We continued our investigations into heat energy by observing heat energy at the molecular level by placing food dye in a warm container of water and in a cold container of water. The results demonstrated the phenomena known as Brownian Motion. Simply put, molecules move around and vibrate, more so in hot object when compared to cold objects. If thats the case, then shouldn't we call thermometers speedometers? We also collected evidence that supported the claim that heat is not the same as temperature. 

      In the afternoon we switched our focus to light  energy. Our group took a short field trip to fermi's sun dial and then we made our own sundials to explore the sun's light energy. We looked at the basic properties of light. We played reflection relay to show that light travels in a straight line. Shadows were also explored. We used prisms and light boxes to separate light into its various wave lengths.  We mixed colored light and made white light. We used our magnifying lenses to bend light waves and project an image on paper. we also made pennies disappear and reappear using the refraction qualities of water. spencer showed us how gases when energized can create a spectral pattern which identifies what elements are present.
Then Lori took us on a tour of the Linac accelerator and the 15th floor of Wilson Hall. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

First day of Phriendly Physics was filled with exploring forces and motion. 
 Students received and inventoried their physics supply box.  We began by discussing the four fundamental forces in the universe. Students conducted experiments in gravity. Their results were confirmed by watching a video clip of Apollo 15 astronaut dropping a feather and hammer on the moon. They also used their physics stations to conduct explorations in speed, acceleration, and collisions.We experienced the power of air pressure and discussed the contributions of Galileo, Newton and Bernoulli. Our docent Lori, introduced us to exhibits at the Lederman Science Center that supported our learning.

          Resident scientist Leo Bellentoni  stopped by to provide assistance. Leo has been a long time friend of the program and we always look forward to his visits.