Wednesday, March 23, 2022

A Bundle of Phyz: ENERGY

This busy bundle opens with springboards introducing gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy.
The Mechanical Universe's episode on "Potential Energy" includes a nice historical perspective via Roger Boscovich. Ranking tasks for potential energy and kinetic energy close out the mechanical energy introductions.

Next up is an exercise in tracking energy transformations. In the Before Times, students drew their own sketches. In remote teaching/distance learning (RT;DL) that became impractical. In class, I followed this lesson with a showing of the classic Honda Cog ad. Two minutes of energy transformations, with some nice unstable equilibrium configurations, to boot. No CGI, and it only required a bit more than 600 attempts to nail it. OK Go's "This Too Shall Pass" video presents even more shining examples.

Next up is the virtual demonstration "Nailed" involving energy transformations as actual nails are pounded into actual wood with iron cylinders dropped from above. Once again, Physics: Cinema Classics provided rich ingredients for me to cook with.

"Fire It Up" is a PhET-fueled simulation version of a conservation of energy lab I did in class using Pasco Scientific's mini projectile launchers. With in-person instruction, it serves as a nice precursor to that lab.

In Conceptual Physics Alive's "Energy," a question set helps students engage with Paul Hewitt's lesson on the topic. The Mechanical Universe then tells the tale of "Conservation of Energy" in its inimitable style.

"Nailed With Numbers" extends the previous "Nailed" video demo by using the definition of work and conservation of energy to determine the force that the cylinders exert on the nails and how far each is driven into the wood. "Nailed" was qualitative; "Nailed With Numbers" is quantitative.

The capstone is "Physics in the Fountain of Fizz," a celebration of the physics to be enjoyed in a Mentos/Diet Coke geyser. We get quantitative with measurements and calculations that find the upper limit to how much power is generated during the eruption.
All items are available separately. All are print-friendly Google Docs files on Google Drive. All include answer keys.

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