Mid Fall Science Update

Alzar School | 17.10.12

Science classes are progressing smoothly and I am very proud of the students’ efforts. They have taken extra time out of their busy schedule to exercise their new class disciplines. Physics class just finished up the 2D projectile motion unit. Chemistry will be moving onto Mole calculations and conversions, and Environmental Science is working to capture thoughts regarding farming practices in the US.

Try this on for size; here is a challenging physics problem I gave the ladies for their most recent test:

Capt. Bierle on the good ship USS Pebbruali fires a cannon at a Spanish Pirate.  The cannonball has a velocity of 125 m/s at an angle of 28.5° to the horizontal.  Neglecting air friction, what is the horizontal range of the shot?

*Submit me the answer at Sam@alzarschool.org and I will send you a post card from Chile. Don’t forget your address!!

Pretty easy right? Well, there are a few things the girls had to know before approaching this question, and learning that struggle is where the “Ah ha!” moments happen. I have been very proud of the ladies in class as well as their work ethic towards learning the assumptions and parameters of motion. They will tell you, they had to practice to get it! Up next: Forces and good old Newton’s Laws.

Chemistry is preparing for mole calculations, dimensional analysis and atomic bonding. We just finished working on atomic theory. I think understanding the story of how our microscopic world has been detailed is important. It gives context to the scientists working collaboratively or competitively to build a more complete picture of the understood world. I believe students are finding the topic interesting and challenging. I can’t wait to do science in Chile!

Finally, my single Environmental Science student has been working to digest an article by Richard Manning called The Oil We Eat, and focusing on other topics like biodiversity, evolution, population, pollution, niches and earth evolution. This class is very broad, and there are many facets of ES. So far, it seems that most of this is a detailed review biology, geology, sociology, physics and chemistry. Most of the content is common sense, but we are addressing the language being used and reflecting on how personal behaviors either support or mitigate environmental issues.