Day 83: My Oboe Orchestra

Wednesday, Jan 31

Physics: Today’s topic is sound, which I freaking love soooooo much. First, a quiz. I handed out the quiz from last class so the kids would have the questions, but I messed up the schedule and couldn’t find a time that was fair to everyone to give the quiz, so we’ll skip it. After that, we did an interesting lab today using “Calculator Based Technology” that is hilariously old. I’ve seriously got to get on top of buying new equipment and updating the sensors, but, hey, it does the job we need today of graphing a sound pressure wave.


The lab was for students to find the period, calculate the frequency, and then we did a beat frequency activity where their job was to find the frequency of the tuning fork with modeling clay stuck to the top. I can’t find my set of adjustable tuning fork boxes, but hopefully they’ll show up again by next year. Overall it wasn’t a bad lab, but it was all calculations and zero exploration.

So after the lab, I gave them the option of using the class time to work on the lab or if they still wanted to make straw oboes, and it turns out they were way more interested in the straws. It got so noisy my dept head came in laughing and asked me if I was holding orchestra practice. Yep! An orchestra full of instruments the students MADE THEMSELVES! The tuning was not exactly perfect, and I had to give some stern instructions on not leaving trash behind (obviously, they still left their trash behind, because students), but overall it was pretty fantastic.

Honors Physics: Studying for the exam they wrote yesterday. Their questions were pretty good, so that is what they need to be able to clearly explain without referring to any notes or resources in class on Friday.


  • How did the elemental composition of the universe evolve over time?
  • How does the discovery of dark matter and dark energy support the theory of big bang?
  • What did Hubble observe and what does that mean to how the universe is expanding?
  • How is expansion used as evidence of the Big Bang?
  • What caused the CMBR to exist? What does the CMBR imply about our universe?






AP Physics: G and I got up at 5 to see the Super Blue Blood Moon early this morning, and then I went back to bed. Sleepy Val’s poor impulse control led to hitting snooze too many times until it was too late to take a shower, and when I did finally decide to get up I actually fell back asleep and slept another half-hour, so I was quite late to class. Luckily my AP kids are awesome and just grabbed the materials and started building more circuits and taking measurements to see if they could get more consistent data, so I made that the plan for my other class, too. Tomorrow is our double-period lab day, so we’ll spend part of that time discussing this data and talking about how these relationships are mathematically modeled, and then we’ll do more building and measuring with capacitors.

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