Day 25 & 26: Adiabatic Processes are Jerks

Wednesday, Oct 3, and Thursday, Oct 4

Physics: Wednesday Review and Thursday Exam.

Honors Physics: Wednesday was more discussion of thermal processes, and Thursday was a halfsies lab where half the students did a lab while the other half worked with me, and then they swapped. The lab was looking at work and efficiency of mechanical machines since I can’t easily get ahold of a diesel engine and bring it in for students to run diagnostics on. So, they fooled with pulleys and levers to find some information about efficiency and energy in an analogous situation.

The practice problems we did were on isobaric, isochoric, and isothermal situations. I wanted to give them and me time to process those before getting into adiabatic processes (jerks).

AP Physics: Wednesday was Quizday! It was a hard quiz. My goal was to give them a bit of a reality check of the different ways the two units we’ve learned (kinematics and forces) can be combined in an AP question. Instead it destroyed all of their confidence and on Thursday three students went to the registrar to discuss dropping the class. My bad. That was beyond not my goal. At all.

In class on Thursday we did a couple practice problems with air resistance. I tried to show them that it really is nothing new, and they know how to do all the pieces of it, so they just put it together in this problem. I kinda hand-waved the solving of the DEs and I think that also spooked them. I guess it’s the Month for Spookin’ Students.

New goal: Build them back up and never, ever again reality check them quite that hard right before midterms.

NB: No school last Friday or this one! And this week has been all kinds of weird, but I’ll get caught up on reporting as I can.

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