Day 113 – 2017 Physics Olympics

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Engineering Physics – This was the first time I’ve been to the Physics Olympics since 1988. I don’t know that it was the “UBC” physics olympics then, because it was held at Lord Byng Secondary.

The Kits students represented our school well and a good time was had by all. I think by the end of the day a few of the grade 11 students were already thinking about how to approach the competition differently next year.

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Day 112 – Conservation of Energy

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Physics 11 – The class had another good day today.  Similar to their work on bar graphs, today the students too what they know about energy calculations and bar charts to apply them to conservation of energy questions. We had some good discussions and questions again.  Overall the students competently solved problems with little intervention from me.  If this is constructivism, then it isn’t always bad.  Why this works in this case is that students have all the prerequisite knowledge to solve these problems and they’re ready for a new challenge.  The calculations themselves are easy, and the kids are getting very good at bar graphs.

I really like this approach because it turns conservation of energy problems from applied math (Eg1 + Ek1 = Eg2 + Ek2 + Eth, solve for the unknown) to understanding energy transfers.