Turning Chaos into Physics!

“An object at rest will remain at rest.”

If you are using the 8th grade Physics course with Oak Meadow, then you have, or will be, studying Isaac Newton’s Three Laws of Physics. Understanding the concepts of friction, inertia, velocity, acceleration, mass, and force can be daunting to say the least. I think my students are amazing in the different ways that they are able to comprehend these concepts. Sometimes a student needs a bit more help in order to fully visualize what is happening. For those of you that are interested in visualizing more about Newton’s three basic laws of motion, I’ve found a terrific website that I think you will find quite fun to investigate.  It explains Newton’s laws in terms of ice hockey! Give it a try here. Once there, click on the video titled Science of NHL Hockey: Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and enjoy!

Writing a Biography

“When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”  George Washington Carver

A portrait of Marie Curie, taken about 1903 when she was awarded her first Nobel Prize. Credit: Public domain - See more at: http://www.livescience.com/38907-marie-curie-facts-biography.html#sthash.UKoZIRqm.dpuf
A portrait of Marie Curie, taken about 1903 when she was awarded her first Nobel Prize.
Credit: Public domain

I love reading biographies! I find it really amazing that people can do such constructive and creative things in their lives and in doing so make a huge impact on their surroundings. I found this interesting BBC website that has a “Famous People Index” which lists some very famous people from history. As I was scanning through and reading about the different people, it struck me that each entry is written in a way that I am often commenting on in a student’s writing about a person’s life and accomplishments. Why is the person famous? Where did he or she live? What did the person do? What time period did the person live in? Use the writing as a good model when you write a biography next time!

Let us know:

Is there a famous person you’ve especially enjoyed reading about?

What Happened?

images-1This week my father turned 91 years old. (Happy Birthday, Dad!) We always enjoy birthday parties with my Dad! We have a tradition of having him tell us what he was doing at the present age of each member of the family. This year the youngest among us was a great grandson just 13 months old. It was fun to hear my father speak about what he was doing when he was 13 months old! The oldest at the party was 68 years and that too was amusing!

We decided this year to list many of the things that had been invented since our father (grandfather or great grandfather) was born. Each family member brought a description of the invention to the party. Wow! He has certainly seen many, many inventions in his lifetime!

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I think we take for granted some of the inventions he saw in his lifetime, such as the color TV or the black box flight recorder. Lithium batteries and the pocket calculator surprised all of us as just being invented in the 1970s.

All this talk about past inventions got me wondering what is being invented (and patented) right now! I found out about The Lemelson-MIT Program which strives to celebrate  “outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.” It is so interesting to read about the most recent inventions that are being awarded!

Do you have something that you are working on that will one day be an invention that will benefit us all? Join an inventor’s club! Here’s a list of them by state: http://www.freeinventorshelp.com/Organizations.html#states

Good luck!