Modeling A Physical Pendulum – Another Adventure in Coding Nature

Rotational Dynamics Are Difficult to Learn… and to Teach One of the most difficult units for AP Physics students is rotational mechanics. It can also be one of the hardest to teach. With that said, I really like rotational mechanics, but I want my students to enjoy it more. I want them not be beContinue reading “Modeling A Physical Pendulum – Another Adventure in Coding Nature”

Helping Students Create Their Own Mini Universes

For the past year, I have been helping a small software development team, headed up by my friend Winston Wolff, in the creation of a web based physics simulation tool. In this blog post, I am going to describe: Why we started this effort, What we hope to achieve, How far we have currently progressed towardsContinue reading “Helping Students Create Their Own Mini Universes”

The Great (Mini) Robot Race

Robotics – The Synthesis Project The final project of the two year academy program requires that the students design, fabricate, program and test an autonomous robot. We have been doing this project since the inception of the program, but this year we have made some significant improvements on the project. In this post I will explainContinue reading “The Great (Mini) Robot Race”

Our Custom Designed Bridge Tester

Our Goal – Make A Better Bridge Crusher! This year Bob and I decided to upgrade our bridge project. We wanted to create an improved device for measuring the load on the model bridges created by the students. Specifically, we wanted to design a way for the students to collect meaningful performance data. The problemContinue reading “Our Custom Designed Bridge Tester”

Simulate, Test, Analyze: A Framework For Rigor

“Have Fun Storming The Castle!” At the end of this fall semester, the second year students in the Academy rolled and carried their medieval mechanisms of mayhem to the SRHS track and we spent the afternoon watching the devices hurl lacrosse balls across the athletic field.This project was the final performance assessment of the semesterContinue reading “Simulate, Test, Analyze: A Framework For Rigor”