AP Physics C: Yesterday, students took their data from the falling coffee filter lab and created a model of it in VPython. The terminal velocity of the filters in their computer model should match that of their experimental data.
We’ve been having a some computer issues with installing VPython on the school computers, and so pair programming has slowly evolved into groups of 3 and 4. I decided to check out GlowScript again and discovered that it now uses RapydScript, which means the code is almost identical to Python. There are some difference in how the 3D shapes are defined, but it’s not a big deal with the online reference at your side. I tried to code the coffee filter program myself in GlowScript. Based on how close the code is to VPython, I’m seriously considering switching over to GlowScript for the rest of the year. I showed the program in class today, and they liked the in-browser aspect of GlowScript.
You can see my code for the coffee filter program here: Falling Coffee Filter.
NGSS Science & Engineering Practices:
#2. Developing and Using Models
#5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
AP Physics C: Students programmed a visualization of gravitational force between a spacecraft and a planet. It’s a great exercise that helps emphasize its vector nature, where the negative sign in the universal gravitational force equation vibes from, and unit vectors.
Bonus: The screenshot is taken from my phone! Glowscript (a web-based version of VPython) works in the Chrome browser on my Android 4.2.2 phone.
AP Physics C: We finished reading Arcadia and began exploring the (sometimes chaotic, sometimes predictable) behavior of a simple logistic equation for modeling animal populations. The handout is here: Valentine’s Grouse: An Exploration of Chaos in Populations. And you can explore it yourself using my version of the population program in GlowScript.
College-Prep Physics: Wrapped up the wave/buggy lab from yesterday. We determined the model for our data to be wavelength = speed / frequency.
Conceptual Physics: Students finished building/testing their bike circuits and began drawing and annotating their final circuit diagrams.