Sunday, October 7, 2012

Objectives for 10/8-10/12 Honors/Phy Science

Objectives for Honors & Physical Science Lectures: Mon- Waves, Wave Speed TuesEM Spectrum, Reflection Wed-Refraction, Snell's Law (Honors only) Thur- Doppler Effect Complete all labs Complete all Concept Reinforcement, note Physical Science DO NOT do Snell's Law Problems.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Late work- every assignment will have a due date and a "0" will be given if the assignment is not submitted. However, any "late" assignment will NOT be penalized. You will receive full credit for the assignment if done correctly. Remember any assignment, lab, assessment, etc can be corrected and resubmitted for full credit within the 9 week marking period. I will give a date that all resubmissions must be submitted by.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Honors Physical Science Objectives 9/17-10?5

Objectives Honors Physical Science 9/17-10/5 Lectures: Vectors, Speed, Acceleration, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Momentum, PE & GPE, Gravity Worksheet Packet Force & Acceleration Lab, classroom Read: Student Book & Launch Logs Construct: Altimeter & Rocket Review Rocket Project Outline and Rocket Project Rubric Computer Lab: Complete all labs in “Newtonian Physics” Section, we will not be in computer lab 9/26 Graphing Lab using “Create a Graph” 9/19 Speed Lab will be outside on 9/20 Rocket Launch will be 10/4

Objectives Physical Science 9/17-10/5

Objectives Physical Science 9/17-10/5 Lectures:, Speed, Acceleration, Newton’s Laws of Motion, PE & GPE, Gravity Worksheet Packet Force & Acceleration Lab, classroom Read: Student Book & Launch Logs Construct: Altimeter & Rocket Review Rocket Project Outline and Rocket Project Rubric Computer Lab: Complete all labs in “Newtonian Physics” Section, we will not be in computer lab 9/26 Graphing Lab using “Create a Graph” 9/19 Speed Lab will be outside on 9/20 Rocket Launch will be 10/4

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Objectives for Physical Science week of 9/10

Physical Science Objectives 9/10-9/14 These objectives must be completed before you can take the quiz on Friday. • Take Cornell notes on Length, Mass, Volume and Density videos-these should be done outside of class. • Complete W/S on Length, Mass, Volume and Density these will be done in class. • Complete density lab that is set-up in class. You make work with a partner. Email your results to me. You will have lab time during the week to do this. • We will also during the week take the mid-semester exam pretest in class and the GVSU “fun test”.

Objectives for Honors Phy Sci Week of 9/10

Honors Physical Science Objectives 9/10-9/14 These objectives must be completed before you can take the quiz on Friday. • Take Cornell notes on Length, Mass, Volume and Density videos-these should be done outside of class. • Complete W/S on Length, Mass, Volume, Density and Conversions these will be done in class. • Complete density lab that is set-up in class. You make work with a partner. Email your results to me. • Complete density simulation lab on the computer, you may work with a partner, you will have computer time in class. Email your results to me. You may finish/ start this lab after the quiz on Friday. • We will also during the week take the mid-semester exam pretest in class and the GVSU “fun test”.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Welcome to the 2012/2013 Physical and Honors Physical Science classes. You should check this blog at the beginning of each week for info of the upcoming week. Enjoy the school year.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Week of 5/28/12

Tuesday- review questions
Wednesday- computer lab/work on paper
Thursday- review questions
Friday- computer lab, paper due

Physical Science
Tuesday- test review
Wednesday- Ocean test/computer lab
Thursday- Current W/S due,
Friday- computer lab, work on stream project

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week of 5/21/11

Monday- review thermodynamics
Tuesday- lab
Wednesday- computer room, work on paper
Thursday- thermodynamics problems
Friday- 1/2 day computer room

Physical Science
Monday- ocean current notes
Tuesday- ocean current w/s
Wednesday- computer room, stream project
Thursday- finish ocean topics
Friday- 1/2 day computer room

More Sea Stuff

Clines- the sudden change in the ocean due to depth,
  • pycnocline- density
  • thermocline- temperature
  • halocline- salinity
  • Salinity- measured in parts per thousand, average salinity 35 parts per thousand
  • Salinity increases when water is taken from the ocean- sea ice, evaporation or more salt is put in the ocean, land runoff
  • Salinity decreases when water is added to the ocean.
Be sure to review your handouts that demonstrated ocean currents.

Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy produces the highest tides in the world at approximately 50 feet. The funnel shape of the bay constricts the flow of water creating a "tidal bore". This tidal bore is a fast onrush of water which creates a large wave in the bay.

Spring and Neap Tides

Spring tides produce the maximum tidal range when the earth, moon and sun are all in alignment. This produces the greatest gravitational pull on the oceans. The moon and sun gravitational pull is additive.

Neap tides produce the minimum tidal range when the moon and sun are at a right angle to each other. This alignment minimizes the gravitational pull of the moon.

Beach Retention

Groins- artificial protection of the beach usually placed at right angles to slow longshore transport.

Beach nourishment- the deposition of sand by mechanical means to help stop beach erosion. The sand is usually pumped ashore from barges off the coast.

Tide Cycles

Tides typically fall into three categories:
  • semidiurnal- two high tides and two low tides per day, same amplitude
  • mixed- amplitude differs quite significantly
  • diurnal- one high tide and one low tide per day, same amplitude


Breaking waves- waves break when the depth of the wave reaches 1/2 of its wavelength. The wave starts to "feel bottom" and slows down due to friction. The top part of the wave continues at speed and outruns the bottom of the wave. Gravity will then pull the top part of the wave down causing it to break.

Wave size depends on three factors: fetch-distance wind can travel uninterupted, wind speed and how long the wind blows.

Upwelling- cold water from depth replacing warmer water from the surface.


Beaches are the accumulation of material on the shore. The material typically is sand but can be other materials.

Longshore current-the movement of sand along a coast driven by wave action.

Tombolo-an above water bridge of sand connecting an off shore feature to the mainland.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week of 5/14/12

Monday- Napoleon's Buttons
Tuesday- review questions start Thermodynamics
Wednesday- quiz on Gas Laws
Thursday- thermodynamics
Friday- computer lab, work on your paper.

Physical Science
Monday- Thursday- oceanography
Friday- computer lab work on 'Stream Project"

Since some of you still have not completed the 'Topo Quiz" during the assigned time. I will open it back up
for 75% of the total points.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week of 5/7/12

Monday- Charles Law/hand out report directions
Tuesday- gas properties
Wednesday-Napoleon's Buttons
Thursday- Ideal Gas Law
Friday- Napoleon's Buttons

Physical Science
Monday-Friday- Oceanography

Remember NO computer lab this week.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Week of 4/30/12

Monday- Chapter 2 Napoleon's Button
Tuesday- Boyle's Law Worksheet
Wednesday- Boyle's Law Virtual Lab, 'genre' project due at end of class
Thursday- Gas Laws
Friday- Virtual Gas Law

Physical Science
Monday- strata lab, Grand Canyon
Tuesday- review questions
Wednesday- computer lab
Thursday- review questions
Friday- Historical Geology Test

Remember, the Topo Map Quiz closes at end of week.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Week of 4/23/12

Monday- read Chapter 2 "Napoleon's Buttons"
Tuesday- Review Ch 13
Wednesday- computer lab, 'genre activity'
Thursday- Quiz Ch 13, review on 'moodle'
Friday- computer lab, 'genre activity'

Physical Science
Monday- 1/2 life
Tuesday- 1/2 life
Wednesday- computer lab, 'Dino Dig'
Thursday- 1/2 life activity
Friday- computer lab,"Radioactive Dating Game"

You will have 2 weeks to complete the Topographic Maps Quiz, in the Topographic Maps Section.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Index Fossils

One tool that helps geologists to place geologic events in proper order, relative dating, is the use of index fossils. Index fossils allow geologists match rocks of the same age in different regions. An index fossil must be widespread geographically, easily identified and have a short geologic time period.
Also, different types of fossils organisms succeed one another in a definite order-fossil succession

Historical Geology

The Scottish geologist, James Hutton, in the mid 1700's put forth the ides of "uniformitarianism". Hutton put forth that the processes that shape the Earth today are also the processes that shaped the Earth in the past. many of these past geologic events are recorded in sedimentary rocks. Sedimentary rocks record events such as volcanic eruptions and also contain fossils.

Fossils are the remains of prehistoric life preserved in sedimentary rocks. Igneous and metamorphic rocks do not contain fossils as the heat and pressure would destroy any evidence of past life. Below are listed some characteristics of fossils:
  • the type of fossil depends on the conditions where the organism died and how it was buried
  • organisms need hard parts and rapid burial
  • the faster the burial, the greater the chance of a fossil being formed.
  • animals with hard parts, see fossilized horse above right, stand better chance of becoming a fossil.
  • petrified wood, above left, is a fossil whose remains have been altered.
  • dinosaur footprints and other types of tracks are referred to as molds.

Mountain Types

Credits: top left-USA Today, top right-NASA, bottom left-Westfield State College.

Folded Mountains- Appalachians, bottom left, compressional stress.
Fault Block- Tetons, top left, compressional stress.
Convergence- Andes, top right, colliding plates.

The fourth type of mountains are domes from a large batholith which upwarps the crust. The Black Hills of South Dakota are an example of this type these types of mountains.


Faults in the Earth surface are of three basic types:
  • strike/slip- top picture, also known as a transform plate boundary, the slabs of the crust slide past one another in the horizontal plane.
  • reverse/thrust - top right picture, the hanging wall is forced up and over the footwall. In a reverse fault the dip angle is > 45 degrees, a thrust fault dip angle < 45 degrees, compressional stress.
  • normal- bottom left picture, hanging wall drops below footwall, dip angle about 60 degrees, tensional stress.

Folds in the Earth's Crust

Folds can be of three types:
  • anticline- the upfolding of the crust, think crest of a wave.
  • syncline- down folding of the crust, think trough of a wave.
  • monocline- usually associated with a fault with only one limb present. Limbs are the "arms" extending from either side of a fold.

Deformation of the Earth's Surface

Image: Tasa Arts

There are three basic types of stress that we covered in class:
  • Tensional- this happens when the crust is pulled apart.
  • Compressional- the crust is compacted/ pushed together.
  • Shear- a piece of the crust has opposing movement acting on it.
Deformation of a body of rock will cause a change in the rock and/or change in volume.

Two basic types of deformation:
  • brittle- near surface rocks, low pressure/low temperature, typically granite and basalt, process takes a long time and fracturing of the rock will occur
  • ductile- greater depth in the surface, high pressure/high temperature, sedimentary rock, process takes a long time, bending of the rock occurs.


Picture credit: (Trilobite), right- (Dinosaur)

Two major extinctions occurred in the Earth's history. The extinction at the end of the Paleozoic era wiped out 50% of all marine invertebrate families and 90% of all marine invertebrate species became extinct. There are several theories what caused these extinctions but climatic changes (cooling) is one of the leading explanations.

The Mesozoic extinction which killed off the dinosaurs has been blamed on the impact of a meteorite. This impact put so much dust in the air it blocked out sunlight which halted photosynthesis and global temperatures also diminished. Proof of this meteorite collision lies in the discovery of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. This is a worldwide layer of iridium. Iridium is found in high concentrations of some meteorites.


Radioactivity is produced when the nucleus of an atom breaks apart or decays.

This radioactivity can be used to date rocks/fossils - absolute dating. Many radioactive materials, such as Uranium-235, decay at a constant rate.
This specific rate is half-life - the time it takes for 1/2 (50%) of the material to decay into a stable substance/isotope. Remember an isotope is the same element but with a different number of neutrons. This change in the number of neutrons will change the mass of the atom

Let's look at an example using the graph above. If we assume we have 20 grams of the parent material, half-life of 5 years, how many grams will be left of the parent after one half-life and how much time has passed? After one half-life 50% or 1/2 (10 grams) of the parent material will be left and 5 years will have passed. After 2 half-lives have passed 25% or 1/4 (5 grams) of the parent material is left and 10 years have passed. Remember the time remains constant!

Uranium is great for dating real old stuff- millions of years but for recent geologic events (up to 75,000 years ago) radiocarbon is used, Carbon-14.

Geologic Time

The geologic time scale has divided the Earth's history into units that are based upon rock units and changes in fossil forms. Scientists have determined the Earth to be approximately 4.6 billion years old. The vast majority of the Earth's history (88%) lies in the Precambrian time span. In this early part of Earth's history life was sparse and much of this rock is buried deep within the ground. Therefore not much information is known about this time period.

Some other time periods that are relevant to our study is the Paleozoic era "ancient life". During this era life became abundant around the globe. The current geologic period is the "Quaternary". This is the time period in which we reside- the current time period.


Unconformities-very long times of nondeposition and/or erosion, of which there are three basic types.
  • disconformity- surface(erosion) seperating younger from older rocks. These rock layers are horizontal (parallel) to each other.
  • nonconformity- erosion surface that separates old metamorphic rocks from younger sedimentary rocks.
  • angular unconformity- tilted sedimentary rocks that are overlain by younger flat-lying sedimentary rocks.
Cross-cutting principle- the intrusive rock body is younger than the rocks it cuts. You cannot cross-cut rock layers if they are not already present.

Principle of inclusions- inclusions or fragments in a rock are older than the rock itself.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Week of 4/16/12

Monday- review sections 13.1 & 13.2
Tuesday- "Napoleon's Buttons"
Wednesday- computer lab
Thursday- phase change graphs
Friday-computer lab

Physical Science
Monday- historical geology/ relative dating
Tuesday- relative dating
Wednesday- computer lab "Virtual Stream"
Thursday- Michigan geology
Friday- computer lab

Physical Science- you should be working on your stream projects.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week of 4/9/12

Monday-  review MSE, start Ch 13
Tuesday- Ch 13
Wednesday-computer lab
Thursday- Ch 13
Friday- computer lab

Physical Science
Monday- review MSE, review Water Project, watch lecture Historical Geology
Tuesday- fault block mountains
Wednesday- computer lab, sinuosity lab
Thursday- principles of stratigraphy
Friday- computer lab, pretest ESE, glogster

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Third Quarter Wrap-up

3/4's of the year has quickly gone by!! Remember your 2nd semester grade is what you do at the end of the year. This 3rd quarter grade is an "in progress" grade. There is still time, 8 weeks, to improve your grade but you must make the effort. Start putting together your 'water project' teams if you have not. The water project is 50% lab and 50% assessment grade.

Lastly, have a great spring break

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week of 3/26/12

Chemistry and Physical Science

Monday- review for MSE
Tuesday- review for MSE
Wednesday- MSE
Thursday- MSE

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week of 3/19/12

Monday- review stoichiometry
Tuesday- stoich review or start nexttopic
Wednesday- computer lab, writing assignment
Thursday- stoich review/next topic
Friday- stoich quiz

Physical Science
Monday- volcanoes
Tuesday- Yellowstone video
Wednesday- Volcano activity, computer lab
Thursday- test review/activity
Friday- test, computer lab

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week of 3/12/12

Monday- start Ch 12, watch Kahn videos
Tuesday- practice problems
Wednesday- stoichiometry simulations, computer
Thursday- practice problems
Friday- stoichiometry simulations, computer

Physical Science
Monday- Miss B, watch Hawaiian Island formation lecture
Tuesday-review Boxer Tsunami, Epicenter activities
Wednesday- Hotspot activity, computer room
Thursday- review epicenter activities, hotspot
Friday- epicenter simulation, computer room

Monday, March 5, 2012

Stream Project- Physical Science

The Stream Project has been updated and is available on moodle under 'Stream Project". The Stream Characteristics Lab we will do in class.

Magnetic Reversal Lab - Physical Science

If you are having difficulty with the lab be sure to check your moodle. The Magnetic Reversal Lab key is located there.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week of 3/5/12

Monday- prepare for ACT
Tuesday- ACT
Thursday- Work Keys
Friday- bring donuts

Physical Science
Monday- spreading center activity/watch lectures in Earthquakes/Volcanoes by Friday
Tuesday- no school
Wednesday- San Andreas Fault Video, no computer room
Thursday-- Epicenter Activity
Friday- Boxing Day Tsunami Lab, computer room

Friday, March 2, 2012

San Andreas Fault/ Earthquakes

The above picture (credit USNP) is of the Carrizo Plain in which the San Andreas fault (think San Francisco earthquake of 1906) runs through this area. Using this area let's review some of the terms that pertain to earthquakes.
  • a fault is where Earth movement has occurred due to a release of elastic rebound energy.
  • the spot inside the Earth where the earthquake started is the focus, while the area directly above the focus on the Earth's surface is the epicenter.
The energy from an earthquake propagates as waves and can move the ground surface in any direction. There are three types of earthquake waves:
  • surface waves- act like water waves and are the most destructive, slowest wave.
  • p-waves- travel the fastest, push-pull (compressional) travel through solids and liquids.
  • s-waves- slower than p-waves, transverse, can only go through solids.
Tsunamis are large ocean waves produces by movement of the ocean floor.
An earthquake's position can be determined by 3 seismic stations that contain an instrument called a seismograph. Scientists use the moment magnitude scale for measuring the strength of earthquakes.


A hotspot is a concentration of heat in the mantle that produces magma that reaches the Earth's surface. These hotspots can produce intraplate volcanoes. Intraplate volcanoes are those that occur within a tectonic plate and NOT on the plate boundary. The Hawaiian Islands were formed when the Pacific plate moved over a hotspot. The bottom picture is of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. The volcanoes of Hawaii are broad domed-shaped volcanoes known as shield volcanoes.

The top picture is of Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park. Much of Yellowstone National Park is in a caldera- a large depression in a volcano. Yellowstone is an active geologic feature that lies over another intraplate hotspot. There is much conjecture that the Yellowstone area is due to erupt sometime in the future.

Volcanoes and Batholiths

Photo credits: top-Davis Spier, Earth Science World; bottom-R. Clucas, AK Volcano Observatory.

Let's look take a look at each of the above pictures.
The top picture of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota is the result of an igneous feature called a batholith. A batholith is a very large igneous intrusion and these batholiths are associated with many of the major mountain ranges.

The middle picture of Crater Lake in Oregon was produced when the summit of a volcano collapsed. This depression is also known as a caldera.

The bottom picture is of Redoubt Volcano in Alaska. Redoubt Volcano is located on the Ring of Fire- a belt of volcanoes which surrounds most of the Pacific Ocean. Redoubt Volcano is known as a composite/stratovolcano . This type of volcano produces the most violent of volcanic eruptions.

Ocean- Continental Convergent Boundary

This type of convergent boundary also features a subduction zone (one plate descending beneath another plate). This boundary features an ocean trench and a continental volcanic arc.
As the ocean crust sinks/ subducts beneath the continental crusts, this ocean crust is destroyed. As the ocean crust is melted, forms magma, this magma can rise to the surface because the density of the magma is less than that of the rocks it was made from.

Continental-Continental Convergent Boundary

The best example of this type of boundary is what happened when the Indian landmass slammed into the southern edge of the Eurasian plate. The result of this collision formed the world's most famous mountain range - the Himalayans. These mountains are not volcanic as neither plate descends therefore very little magma is produced.

Transform Faults

This is a picture of the San Andreas Fault in California (photo credit:Wikipedia). A transform fault is a plate boundary where two plates grind past one another without destroying or producing new lithosphere. The lithosphere is the crust and upper part of the mantle.

Ocean-Ocean Convergent Boundary

A convergent boundary occurs when one plate descends (subduction) beneath another boundary due to a difference in density. The major features of this type of boundary is the ocean trench and a volcanic island arc. As the subduction plate descends earthquake foci increase in depth.
This ocean-ocean convergent boundary has produced many of the islands in the western Pacific Ocean.

Divergent Boundries

Let's look at divergent plate boundaries:
  • mid-ocean ridges (pictures on left )- this is also known as seafloor spreading. At these boundaries new ocean crust is formed at an average rate rate of 5 cm per year. As one moves away from these ridges the crust cools, becomes denser and is older. As the seafloor spreads the age of the sediments that are on the ocean floor also increases. The top picture on left is a diagram of magnetic reversals. As the seafloor spreads and cools the magnetic rock particles align themselves with the magnetic poles of the earth. These reversals provide evidence for seafloor spreading.
  • continental divergent boundaries (picture on right)- the Red Sea is an example of continental divergent boundaries. This is when a land mass splits apart.
  • In both these examples magma pushes up through the lithosphere, volcanoes and volcanic activity is a product of these types of boundaries.

Wegener- The Continental Drift Man

Alfred Wegener proposed the theory of continental drift, (that all continents at one time were joined together as one) based on several pieces of evidence:
  • the fit of the continents
  • same type of rocks/ mountain chains on different continents
  • fossils of the same organisms have been found on different continents
  • the climates of the continents were different in the past than they are now.
These tectonics plates which consists of the upper mantle and crust move an average of 5 centimeters per year. The movement of these plates has been attributed to the convection currentsin the mantle.

Earth's Crust

The Earth's core is made of an alloy of iron and nickel. The mantle is most of the volume of the Earth and is a "plastic" like material. The thin, rocky outer layer of the the Earth is the crust. The ocean floor crust is basalt while the continental crust is mostly granite. The lithoshere is the crust and the upper mantle.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chemistry Retest

Any chemistry student wishing to retest "Balancing Equations" please see me and I will enroll you in e2020.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week of 2/27/12

Monday- pH lecture, watch pH lecture
Tuesday- review problems/ possible lab
Wednesday- moodle pH, radioactivity simulations
Thursday- finish pH, lab
Friday - 'critical reading activity'

Physical Science
Monday- positive choices talk, watch divergent/convergent boundary lectures on moodle for Thursday
Tuesday-  boundary activity
Wednesday- computer lab (google Earth), finish group work/activity sheet/Alution Trence activity
Thursday- boundary activity
Thursday- Boxer Day Tsunami, google Earth

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week of 2/20/12

 Monday- off
Tuesday - Friday - juniors ACT prep, seniors bring work to do.

Physical Science
Monday- off
Tuesday-Plate Tectonics review
Wednesday-computer lab start "google Earth" lab
Thursday-Plate Tectonics
Friday-Finish Plate Tectonics Lab

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks

Let's finish-up talking about rocks.

Sedimentary Rocks:

  • form from the weathering and erosion of previous rocks
  • the process is- weathering, erosion, deposition, compaction, cementation
  • clastic rocks form from fragments of material ex; conglomerate and sandstone
  • chemical rocks form from the precipitation of minerals from water (oceans) ex; rock salt and rock gypsum
  • fossils are found in sedimentary rocks, the other rock processes would destroy the fossils. Interesting fact, even ripple marks from streams or beaches can be fossilized.
Metamorphic Rocks:
  • these rocks form from extreme heat and pressure placed upon pre-existing rocks.
  • heat is the primary agent for contact metamorphism, this heat is supplied by nearby magma.
  • during metamorphism minerals may recrystallize, crystals can grow larger and the rock will become more compact.
  • running water is NOT an agent of metamorphism.
By the way Google Earth has a new version out- download it, pretty cool.


Ternary Diagram

See this link for a review on ternary diagrams.

Igneous Rocks

Pictures courtesy of Univ of Texas Geology Dept.

Let's review some terms on Igneous Rocks:
  • Intrusive rocks- those that form from cooling magma beneath the Earth's surface (ex. granite, picture on left), they will have a course-grained texture.
  • Extrusive rocks- those that form from magma that has reached the Earth's surface, lava, they will have a fine- grained texture ( ex. basalt, picture on right).
  • Granitic- light colored rocks contain greater amounts of feldspar (felsic).
  • Basaltic- dark colored rocks contain greater amounts of magnesium (mafic).
  • Porphyritic- type of rock that has two different crystal sizes.
  • Remember, igneous rocks are characterized by composition and texture.