Sunday, March 13, 2016

Back in Business ...

I had to take some time off to launch our AP Computer Science A - JAVA class using Greenfoot and BlueJ.  We have just finished up 2-D array so, I trying to get back to my school blog.

I have two Selected Topics classes this Spring in addition to AP CS A.  Selected Topics in Science is just starting their Physics Unit with the Structure Building Lab.  We will test our structures this week so will post some pictures.

Spring time is here on our farm.  All our hives survived the winter and I have fed them once.  Lots of pollen being brought in from trees ... expecially maples!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Physics, Arrays, Arduino Projects and a Monarch!

In Selected Topics in Science we are are finished with our Chemistry Unit by reading the Sixth Chapter of local historian Glenn Conners book about the Allen Countians that participated in the War of 1812.  This chapter tells of the militiamen from this county that rode from Allen County to Lake Erie to fight and return on horseback.  Many of the surnames are are still present in Allen County.  Our big lab in this unit was making a small amount of gunpowder ... The Daniel Boone Gunpowder Making Lab.  We researched the mining of saltpetre in caves from southern Kentucky and Allen County.  This led to our short study of this county's participation in the War of 1812.

We are also working on electrical circuits using batteries, LEDs, resistors, switches and breadboards.  This lab is a hands-on followup from a PhED simulation on circuits we did a week or two ago.

Our Computer Programming I class is working throught some qB64 problems using READ/DATA statements and single dimension arrays ... The Little League II problem, Gradebook and the Address Problem.

In Computer Programming II we are wrapping up our arduino problems ... programming in C and using components in our kit ... IC, potentiometers and piezo elements.  We are starting on our next set of python problems ... on the horizon ... Finch Robots using SNAP programming, raspberry pi projects and GameMaker.

Picts from CP II below using our arduinos ...  Saw my last Monarch of the season on our farm Tuesday, not much nectar left here!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Arduinos, qB64 and our physics unit ...

After a Teacher PD yesterday, we were back to work in the classroom today.   In Selected Topics, we crushed the wooden structures we build last week.  Students were allowed to use 34 grams of wood in the form of popsicle sticks to build a structure 7.5 inches or taller.  This structure was constructed with a minimum 2" opening in the center and to hold the maximum amount of weight.  It is modeled after the problems found in both Science Olympiad and Odyssey of the Mind competitions.  Our best group held 117 pounds which was lower than the all time record of 255 pounds.  Students learned about laminations, load-bearing members of a structure and stabilizing members.  Next big project in our maker curriulum will be an electromagnet.



In Computer Programming I, students are working on a graphics and animation problem using qB64.  We worked on animating objects today using looping statements and the PAINT command.

In Computer Programming II, we are finishing a set of Python problems while beginning our study of microcontrollers using arduinos.  We will be constructing some simple circuits using LED lights.

Our Academic Team plays at Franklin-Simpson on Thursday.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fall Break Ends ... Python and Monarchs

Fall Break is officially over today since I do not count weekends.  Today I took a Future Problem Exam to coach this year.  It took a couple of hours since I have never scored a FPS student booklet.  I faxed it to KAAS this afternoon.  I have been working on some sample Python programs over break and doing alot of work on our farm.  Yesterday while walking on seed, I saw over 10 Monarchs ... migration still on but toward the end.  It is a long way to Mexico!

Selected Topics in Science finished up their catapult problem with a competition last Friday.  We still have three student groups to go but all were able to complete the project on velocity, trajectory and energy.  We will continue in our physics unit next week.

Computer Programming I has been working in qB64 programming.  We will start checking those programs on Monday as we start a graphics / animation problem.

Computer Programming II continues to work on Python problems.  We are currently working on problems that involve lists.  We will start our project rotation after next week which will include arduino controllers, raspberry pi computers and gamemaker.

The semester is half over next week ... time flies in block schedules.

PSAT will be on Thursday.  It has been over 10 years since we had a National Merit Semi-Finalist ...
We use to have one and sometimes two each year.   Good luck to all!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Last week before Fall Break ... Programming and Physics!

We are finishing our unit on computer science using SCRATCH programming in Selected Topics in Science.  We completed 5 programs, including a simple PONG game.  Students had to enhance their game with some more ... extra sprites or some kind of modification.  Tomorrow we will do a walk around and try out the games.  We have started our physics unit with the physics of motion.  Students are using pHet software to simulation projectile motion.  Our mousetrap catapult for accuracy is on the horizon this week.

In Introduction to Computer Progamming we have taken a break from SCRATCH to work in qBASIC for a couple of weeks.  Not as visual but a step away from scripted programming.

Computer Programming II students are hard at work in python programming.  We have finished up a graphics and animation program.  Next up are classes and sorting.

A few picts from our earth science unit in Selected Topics ... map reading of Kentucky ... Black Mountain and KY trivia.

Busy and back ...

Back to blogging after a busy start to the school year.

In Selected Topics, we have wrapped up Earth Science and Astronomy Units.  Our Space Truck competition and modeling of the solar system both turned out great!  We are now in a computer programming unit using SCRATCH from the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT.  Students have done a graphics program and a program created to ask a multiple choice question.

In Computer Programming I, we have been doing SCRATCH programming.  We have completed five programs but will switch to qBASIC this week.

Computer Programming II has been programming in Python.  We are finishing a graphics program ... The Ol McDonald Farm problem with animation.

The Academic team played in the 22nd Annual Ezell-Harding HS Quick Recall tournament last weekend.  One of our team made the finals and we finished 3-8.  There were 48 teams in the tournament including several top 10 teams in the state of Kentucky.

Ezell-Harding Academic Tournament

A picture from after the academic tournament at Ezell-Harding last weekend.  Bus left at 6:00 Saturday morning ... many slept on the trip home.

A couple of pictures from our porch below ... frogs visit regularly and a Monarch caterpilar decided to hang out on a rocking chair the last two weeks.  Sue Neal kept an eye on it to get a picture when it emerged by missed it while on a trip to the grocery.  Off to Mexico ... good luck!