Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 3 and 4

Day 3 am: chemical microscopy. I can extent the lab on saturated solutions to include the viewing the crystals being formed. Until now, I let the solution dissolve and "reclaim" the salt that is left behind and forms.
I used my laser pointer with the polarizing filters and got some interesting results. The filters attenuated the light to the point where it blocked it. Later when we had the prisms I shown the laser through them. To my surprise you can see the beam IN the material being refracted more distinctly than with white light. With the class doing it you would have to caution students on use of the light, and monitor closely.
Day 3 pm: Thermometers and calories: What eye-openers! It was amazing to see the amount of oil dripping from the Cheetos. I would definitely make certain I had more mature students helping with this one because of their (hopefully) improved experience and judgement dealing with fire. Have it take place in the HS lab where they expect to see smoke rolling from once in a while. My room has carpeting... a concern. I generally avoid open flames in that room. A good activity to use with a health or physical science unit.
Day 4 am: The Calcium Chloride and what it does to an icy slurry would more clearly show an endothermic reaction than the vinegar/baking soda I do now, although the V/BS reaction is more exciting. Actually understood the balancing of a chemical equation, thanks for helping me understand it, John.
Day 4 pm: I really appreciate that the instructors are allowing us the freedom to leave when we feel we have completed as much as we can at location. Blogging from the quiet of our home office is relaxing and more time can be given to reflection. Thanks for the presentation for mid-level and elementary lessons and labs on energy. I think its good that secondary types know what content we teach, and more importantly how we teach it in terms of activities and depth. Thanks to our third helper this afternoon...IT made possible our fantastic results from our generator!

Last week was Nicholi Tesla's birthday. Google recognized this so I followed up on their suggested sites. Although we celebrate him in schools by using variants of his coil, his more important contribution was for introducing Alternating Current as a more viable alternative to DC power generation, and especially distribution. In the great contest with each innovator Edison+DC, Tesla+AC, Tesla won. Electrical generation at the Niagara Falls was set up as AC later. Isabel, SD had just had gotten DC generators and equipment installed when REA came in with AC. The DC equipment was never used, I hear. (I trace my origins to Isabel)
Although Marconi is credited with the invention of radio, Tesla, who had successfully tested and demo'ed one several years earlier, let him have that credit because Marconi had used numerous innovations first used by Tesla to make radio possible!
Because of his personality, he never received credit for many of his accomplishments...died mid 20th century penniless.

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