Regents Physics - Extra Credit Opportunities

  • Regents Physics-9 Extra Credit Opportunities

    General Opportunities:
    Science News Presentation - Sign up for a Tuesday througout the year.   

    Give an oral presentation of 2 to 3 minutes highlighting a recent news story associated with physics or physics education. Use a credible source and be sure to cite your source. You will also need to hand in a short typed summary (approx 1/2 page) with the source(s) listed in MLA format. Some websites you might consider are ,, and Central - Physics BuzzInside Science,  
    Extra Special Lab Report - Wow your teacher with something extra like graphing your data using computer software, then have the computer create the best fit line and compute the slope.   Here's a demo you can check out: Plotting with Excel (2007)

    Physics Photo Contest - Enter the AAPT High School Physics Photo Contest.
    Click here to see the top 100 photos in the 2016 AAPT High School Physics Photo Contest.  

    Here are some more details about entering the contest:
    Photos need to be submitted between March 1st and May 15 to be considered for the 2017 contest.  Here are the CONTEST RULES
    If you are interested in entering the 2017 High School Physics Photo contest, please let me know. 
    Reflect on a visit from a guest speaker.   If we have a guest speaker come to our class, spend a few minutes writing your responses to these Guest Speaker Reflection Questions.  Due 11/28/16 DONE

    Math Review
    Kilogram prefix:  Why does the unit of mass in the SI system have the prefix "kilo".  Watch this Veritassium Video on the World's Roundest Object or consult another source, then submit a paragraph describing the how the SI unit of mass came to be called the "kilogram". 10/10/17
    Pendulum Wave Sculpture: Build a your own kinetic sculpture like the one shown in the pendulum waves video. Your sculpture does not need to have 17 pendula, but should have at least 5. Bring in your creation for credit, or if that is very difficult, see me about bringing in a video of it .  Due 10/15/19 

    Kinematics Opportunities:
    Motion Shot App - Download and install the MotionShot on your Smartphone.  Then take a cool picture of something (or somebody) moving.  Describe the motion represented in your photo. Create a pdf document with the photo and description and submit it to me electronically, or hardcopy.  Due 10/16/17  

    Solve a challenging Physics problem: Try one of Dr. Cise's NY Times Kinematics or Projectile Motion problems.  
    Tree Growth Research - Researchers at Columbia University are presently conducting research on factors that affect the growth of trees. They have installed dendrometers on tree trunks in Black Rock Forest that measure the change in tree trunk diameter every 60 seconds. The research is described here on Black Rock Forest and Columbia University's Virtual Forest Initiative webpage. After reading the description, select the graphing tool and familiarize yourself with the Site 1 AVG or Site 2 AVG dendrometer data which produces position-time graphs in units of nanometers of tree diameter change. You can change the scale of the time axis, and view other variables which are monitored as part of the research project. 1) Select one d-t graph that shows at least 2 different growth velocities which you think you could explain. Cut and paste the graph into a google document, describe the velocity change in the graph and write your hypothesis for the change in growth velocity. 2) Select another d-t graph that you find curious. Copy and paste that graph into a google document, and describe the behavior shown in the graph that you are curious about. Include your name on the google document together with both graph snapshots, your hypothesis for the first, and question for the second. Submit the extra credit via Google Classroom. 
     Due 10/29/1018

     Forces Opportunities:
     Solve a challengeing Physics problem: Try one of Dr. Cise's NY Times 2nd Law or Inclined Plane problems.  OVER

    Go sledding:  Enjoy the snow, have fun, do Physics, get extra credit!   Try this Sledding Activity for Extra Credit to find coefficients of friction for various sleds on snow.  Deadline:  2/ 28/17 

    Make a Physics Video:  3-4 minutes long, explaining and demonstrating basic concepts from physics.  Take a look at this example video on The Physics of Basketball.   Please discuss your topic idea with me before making the video.
    Mathematically derive the expression us = tan(theta), where us is the coefficient of static friction and theta is the angle made between the horizontal and in inclined plane with an object that just begins to slip.  1/26/18 
    Explain why when the rear wheels of a car are locked, but not the front, they car spins around to go back first. Submit your explanation in 1-2 typed paragraphs. DONE 1/29/18.
    Solve the flying pig problem mathematically:  A toy pig, hanging from a string attached to the ceiling, flies around in a circle. If the string is L, and the height of the pig below the ceiling is h, find the period of the circular flight.  Due 2/7/18 

    Circular Motion and Gravitation:
    MySolarSystem PhET simulation : Choose or create a system in MySolarSystem, (link below), run it for 20 or more units of time, then print out (or cut and paste into PowerPoint) the picture of the motion.  Write 1 paragraph that tells...

    (a) what the system is,
    (b) why you chose this configuration (to be interesting or fun), 
    (c) list the masses, initial velocities, and distances between the bodies involved, (d) and a description of the motion that you saw.
    Due by 2/6/2015

     Energy, Work, and Power:   Due by 2/13/2015 DONE
     Create a Skate Park using the  Enery Skate Park PhET simulation
    PhET Energy Skate Park simulation (link below).  This activity allows you to design your own skate park, while learning about the conservation of mechanical energy.  After opening the link, play around a bit to get a feel for the simulation.   You can look at some of the tracks that are provided, modify them, or add to them to design your own skate track.

    (1)  Design your own skate park that you think would be interesting or fun. It may be a skate park or roller coaster. (Roller coaster's can't jump off the track.) The design must have a MINIMUM  of 4 track segments. More is better. You may choose to run the simulation without friction, or to make it more realistic, add friction, and adjust the coefficient of friction as you wish. If there is friction, some of the initial potential energy will be converted to thermal energy.  You may also choose the planet and the skating character that you think would be the most fun.
    (2) Turn on the Potential Energy Reference line and set it to an appropriate level (such as the bottom of the lowest valley).
    (3) Turn on the Bar Graph,  then start your skater from the top of a hill and run the simulation for a few seconds and examine the energy conversions that take place. 
    (4) Run the simulation again with either the Energy vs Position or Energy vs Time graphs turned on.
    (5) Clear the graphs and run the simulation through at least one complete skating cycle with either the Energy vs Position or Energy vs Time Graph turned on. Then pause the simulation and capture and print the image of the skate park and the graph you chose. (You can use the MS Snipping Tool, or any other frame grabbing software installed on your computer) (If you have trouble printing the track or graph, you may draw them by hand.)
    (6) Write a 1-paragraph description of your skate park that includes the following information:
    (a) The NAME of your skate park. (Be creative.)
    (b) Describe why you designed it this way, or what makes it fun or special. Include a description of any special or unusual features that you designed into the track.
    (c) Describe the motion of the skater for one complete ride.
    (d) Describe the conversions of mechanical energy from the beginning of the track to the end of the track. You should describe the conversion of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy and vise versa for every segment of your track. Include the thermal loss to friction if friction is turned on.
    (e) Given the friction that you chose, how many complete cycles could your rider make once they start.
    (f) What forms of energy transfer take place in the track? Is the total energy of the system conserved?
    (g) What if anything did your learn or enjoy about this assignment? 

    Electricity and Magnetism: 
    Play Electric Field Hockey using the PhET Simulation!  Bring in a screenshot of hitting the GOAL on Difficulty Level 2 or 3.   Due 3/24/17 

    Build your own Electroscopes

    Build the electroscopes, and bring them in. Describe your observations, and explain the behaviors. Ask Mr. Zollner for directions.  
    Due 3/27/17or earlier

    Squishy Circuits made with two different kinds of "Playdough".  This is a great activity if you like working in a kitchen or with young children!
    1) Watch Professor AnnMarie Thomas in this 4 minute video on TED talks here.
    2) Decide if you want to make the conducting and insulating playdoughs.  The recipies AnnMarie Thomas uses are here:   If you decide to work on this extra credit the proceed to the next steps.
    3) You can get the battery pack or LED lights yourself from RadioShack, or Mr. Zollner ordered a set for out classroom that you can borrow.  I will let you know when the materials arrive.
    4) Complete the circuit activities listed on pages 7-9 of this classroom guide.
    5) Make a video of your work or bring in the materials to demonstrate in class.
    Due Date May 3 , 2019 

    Build a model motor with a battery, wire, paper clips, tape and a magnet. See the example in class. Ask Mr. Zollner for directions. Bring in your model to demonstrate. Then write one paragraph correctly explaining how it works
    Due May 6, 2019 or earlier. 

    Modern Physics: 

    Go along with little Albert on Al's Relativistic Adventures, taking notes along the way. Bring in your certificate for extra credit!
    Due Date June 13 2019.