Physics is definitely the most structured class at Mass Academy, which is nice because you always know what to expect. Mr. Ellis, who teaches Physics, also creates the school schedules. Every day is different, which makes the day go by quickly and makes every day more interesting. Most Physics notes are taken at home using a fill-in-the-blank template, which means that there’s more class time for detailed explanation and demos without frantically scribbling everything down. We also usually get class time to start on our homework, which can range from Uber problems, which are challenging problems involving a variety of topics from a unit, to EOCs, which are slightly shorter problems we work on at the end of a unit, to the next day’s notes and (slightly) simpler questions about a topic we’ve just learned. The topics we’ve covered so far include kinematics, forces, momentum, energy, work, and power, and rotational motion.
This was the first Uber problem we got this year. I chose to try the calculus option, and I’m pretty proud of the fact that I was able to do it despite the fact that I don’t really have a calculus background. One of the great things about Mass Academy is that because we come from a variety of different backgrounds, and because we have so many varying levels of experience across so many different subjects, if you are struggling with something, someone else will be able to help you.
For this lab, we were assigned random groups and designed an apparatus to collect data. This lab was really open-ended; it was really up to the group as to what they wanted to do. Afterwards, we designed an online template for a poster that we filled out our lab information in, so if we wanted to print it and create a poster, we could.
This is the second Uber problem we did. Another unique thing about Uber problems is that although each problem is the same general format, every student has different numbers, meaning every student has a different solution. Since we have to keep rechecking the Uber problems until we get them correct, it can be quite the process.