Absolute Zero pt. 1: The Conquest of Cold

Absolute Zero Video Link
Answer the following questions on a separate piece of paper as you watch the NOVA video “Absolute Zero”.     If you miss one of the answers, a transcript of the program is available at:
1. Cornelius Drebbel had a wager with King James I in 1620.  What was it?
2.  What does adding salt do to ice?
3.  What did Robert Boyle discover about cold?
4.  When were the first accurately calibrated thermometers made, and where?
5.  Explain how liquid thermometers work.
6.  What was the biggest problem with these first thermometers?
7.  Describe Fahrenheit’s temperature scale.
8.  What made him so famous?
9.  How did the Celsius scale originate?
10.  What is absolute Zero?
11.  Compare the different theories of heat between Lavoisier and Rumford.  Draw a frowny face next to the not so hot theory, put a smiley face next to correct theory.
12.  What did Faraday discover through his experiment with chlorine?
13.  What property of ice made it possible for Tudor the make millions shipping ice around the world?
14.  Carnot found out that more work could be done by an engine if…..
15.  What did Joule prove?
16.  What is does the unit of Joule a measurement of?
17.   What is the First Law of Thermodynamics?
18.  What is the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
19.  Draw a diagram explaining how refrigeration systems make ice.

20.  In what ways is refrigeration one of the greatest human innovations?


Photoshop lesson #1

Tech Skills Assignment

1.  Finish your painted  "Perry the Platypus" and post it to your blog by inserting it as an image.  You will need to save it as a .jpg file first.  Title your blog post Photoshop lesson #1"

2.  Use the magnetic lasso tool to cut out Perry and paste him to a background of your choice.  Use filters and other tweak tools such as smudge and blur to create an interesting scene.  You may cut other images out too make your scene more interesting.  These will be due next Thursday, Oct 3.


Assignments This Week

1.  Finish any assignments from last week first.

2.  Post your "How to Fool a King" response.

3.  IRJ #2

4.  Read other student's blogs and leave specific and positive comments.  (Make sure your own security question for comments is turned off too!)


Matter vs. Weight

On a separate piece of paper or google doc, create an outline with the following subheadings that answer the following questions:

What is weight?

Compare the weights of an astronaut on earth, the moon, and the space station.

What is the equation form of gravity?

How fast does gravity fall?

What is mass?

What is gravity?

What is one g?

Why are all objects weightless on the space station?

How fast is the space station moving?

Describe microgravity.

How is arm-wrestling and Sumo wrestling affected my microgravity?


A Few Words About Student Blogs

Every year new parents and students ask me the same question, "Why do students have blogs?"  So I thought I would answer this question in, what else but, a blog post.

Vack's Top 10 Reasons for Student Blogging.

10. A blog is basically an online writing portfolio where final drafts can be "published."

9.  Because these are final drafts, writings should be free of mechanical and syntax errors.  (don't forget to capitalize your "i"s and remedy those red underlines for mispelled words.

8.  Though they are technically considered final drafts, blog posts can be revised and submitted for a better grade, that is, you can email me.  "Hey Mr. Vack, I added more b.s. to my writing.  Think you could check it out for a better grade?"  (Ask a student what b.s. stands for)

7.  Student writing can be read by family members and friends anytime.  (You may not be able to get grandma off her smart phone!)

6.  Students, teachers, and family members can post supportive and positive comments to writings, making student authors feel all warm and fuzzy.

5.  Blog designs and layout can be customized to a student's personality, as long as it's readable.  (lime green font on white is not the best choice)  You can also add images and video!

4.  All student blogs can be accessed through the side bar menu on my blog,, also where all blog post assignments are conveniently found

3.  Many high school English teachers require their students to keep a blog, so . . . there you go.

2.  Blogging inspires, even the most reluctant writers, to write their best because their ideas will be read members of there classroom community.

1.   "Blog" is just a fun word to say.  Keep on bloggin'!


Blogs and Writings for Sept 13 - 19

1.  Post your "Poem for Two Voices."  Make sure it has a unique title and at least 10 lines.  Give credit to your co-author.

2.  Type up your IRJ #1, making sure you follow the guidelines of the handout .  Print out and turn in with a self evaluation stapled to it.

3.  Write at least two more Encyclopedia of Ordinary Life entries.  This can be titled.  "Encyclopedia of Ordinary Life Entries #3.  Please write a well developed, creative and thoughtful entry.  A couple of sentences just "won't cut the mustard!"

4.  Read other student's blogs and make positive comments.  Be sure to B.S.  (Be Specific!)


Language Arts Assignments for the Week of Sept 2 - 6

1.  Post your "Personal Space"  response.  Make sure you give it a title other than "personal space response"

2.  Post your next two encyclopedia entries, you can write as many as you want.  Title this "Encyclopedia Entries 2"

3.  Post your nature name response.

4.  Write a free response about Morning Girl.  How what did you think about it?  What connections did you make with the book?  What questions does it bring up for you?


emails and blog addresses

Send me your school email address and blog address by answering this google form.