Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Some Capstones

A few capstones from the AP class in the first term. I wasn't super-happy with the management of these - not enough revision and discussion - but there were certainly some good ones in there. Here's a smattering of the final reports. Some include VPython programs which are pretty neat, too.

  • A capstone where a student writes a VPython program to prove that the freefall time for any tunnel through the Earth (along a chord) is the same
  • A capstone where a student write s a VPython program to verify the time for the freefall through the center of the Earth (comparing to the solution for the SHM diff. eq.)
  • A capstone where a student calculates the through-the-Earth times for different planets/objects (that was a popular topic this year)
  • A capstone where a student analyzes a clip from Toy Story, where the slinky dog dives down, changes mass, and spring back up
  • A capstone where a student builds a tricord instrument, predicts the correct mass to tune the string to a chord, and tests the predictions
There were several others, and this is just a selection. There were also lots of cool ideas that fell by the wayside for expediency, which is something that I'd like to avoid happening in the future. Some cool ideas about programming a simulation of the view of the Venus transit from Earth (I couldn't quite get this one to work myself, but it was an awesome idea), simulating the Home Alone bucket swing and crash (this one's totally doable), and a few other really neat ideas unfortunately were lost along the way. Oh, well - two more tries left this year. Lots more good ones to come, I'm sure!

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