Middle School

3100 Cain Rd SE
Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 596-3000
(360) 596-3003 Attendance
(360) 596-3001 Fax

Note: This page is where I keep all the files and text that are not current, but that I don't want to have to completely rewrite from year to year. None of what is on this page concerns your student at this point in time. Thanks!


Energy Source Book:

February 26th, 2007, we began a project called the Energy Source Book, wherein students made a book that describes 10 different sources of energy (oil, solar, wind, geothermal, etc), and identifies the form(s) of energy associated with each one. Each page of the book needed to have the following:

  • What is it? (1 pt.) A sentence or brief paragraph that describes what the energy source is or how it is formed.
  • Energy Transformation: (1 pt.) Describe the forms of energy in a transformation commonly associated with the energy source. For example, petroleum has energy in the form of chemical energy. When we burn it in a car's engine or in a furnace, we transform it into thermal energy. There could be several transformations that could be associated with a given energy source (depending on how the energy source gets used), you just have to pick one possibility.
  • Five Facts: (2 pts.) Write five facts about the energy source, one of which has to be whether it is a renewable or nonrenewable energy source. The other 4 facts can be your choice.
  • Two Drawings: (1 pt.) You may either copy pictures from the handouts or draw something original, as long as it is relevant to the energy source.

This project is worth a grand total of 60 points. It was due March 7th, 2007. For each day that the project is late, I will deduct 5 points from the maximum score, up to 30 points.

You may download copies of the "info sheets" (the reference materials) by clicking the links to the .pdf documents below. For each info sheet, you must download two pages. If for any reason you are unable to open the .pdf files I will make paper copies available upon request.


Science@Home Handouts: (All Homework, 20pts each)


Physics in Sports:

This week students started a project that we will be presenting next week: Physics In Sports. For this project, students choose to either work alone or in groups of up to four students, and they select a sport or game involving motion. In their presentation, they need to explain:

  • The history of their sport
  • The motions involved in their sport
  • How to calculate the speed of an object moving in their sport
  • How to calculate the amount of work done on 2 objects in their sport
  • How their sport demonstrates Newton's Laws of Motion

Students need to be able to demonstrate the types of motions involved, and the actions for which they are calculating speed and work. Many students choose to videotape their demonstrations, especially if the sports cannot be practically demonstrated at school (such as swimming, archery, or sailing). The different demonstrations can be done live, but only if the sporting equipment needed to do the demonstration is safe to bring to school. Students can also do a combination of live presentation and prerecorded footage, or even narrate footage of professionals doing the sport.

In addition to the presentation piece, students are expected to turn in their planning sheet, and self and peer evaluations. A small amount of points is also dedicated to group behavior during planning time, and the meeting of daily "checkpoints" (they have to get a certain amount of their planning sheet done each day -- no waiting until the weekend to do it all!). If you are curious what the different checkpoints are, please look at your student's agenda, as they should have written it all down.


This Week/Month in Science Class: (last updated: 6/7/07)

The week of 5/14/07 we begin the unit that will carry us all the way to the end of the school year: Motion. Students generally really like this unit because there are so many projects that involve building things (catapults, cars, etc). So far, we have looked at momentum, inertia, speed/velocity, acceleration, gravity, Newton's Laws, and work.

Physics in Sports went great!! Now we move on to simple machines, particularly levers. Next week, June 12th, is the big catapult competition! Students will build catapults in class according to certain rules, and draw diagrams of their catapults with certain things labeled and identified, and calculate the speed of a projectile launched from the catapult, and calculate the work done on a projectile as it is shot a given distance. At the time of the competition, their catapults and written work are due.

Look under "Science Resources" to find copies of the posted requirements and grading rubric for this project.

Coming Up: The other big project for this unit is construction of a balloon-powered racecar (overcoming frictional forces). Details on this project will be available soon!



Maximum 10 pts (in the Classwork Category): (Tentative due date: March 23rd) Students may research real power plants that use different sources of energy to produce electricity. Of the ten sources of energy we studied for our Energy Source Books, I will award one point for each source that students can find at least one real example of. (Finding 2 examples of coal power plants, for example, is still only worth 1 point.) To get the point for each source, students must tell me:

  • Power Plant Location: The name of the power plant (if it has one), and the city and state (or city and country, if outside the USA) in which it is located.
  • Bibliography: (If using Internet) Provide the website address you used to find each power plant, or (If using books) the book name and author, plus the page(s) you found it on.