Energy: Stop Faking It!

Two Topics: Energy and the Behavior of Gases; Pulleys!
The second of two web seminars on the topic of Energy: Stop Faking It! was held on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The presenter was Dr. Bill Robertson, author of the popular NSTA Press series of books: Stop Faking It! In this seminar, Dr. Robertson talked about energy considerations in the behavior of gases and he also did an introduction to the physics of pulleys.

Dr. Robertson used this slide to describe an activity that can be performed at home using two plastic soda bottles and two coins.

Forty-six (46) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. Two participants attended the seminar from other countries: Spain and Dubai UAE.

In this Web Seminar Dr. Robertson talked about convection cells, the kinetic theory of gases, and the behavior of gases when you heat or cool them. About gas molecules he said that they do not need any more space when you heat them, nor do they need any less space when you cool them. Dr. Robertson also did an introduction to the physics of pulleys. Pulleys are an example of simple machines. He introduced the audience to the formula F1d1 = F2d2 and demonstrated a few examples where it can be used to determine the value of an unknown force (F) or distance (d). All participants received a copy of NSTA's SciGuide about Properties and Changes of Properties in Matter, grades 5-8.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:
  • “I will be teaching simple machines next month.”
  • “Next year I will be teaching Physical Science to 8th graders and need some help with re-learning some of the concepts.”
  • “This content was valuable to me simply because I am always looking for ways to increase my content knowledge. I also love the interactions between participants. I often learn a lot from their questions.”
  • “I know the answers, but I have been faking it. I didn't know how it really worked. I think I have a much better understanding of gases and I'm starting to understand pulleys.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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    Underwritten in part by NSTA Press