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MS Science & Engineering 10/1

Hi famz! It’s fall, y'all, and we are finally (ok, occasionally) feeling the temperature and humidity drop around the cabin.

With a few weeks sandwiched between projects, our science class turned its focus toward the existential and metaphysical this week. One fundamental aspect of the universe which factors deeply into physics (and which we take for granted) is TIME.

Over the past week, we divided our focus into an exploration of what we KNOW about the relative age of our universe, creating a “relative chronology” from the Big Bang to present. This offered some real perspective on the relatively minute slice of time humans have existed and helped us to understand how matter proliferated through space over the millennia.

Concurrently, we asked whether time is even “real”. Sure we all know what the word means, remember the past, and daydream about the future. However, those things can only be experienced in the PRESENT, which we find is gone as soon as we try to observe it. This question led into varying views of time including “presentism”, “possibilism” (or “branched universe”) and “eternalism” (or “block universe”). Students created a written product clarifying their own perspective with an emphasis on both evidence AND how they “feel” time themselves.

On Friday, we learned about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment and began developing cartoons to depict the latter.

In the background, we are all beginning to think about the Science Fair project. I have asked the class to start narrowing down their questions and developing clear, measurable independent and dependent variables. PLEASE ask your student to share their top ideas with you. It’s important for families to be on board to ensure that our projects are feasible!

I know all were bummed about the postponement of our class trip, but it’s great that it can be quickly rescheduled. This will mean that I will lose less instructional time with the crew, which is great as we’ll be jumping into our TREE PROJECT next week!

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