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  1. Blog challengerguy

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    An object at rest will stay at rest.... unless acted upon by another force.

  2. KalB
    Latest Entry

    Friday April 10th might as well have been Friday the 13th!!! Due to the very strong wind, the traffic lights on Cooper and Titus were knocked out. Unfortunately, several businesses around that area also felt the wrath of Mother Nature, suffering from power outages themselves. I work at Cam's Pizzeria as I have mentioned in my previous blog posts, and my place of work suffered from the power outage but heres the catch... only in half of our store. What does this have to do with physics you say? Well the part of our store that of course had the oven on it did not receive power. The fryers worked and of course the sub bench but nothing involving pizza. A few lights worked and a few switches didn't. Why is that?? I think it has to do with the electrical circuits. The lights that were still on probably operated by parallel circuits so they had more than one path to travel as a back up. The ones that were out immediately, like the oven, were probably powered by series circuits, and only had one path to go through, shutting the light source off completely. Eventually, (8 hours later), the power was back on. After dealing with rude customers who were not understand and turning away about 5 French foreign exchange students, everything was back to normal and we could serve pizza again. (:

  3. Unfortunately we can't dodge the physics regents exam BUT the good news is we can dodge dodgeballs in gym class. So yes, that was really corny intro sentence but, you'll thank me later the next time you go to participate in this scary sport :-)

    Remember the 5 D's:558904_10152725860590114_493561457_n.jpg

    Just kidding, that's from one of my favorite movies: dodgeball.

    But physics believe it or not has everything to do with dodgeball- throwing, catching, running.

    When you throw the ball you are inacting a force, velocity, distance, final velocity and accelaration.

    When catching the ball you are stopping a force through momentum and every force has an equal and opposite force. Your gravity keeps you on the ground and in place when the ball is being thrown at you so that you have the ability to catch it.

    When you are running- you are using kinetic energy and velocity. KE=mv^2.

    Funny how physics is everywhere!

    Good luck on your exams everyone!

  4. blog-0128491001370815340.jpg Wind is the flow of gases on a very large scale. Wind is caused by the differences of pressure in the earth’s atmosphere. Wind is caused by two major factors on the planet earth. The first being the sun and the second being the rotation of the planet. The sun does not heat up the earth’s atmosphere evenly, as most of the solar energy is absorbed at the equator. When the air becomes heated it expands creating an area of higher pressure. Diffusion causes this area of higher pressure to move to an area of lower pressure. On a very large scale this would massive amounts of air to travel from one area to another, creating vast amounts of kinetic energy that can be harnessed by humans through the use of a wind turbine.

    A wind turbine is used to harness the kinetic energy of vast amounts of wind, and transform it into electricity. This can be shown with a very simple calculation. First we need to remember that wind is an air mass moving from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. This movement of air is kinetic energy and can be shown by the formula:

    KE= 1/2 MV^2

    KE= kinetic energy

    M= Mass

    V= Velocity

    Thanks for Reading :)

  5. blog-0695092001370015461.jpgAs many of us know Iron Man 3 has made its debet earlier this month and has many new and exciting aspects of physics in it. One scene in the movie is of Tony Stark's house being blown up by helicopters. The really exciting part isn't the house bursting into flames, but when Tony is being dragged down to the ocean floor by debre from the house. This got me thinking, would Tony and the Iron Man suit sink on its own or stay afloat?

    In order to stay afloat or have neutral bouyancy, the suit would have to have a density of at least 1 because that is the desity of water. If the desity of an object is exactly 1 it will be neutral in bouyancy. This means that the object will not sink nor float unless acted on by an outside force. With a density of more than 1 the object will sink. The greater the density the more eager the object will be to sink to the bottom. The same goes for densities less than 1.

    Being made of different types of alloys and metal the Iron Man suit will most deffinetly have a desity of more than one. So on its own with Tony in it, he would sink to the bottom....

    However this could be overcome with ballast tanks. By regulating the amount of water in these tanks the density of the object with the tanks changes. This is how submarines submerge and return back to the top. Knowing the limitless boundries of Tony Stark the capabilities of Iron Man could very well include submersion.

  6. When we think of Kelvin temperature, we think only in positives, since zero Kelvin is also absolute zero, the point at which a particle has absolutely no energy, and thus no movement or vibration. Scientists in Germany, however, managed to create the hottest temperatures ever recorded by creating a substance with a negative Kelvin temperature.

    How is this possible? Well, in order to understand this bizarre concept, we have to go back to our definition of temperature. In thermodynamics, we typically refer to temperature as the average temperature of the particles in a substance. However, because quantum physics deals with energies as the smallest of small scales, and because quantum physics is, from a mathematical perspective, about probabilities, it makes more sense to define temperature as the distribution of the energies of the particles in a substance. So, for example, a boiling pot of water would obviously have plenty of high energy particles buzzing around, but it would have a few low-energy particles too. We simply would pay them no mind because the average energy of the particles is consistent. To a quantum physicist, however, those few low-energy particles matter, because they form part of the energy distribution of the substance.

    By definition, when a substance has a positive Kelvin temperature, the particles start from a minimum temperature (absolute zero) and spread out toward higher energies. The German scientists, however, wanted to create a substance that started at a maximum temperature and spread toward lower energies. By definition, such a substance would have a negative temperature.

    Paradoxically, having a negative temperature makes the gas that the scientists created extremely hot. Since the particles start from a maximum temperature and spread to lower temperatures, and since energy flows from hot to cold, heat will always flow away from the negative temperature gas, making it the hottest thing we've ever observed.

    One of the other interesting properties of negative temperature gases is that they not only have the hottest temperatures, but negative pressures. Normally, a gas concealed in a container would spread out and apply pressure to all sides of the container. A negative temperature gas, on the other hand, causes the atoms in the container to cave inward, as if everything converges to a single point. Because dark matter is believed to have negative pressure as well, this characteristic of negative temperature gases leads scientists to think that studying them may reveal more to us about the elusive dark matter that is believed to account for a lot of "missing mass" in the universe.

    You can read more about the negative temperature gas and the study conducted by the German scientists here:

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/347370/description/Hottest_temperature_ever_measured_is_a_negative_one

  7. Currently, we use a method called astronomical parallax to measure the distance from the Earth to various stars among our home galaxy and others. Well, we'll still be using it. Unfortunately, this post isn't about a literal tape measure from Earth to the stars.

    The usual way of measuring distance has to do with observing angles as the Earth goes around the sun, as is illustrated below

    gvpo1q3gkev1kesxztkm.jpg

    But now, we have found a way to utilize the Hubble Space Telescope for yet another purpose: spacial scanning. With this new technique, we won't have to wait the half a year it takes for the Earth to move far enough around the sun to make these measurements. Instead, we can use the famous space telescope to make measurements that are correct within 5 billionths of a degree.

    The hope is that the more precise measurements will allow us to delve deeper into the mystery of dark energy.

    Read the article here

  8. One of my favorite movies is Miss Congeniality! If you have not seen it, number one, you should, but it is about an FBI agent who goes undercover in the Miss United States Pageant. Because she is not by any means a pageant star, for the talent portion she shows off her amazing skills playing music on different types of wine glasses. The reason sound is produced as she swirls her fingertip around the glasses is due to the principal called resonance. Resonance occurs when a system vibrates another system with natural frequency. Different size and shaped glasses cause differences in pitch because the sound wave vibrate differently due to their differing frequency. Nothing better than coming across some physics in one of your favorite films.

  9. blog-0949870001429214166.pngWaves in water are produced in many different scenarios. For example, when someone goes to the beach and decides to skip rocks, they produce a wave in the water. The water particles then move and continue to move creating a mechanical wave. these kinds of waves require a medium to pass through. who knew such a fun experience could experience so much physics.
  10. We all know the type of people who have never met a mirror they didn't like, get it? Well not only do they like their own reflection, but they obviously like it because of the physics that it bestows! A mirror is an example of a specular reflection because it is a smooth surface that easily allows reflection to the point of visibility.We can see how the angle at which the wave strikes the mirror is equal to the angle at which it reflects off of the mirror due to the law of reflection. And no matter what angle we use, this will always be constant! Now if something is ugly enough and the mirror happens to shatter, hypothetically speaking of course, the gravity in the shards of glass falling and the force with which they hit the floor are components of physics too! :D

  11. Guest
    Latest Entry

    Yesterday (June 8th) was my 15 min of fame at IHS for which I demonstarted a model rocket launch for my English class. The class was extremely excited and thought that the idea was great and took a lot away from the experience. The main theme for this launch, however, was wind. The wind was blowing from the SW at about 10 mph, which wreaks havoc for a small model rocket on a short field widthwise. As a result, I launched on the very southern edge of the field and when the parachute deployed, it caught the wind and brought the rocket to almost the same exact spot from where it was launched. The moral of this story? Weather plays a HUGE role in any sort of lfight, and it's extremely important to note varying conditions in order to have a successful launch, whether its a NASA shuttle or a small 14" tall rocket. Below, I've included a photo of the full launch setup. Also below is a brief countdown/ignition sequence from space shuttle Discovery's last and final mission that I shared with the class that day, and that I'm sure others will find it just as interesting.

    Ignition sequence, and countdown (very brief and general. The real countdown is so long it usually takes days to complete once the shuttle is on the launch pad):

    1.

    2. T minus 31 s - the on-board computers take over the launch sequence.

    3. T minus 6.6 s - the shuttle's main engines ignite one at a time (0.12 s apart). The engines build up to more than 90 percent of their maximum thrust.

    4. T minus 3 s - shuttle main engines are in lift-off position.

    5. T minus 0 s -the SRBs are ignited and the shuttle lifts off the pad.

    6. T plus 20 s - the shuttle rolls right (180 degree roll, 78 degree pitch).

    7. T plus 60 s - shuttle engines are at maximum throttle.

    8. T plus 2 min - SRBs separate from the orbiter and fuel tank at an altitude of 28 miles (45 km). Main engines continue firing.

    o Parachutes deploy from the SRBs.

    o SRBs will land in the ocean about 140 miles (225 km) off the coast of Florida.

    o Ships will recover the SRBs and tow them back to Cape Canaveral for processing and re-use.

    9. T plus 7.7 min - main engines throttled down to keep acceleration below 3g's so that the shuttle does not break apart.

    10. T plus 8.5 min - main engines shut down.

    11. T plus 9 min - ET separates from the orbiter. The ET will burn up upon re-entry.

    12. T plus 10.5 min - OMS engines fire to place you in a low orbit.

    13. T plus 45 min - OMS engines fire again to place you in a higher, circular orbit (about 250 miles/400 km).

  12. Blog bxh8620

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  13. SO, many people have many different ways to study for the regents physics exam including myself and my friends.

    First i picked kids from the AP track to help me study for physics because i knew that they would be able to teach me a lot more than if i were studying alone. They did teach me a lot!

    I drove to pick up Bakari from his house using my car Stanley. Stanley changed potential energy to kinetic energy as it changed gas to moving fuel. I had told Alan, our other study party member, to arrive at two, and i arrived at Bakari's at 1:50. It is safe to say i increased my velocity from the trip to his house to the trip back home. I accelerated uniformly until Bakari told me that i could just use the cruise control. My cruise control turned on and would not turn off until i tapped on the break. This instantly reminded me of the law that an object will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, this outside force being my foot on the break.

    After running into many red lights we turned onto the bridge which had a different road surface than the street. This caused greater frictional force against the car which made my acceleration increase so that i could get past the high coefficient of friction.

    When we finally arrived at my house we had to put the top back up on my convertible. This was physics in itself as well. The button i pressed used mechanical energy to get the top closed so we could go inside and study.

    Of course studying with boys they wanted to listen to music. This music would produce sound waves from my computer and into the awaiting ear drums of us studiers. What they didn't know is my sister was down in the basement practicing for her singing jury. Before we could turn on our music we had to figure out how to block out Taylors music. The sound waves were traveling from the basement up to the living room by using diffraction. Her sound waves went from her, across the basement, around the corner, up the stairs, around another corner and into our ears. Very impressive!

    Quickly enough the boys grew hungry. I, being the lovely hostess, offered them chicken wing dip. I had to warm it up first in the microwave. These waves created heat and energy to make the chicken wing dip at a good temperature for eating. The mechanical energy of the boys chewing was only accompanied by a refreshing drink.

    Both boys wanted straws to drink their beverages with. The straws in the can was immediately refracted so we couldn't tell where it was in the liquid.

    The door opened, my door consisting of potential energy turned to kinetic as Sam entered my house. He ran in, pushed me to the ground and sat on me. his momentum before equaled his momentum afterwards as he tickled me until i got up an hid behind Alan. I couldn't replicate his force by any means because my mass was much less than his however i could remove the attraction between us by moving away from him. Our distance increased which created a smaller force of gravity between us.

    Alan quickly helped change the subject by swinging his iPod around and around on the wire. Bakari and I were quick to analyze this as having centripetal acceleration moving toward Alan's hand that was spinning the wire. We said that it had a uniform velocity and if we had a timer on our hands or a ruler we would be able to figure out the acceleration.

    Sam also assisted us with this experiment as he swung his keys in a circle around his hand. He however experimented with the idea that if you were to cut the string the velocity would shoot outside of the circle. He unexpectedly let go of his keys allowing us to see which way the velocity was being allowed to go. The keys shot from his hand and into the wall behind him.

    All too soon the boys had to leave, however Its safe to say that although they didn't realize it, these boys helped me a lot more than they thought they would.

  14. So today we had our Regents exam and I had yet to complete my last blog post. As I was sitting and waiting to be dismissed, I was thinking about how hungry I was (as usual). It then occurred to me that physics was involved in my hunger! How do you ask? Let me explain.

    Well, starting with last night, I had lacrosse practice. This required me to use mechanical energy. I then slept to regain my mechanical energy from chemical energy. I then added more chemical energy by eating some chicken pot pie for breakfast. This energy was then converted to mechanical energy so I could take my Regents exam this afternoon. Once I had exerted all of my stored energy, I was hungry for some more chemical energy. Thus, I needed more physics.

    Not everyone immediately associates being hungry with physics, but as a successful and educated physics student, it was the first thing I thought of!

  15. CharlieEckert
    Latest Entry

    So I was reserving my last blog post for my momentum video I made last year. Unfortunately I couldn't find it last night. I went to Mr. Powlin today to get the video but it wouldn’t upload to the site, or to my email or Google drive for some reason. I’ll try to find the video again tonight, but if I can’t just picture me getting shot bare skin with an airsoft gun.

  16. blog-0721020001368805932.jpgyou probably always woundered how we could see out of our eyes. At least EYE always have..... of course there has to be some sort of physics to it right? well of course there is and refraction is there to prove it. Refraction is the phenomenon which makes image formation possible by the eye as well as by cameras and other systems of lenses.

    Most of that refraction in the eye takes place at the first surface, since the transition from the air into the cornea is the largest change in index of refraction which the light experiences. About 80% of the refraction occurs in the cornea and about 20% in the inner crystalline lens.

    While the inner lens is the smaller portion of the refraction, it is the total source of the ability to accommodate the focus of the eye for the viewing of close objects. For the normal eye, the inner lens can change the total focal length of the eye by 7-8%. Common eye defects are often called refractive errors and they can usually be corrected by relatively simple compensating lenses.

    Light that passes through the pupil opening, will enter the crystalline lens. The crystalline lens is made of layers of a fibrous material that has an index of refraction of roughly 1.40. Unlike the lens on a camera, the lens of the eye is able to change its shape and thus serves to fine-tune the vision process. The lens is attached to the ciliary muscles. These muscles relax and contract in order to change the shape of the lens. By carefully adjusting the lenses shape, the ciliary muscles assist the eye in the critical task of producing an image on the back of the eyeball.

  17. blog-0186348001397180170.jpgIn physics we assume that gravity is a constant. In fact we represent this constant with the letter g and the numerical value of 9.81m/s2. Almost everything we learned this year works on the assumption that gravity is constant on the surface of the earth. There is no reason to assume other-wise after all we don't just see objects floating randomly as we take a stroll down the street. We use physics and its assumption of constant gravity- on the earth's surface- to create a lot of our technology today. But what if gravity on the surface of the earth wasn't constant? Many of our technologies would be rendered useless while other would become very amusing. So here are some fun things to think about if we all woke up one day and gravity was no longer constant.

    When your alarm clock beeps in the morning waking you up for school there are many fates you may encounter. If the gravity was lower then 9.81m/s2 then you might not wake up in your bed at all. Instead you could be floating in your sleep. Just think about how much room you could save without the need for a bed! If gravity however was at a larger magnitude then 9.81m/s2 then you would be pulled down to the surface of the earth with greater force. If the force was great enough it could leave you immobile. Hey, I guess that means you don't have to go to school!

    Let go to the next phase of the day. Unfortunately, most mornings I have to walk to the school in the mornings. However with a smaller magnitude of gravity I could take less steps! Although similar to walking on the moon this process would take a lot longer. If gravity all of a sudden gravity shifted to a greater magnitude, even just lifting my foot off the ground would take tremendous effort.

    For those of you dieting I have both good news and bad news. A world in which gravity is always shifting means your weight is always shifting. Take note that its your weight and not your mass which shifts. Mass is a measure of the space you take up- how many particles. Weight is the measure of mass multiplied by gravity. If you were to stand in a spot of low gravity then you lost weight! however, take one step to the right and you've gained more weight in a single second then ever thought possible!

    Last scenario. You're in class at school and your teacher tells you to pass up your homework. In a situation with gravity of an extremely low magnitude you could argue, "I tried to do my homework last night but it kept pushing me away." In a situation with no gravity newton's 3rd law has a field day. This law states for ever action there is a opposite and equal reaction. As you try to touch you homework, your homework pushes back at you with an equal reaction. Due to the extremely low gravity the reaction might actually cause you be pushed away. Then gravity shifts to a grater magnitude and your teacher tells you to do your homework. In this scenario you simply complain, "The force of gravity was so strong that the force I exerted on my pen was not great enough. In this process of trying to create a force stronger then the force of gravity it seems I have sprained my wrist.... both of my wrists."

  18. Waves they're everywhere. They're apart of our daily lives. We experience waves 24/7 whether its from sound waves, light waves, etc.! In this blog post I'm going to be discussing several examples of waves in our daily life.

    Light waves- The sun is the main source of light waves on earth and require no medium to get to us.

    Sound Waves- These waves require a medium to get to us.

    For example if you put a bell in a vacuum sealed, air tight case and hit it then you wouldn't be able to hear the bell but you could still see it. This is because light waves don't need a medium but sound waves do.

    This sums up a short summary on waves thanks for reading.

  19. I was at the gym the other day watching one of my teammates do her uneven parallel bar routine, and I thought about something new: in her giant swings, her feet would have to be moving extremely fast in order for her body to make it around the bar. How fast do they travel?

    A giant is a skill on the uneven bars in which a gymnast swings all the way around the bar in a handstand, ex:

    Giant swings follow a pattern of uniform circular motion. I timed one of my teammates doing her giants, and one swing took approximately 1.35 seconds to complete. Because she is 5' tall (60 inches), the radius of her motion is 60". Using the equation vc=(2πr)/T, I subbed in the values: vc=(2π(60))/1.35 to find that her feet were traveling at 279.25 in/sec. This means

    that my teammate's feet travel at 190.4 mph in her giant swings, which actually sounds very wrong.... Ah well, I

    tried.

  20. isaacgagarinas
    Latest Entry

    When I was in Jacksonville I went to a go kart place called the Autobahn Indoor Speedway. These weren't your typical go karts however. At the Autobahn the cars reached speeds up to 50 mph! Drivers have to wear helmets for safety and the speed made for some pretty intense races. There was a lot of physics involved in driving the cars. One of the most important parts of learning how to be as fast as possible was getting used to knowing how much and when to brake around turns. Braking too much will slow you down and can cause wrecks, however not braking enough can cause you to slam your car into the wall, also slowing you down and putting you at risk of wrecks. The only way to do this was through friction. By stopping the rotation of the wheels the tires then grinded against the concrete ground creating friction which is what would slow down your car. Also many forces were exerted with the bumping of cars and from running into walls. If my car ever rammed into another, the force exerted from my car onto his was the same amount of force his exerted onto mine. A lot of centripetal acceleration also takes place at all 4 of my wheels. Even if my car is moving at a constant velocity, the wheels are constantly changing direction as they spin and therefore accelerating inward. Finally the force of gravity is always constant on me and my car. Gravity exerts a force of 9.81 m/s^2, which is what keeps me and my car from flying off of the track. The Autobahn Indoor Speedway was a pretty intense go karting place and I had a lot of fun racing!

  21. ThatGuy
    Latest Entry

    This morning in the lab we had a little physics throwback.

    Stop. uh. Back-it-up. AP_B/Chem

    remember those spectormeters we used? the cardboard things that broke up the light into colors? Well i got to use a real one today to find the wavelength of a laser. Basically you shine whiteish light in one hole so you can see the scale in the back, and the laser in another portal. You look through the lens, and spin the dial until you see a thin line the color of your laser, you line it up with the meter, and look at the dial with your wavelength. It was pretty **** cool.

    Now we also have a computerized one that does it too but it wasnt workin.

    fiskis with phullerton

  22. So I'm actually in my honors chemistry class right now, but who cares right? It's not like it's physics... anyways, good to be back!

    Yesterday, in my differential equations class, we started section 2.3-- I don't actually remember the title-- at the ungodly early hour of 9 AM. aka, really not that early. Now, if I/ other AP C past/current students remember correctly, early in the year we discussed air resistance on a falling object. According to Newton's 2nd Law, net force or ma equals whatever you determine to be the net force. In this case, using a force diagram, you have the force of mg down minus the effect of air resistance (I'll use kv in this case because we used it in my math class, though last year we used bv and cv^2 I believe). Thus you have ma=mg-kv, and since a=dv/dt, you have m(dv/dt)=mg-kv . This is (wait for it) a differential equation! Yay!

    Specifically, it is a linear differential equation, more commonly seen in the form dv/dt+ (something)*v=something. So when Mr. F just skipped over the steps/integration/nothing made sense, that's why. It was a DE.

    Note: I don't fully remember how we did the problem, but I think we were just told what the equation came out to, and skipped the actual steps.

    Anyways, you put it into the form dv/dt+(k/m)*v=g (the dv/dt can't have a coefficient), and then you do a bunch of really really really cool steps to solve it. You take the stuff in front of the v (in this case, k/m) and set up this: e^(integral of k/m dt). Clearly, this gives you e^(kt/m). You then multiply everything in the equation by this, giving you (e^kt/m)*(dv/dt+ (k/m)*v) = g*(e^(kt/m)). The left side of the equation turns into d/dt of e^(kt/m) times v. We don't actually do anything to get to this, it's just known that that's what it turns into, and you can check it to make sure.

    You know have d/dt of e^(kt/m)*v = g*e^(kt/m). you integrate both sides with respect to t, leaving you with:

    e^(kt/m)*v=e^(kt/m)*gm/k + Constant ©. Then just isolate velocity.

    That gives you v(t) equals gm/k+ C*e^(-kt/m), and you can solve for C pretty easily (either with v(0)=v(subscript)0 or v(0)=0. And that's your air resistance equation! (hopefully)

    I'm assuming I messed up a negative sign somewhere, or it should be -gm/k, or something else, but that's the general shape of a) a Linear DE and B) this force equation. Hopefully it's mostly right, and not overly boring because it's actually kinda cool. So yeah... go physics!

    Probably the longest blog post I've done, but I deemed in necessary. Sincerely, your resident Swagmeister

    #APC Rules

  23. skyblue22
    Latest Entry
    blog-0903682001370827232.jpgHave you ever thought about the physics on a roller coaster? Well, its pretty simple. Once you are in the car of the roller coaster you build up potential energy as you go up the hill, which then is released as kinetic energy. Once you are going to the hill gravity takes over and all of the potential energy you built up is released into kinetic energy. Gravity applies a constant downward force on the cars. Since an object in motion tends to stay in motion, the coaster car will maintain a forward velocity even when it is moving up track. The potential energy and kinetic energy changes back and forth to one another.
  24. Time for a little mental health rant…

    We all want our children to be the best they can be, to feel good about themselves, and to reach their potential. Part of this process, however, involves learning to fail productively — understanding and experiencing what it’s like to fall short, knowing that sick feeling in your gut is uncomfortable but necessary, and disliking that feeling enough to do something about it and try again.

    I sure hope I’m wrong, but I feel like many of the changes I’m seeing in the way we as a society deal with children is sending the wrong message. These changes are made with the best of intentions — we don’t want anyone to feel left out, and we don’t want children to experience the pain of failure — but we as adults who know better need to recognize that these uncomfortable experiences are important to building up confidence, self esteem, and independence. Kudos that aren’t truly earned don’t teach a child to work hard, they teach a child that showing up is enough.

    I’m not saying little ones need to be beaten into submission, or that I should always crush my kid in a game of Connect Four — but I do think they need to learn that they can’t win every time, otherwise there’s no impetus to improve. They won’t always get picked first to be on a team, there will be days when they are left out of activities their friends get to experience, and there will be events when they’ll leave the field and not be the winner of the event. This is OK, it’s an opportunity learn the importance of giving your all, of preparing as fully as possible, and the value of sportsmanship, both on top and at the bottom of the podium.

    I think it’s also important for our kids to understand what makes us proud and what is disappointing. Sportsmanship is important, but it’s also important to realize that decisions leading up to events contribute to the success or failure of that event. As a teacher I observe students who work their tail off and struggle for a middling grade… and I try to instill a sense of pride in that work and that grade. I also have students who slack off and are naturally talented enough to earn A’s. I try to explain to these students that they are not reaching their potential, and I don’t find that acceptable. There will be times when our kids may try and try and try, but never reach the level of success that they desire. Recently I’ve dealt with repeated instances of academic dishonesty, from students who are taking shortcuts in their classes, and aren’t recognizing the connection between their integrity, work ethic, and results.

    True self esteem and confidence comes from understanding that you can go to bed every night with no regrets, having given your all, not from an external source such as a trophy or a piece of paper with a letter on it. And not meeting every goal just tells you that you’ve set aggressive goals. If you reach every one of your goals, you’re not reaching high enough.

    I don’t think it’s valuable to get into specifics, as you can find “opportunity for improvement” in so many of the things we do and say with our kids, from the toddlers to the older young-at-heart — in our homes, in our schools, and in our activities. But I would ask, if some of this does resonate with you, to take a step back and look at what changes you can make, or ways you can support and reinforce those who are instilling these old-fashioned values. And don’t be afraid to speak up every now and then and question what you see occurring.

    Just because someone thinks it’ll make everyone feel better, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. And just like our mothers taught us, popular opinion doesn’t mean it’s the right opinion. Remember the old adage “if all your friends jumped off a bridge would you jump off too?” It’s time for all of us to start thinking for ourselves.

    The post Failure is Necessary for Growth appeared first on Physics In Flux.

    http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/olmFgE6-cVw
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