How to Get an A on Physics Lab Reports

hey guys so I’m making this video to show you guys how to get MA on your physics lab reports you’re going to be doing lots of lab reports in this class so I just wanted to make one that kind of goes over everything that I’ve been saying in class reminders in my class lab reports are worth just as much as tests and the real goal of all of our lives is to understand your data okay your data should not be random numbers that you don’t know what they mean gotta understand it because the point of physics and the point of what we’re learning in our lab is to figure out patterns and relationships between things that were collecting so if you don’t understand what your numbers mean you’re not going to do very well in your lab reports because your is going to be clear that you don’t see the patterns or see the relationships so in this video I’m going to show you the basics of using Excel I’m going to show you how to check what you’re going to be graded on what lab so it’s never a surprise how to save something as a PDF and then how to turn it in through Jupiter grades okay so let’s start with Excel but before you do that a couple things you need to know in order to right click on a Mac or on a Lenovo computer it’s a two finger clips when I say to copy something the hotkey for that is to select what you want to copy and then press command + C for pasting it’s command or control if you’re not on a Mac and B okay so you need to know that stuff first let’s go to excel okay we’ll be using Excel to do a lot of our data tables and the cool thing about excels they can do the math for you so in our first lab we want to use it to calculate the speed or the velocity in order to find that it was 1.9 divided by the time through photo gate a so I type in 1.9 divided by and I click on the cell that has the number I want to use then I can click and drag this function down this cell is now 1.9 divided by C 3 this one is 1.9 divided by C 4 etc etc I can do the same with my other column that – you missed one okay if like here you have a lot of decimal places that you don’t really need sometimes it’ll give you numbers like this you don’t want that those numbers don’t mean anything it typically the rule is two decimal places and you’re probably good to go also note that I don’t have any units in here Excel doesn’t understand units now today I’m going to create a graph okay I want to graph my distance versus my time so those are the two numbers I want to graph I’m going to insert a marked scatterplot yep right now my data switch I actually want time to be on my x-axis so I’m going to switch that real quick my x-values I want to be time my y-values I want to be distance okay there’s only one graph here so I don’t need to do that anytime we do a graph anytime we do a graph I want it to be organized so you need the title it’s always going to be your Y in this case this is my distance versus your X in this case it is my time okay so distance the versus time you’re going to add your axis labels making sure that they include units and you’re always going to add a trendline in this situation our trend is pretty linear so I’m going to add a linear trendline then go into options and tell it to display the equation okay so that it will give me my equation equation on my graph you can also edit change say I wanted to make this a little bit bigger I can click on it and up the size say I wanted to add trends gridlines because I give me that there are only horizontal ones and not vertical ones you can also of course go into format and change some of the titles or elements of your graph it and give it a little bit more of the same so typically but not always Excel documents are not pretty to transfer to upload anywhere okay they get messy so we’re going to want to copy and paste it into a Word document sometimes I might have what you need download it onto Excel force onto Jupiter grades for you for example for our first lab I have the template right here okay it’ll be in your to-do if it’s not there you can just go to grades for your physics class and find the assignments that you’re working on in this case it’s the lab three point three I’m going to download the document that I need the word document and it’ll be in there you would want to change this to your name I’m going to pretend like this is example student I want part three the data table so I’m going to copy and paste it select what I want to copy command or control C switch over to here command or control V and then I want to add border so that it looks better and I can also adjust the size maybe make things so that they’re centered anything like that I guess what I already did that so you don’t need the instruction now I’m going to put in my position versus time graph okay there is my graph and typically under each graph there will be some analysis we have to do ok so the trend is linear in this case the slope which is 67 point 2 4 centimeters per second represents the speed it is consistent with data calculated by the table ok etc etc whatever type of analysis I’m asking for in that lab and then I would do my other graph the other graph is speed versus time so I’m just going to do that really quick for you guys I’m not talking I’m going to edit this out [Music] you okay and see how right now when I pasted it the formatting was kind of ugly I have the title up here and then the graph down here you never want to do that you want to make sure that the titles and the graphs stay together so I’m going to go ahead and just insert a page break in there so that it all goes on one page I don’t need the instructions anymore so I’m going to delete those from my area and make sure that it’s all good to go it that looks pretty good I would write my analysis down here and when you’re ready to turn in you’re going to need to save first before we save it let’s check and see if I have everything that I need according to the rubric so on Jupiter grades for any assignment that we do that we have to turn into Jupiter grades I will include a rubric your rubric tells you what you’re going to be graded on your data to get a 5 it has to be complete organized rounded correctly and logical all data makes sense for what was required in the lab if it’s not all there but it’s mostly there you’ll get a 4 in order to get the 4 the 4 is normal the 5 is perfect before is normal in good if there are any weird data points there you have that you didn’t catch while you were doing the lab explain those ok show me that you understand the data and you will likely get an A for the two graphs ok it’ll also say okay my graphs and analysis fully represents was observed at a lobster’s clear understanding it’s labeled with a title as y versus x axis labels with units and appropriate trendline equation go back okay I think I have all those on my graph and then of course neatness and organization which also includes whether or not it was turned in on time ok so you’re going to save it as a PDF with your last name in the title and this is the document that I want to turn in so I’m going to go file save as and I’m going to call it Peterson lab citizen physics lab okay or call it the title of the lab I’m going to call it the title of the lab actually analyzing motion with grass okay so and I’m going to save it to my desktop so I know where it is when I go to upload it and I’m going to save it as a PDF okay saving it as a PDF that makes it so that it is no longer editable so make sure not to save it as a PDF until you’re ready to turn it in okay and make sure you also save it as the dot d is the X or dot do you’ll see whatever it is in case you want to go back to it thanks and time I’ve saved my Word document to my computer so I go back over to Jupiter grade okay I’m turning in a PDF from this computer or it might be in your Google Drive so you can save it from your Google Drive I’m going to conceive upload it from the computer I know that I saved it in the desktop and there’s what I want to turn in okay once it says turned in that’s when you know you’re done okay so that’s everything you need to know to get an a on your physics labs

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