Month: September 2012

Adding Vectors: The “chart thing”

Especially when tutoring physics 12, vector addition comes up.  Let’s use the “chart thing”: I took Physics 12 in 1988.  In that class, we added vectors component-wise.  However, at university they used sine law and cosine law.  I haven’t seen someone

Inequalities: Phone Plans

Which phone plan to choose?  A little math tutoring can help you decide. Let’s assume we have two choices: Plan A $12 per month $0.10 per text Plan B $18 per month $0.07 per text How do you decide which plan

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Dependent Variable, Independent Variable, Test and Control

When tutoring Biology 12, terms involved in the scientific method need definition.  Let’s look at some. In an experiment, there is one variable whose value you must wait to see, and (at least) one that you purposely set.  The variable you

Neutrons and Isotopes

Tutoring high school chemistry, isotopes are an early topic.  Let’s have a look…. From basic atomic structure, we know that an atom’s mass comes from its number of protons plus its number of neutrons.  Take fluorine, for example:  its mass is 19.  It’s

Metric System: decimal places and -re

When you tutor sciences, you’re immersed in the metric system.  Let’s talk a bit about it. The metric system uses multiples of 10.  Therefore, to convert from any metric unit to any other one, you just need to move the decimal point;  you needn’t

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: infertility risks

Most people have probably heard of chlamydia and gonorrhea.  They are both bacterial STDs.  Since neither is life-threatening (as far as I’ve ever heard), they don’t get as much attention as AIDS or syphilis. A risk with both chlamydia and gonorrhea

Homeostasis, negative feedback, and thyroxin

Tutoring biology, the concept of negative feedback is important to explain.  Negative feedback is used by all organisms to maintain their living state.  You also use it while driving your car. More or less, the body needs all its processes to

Cell efficiency

When you tutor Biology 12, one topic that comes up is cell efficiency.  It’s a bit tricky for some people, because it involves some math. Putting it simply, imagine a cell is a sphere.  Its volume is what it needs

Conservation of momentum

Every year, the physics tutor fields a few questions on conservation of momentum.  It’s an interesting phenomenon because you can use it to explain some familiar, everyday situations. Momentum is mass times velocity.  Something that is 50 kg, traveling at

Does 0.33333….. really equal 1/3?

Hello.  What rain yesterday, here in Campbell River!  Well, we sure needed it.  It’s nice to have more seasonal temperatures after the oven that was last week. A math tutor often encounters the topic of converting decimals to fractions.  Terminating