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APPhysics1Syllabus

COURSEINTRODUCTION
APPhysics1isanalgebrabasedcourseingeneralphysicsthatmeetseveryday55min/dayfor180days.
TheschoolyearstartsatthebeginningofSeptemberandendsinmidJune,sothereistimeleftaftertheAP
examwhichisspentcoveringtopicsofthestudentschoosing,butitusuallyendsupbeingSpecial
Relativity.
Peercoaching,peerteachingandpeerreviewareanessentialpartofourcourse.Studentsareencouraged
fromthefirstdaytocreateorjoinastudygrouptoworkwithinandoutofclassnobodyworksina
vacuum.
GeneralphysicstopicspresentedduringthecoursecloselyfollowthoseoutlinedbytheCollegeBoardand
alsomirrorsanintroductoryleveluniversityphysicscourse.
APPhysics1isorganizedaroundsixbigideasthatbringtogetherthefundamentalscienceprinciplesand
theoriesofgeneralphysics.Thesebigideasareintendedtoencouragestudentstothinkaboutphysics
conceptsasinterconnectedpiecesofapuzzle.Thesolutiontothepuzzleishowtherealworldaroundthem
actuallyworks.Thestudentswillparticipateininquirybasedexplorationsofthesetopicstogainamore
conceptualunderstandingofthesephysicsconcepts.Studentswillspendlessoftheirtimeintraditional
formulabasedlearningandmoreoftheireffortwillbedirectedtodevelopingcriticalthinkingand
reasoningskills.
TEXTBOOK
Giancoli,D.(2002).Physics:PrincipleswithApplications,5threv.ed.UpperSaddleRiver,NJ:Prentice
Hall.ISBN0130611433[CR1]
TOPICSCOVERED
1.Kinematics(BigIdea3)[CR2a]
a.Vectors/Scalars
b.OneDimensionalMotion(includinggraphingposition,velocity,andacceleration)
c.TwoDimensionalMotion
2.Dynamics(BigIdeas1,2,3,and4)[CR2b]
a.NewtonsLawsofMotionandForces
3.UniversalLawofGravitation(BigIdeas1,2,3,and4)[CR2c]
a.CircularMotion
4.SimpleHarmonicMotion(BigIdeas3and5)[CR2d]
a.SimplePendulums
b.MassSpringOscillators
5.Momentum(BigIdeas3,4,and5)[CR2e]
a.ImpulseandMomentum
b.TheLawofConservationofMomentum
6.Energy(BigIdeas3,4,and5)[CR2f]
a.Work
b.Energy
c.ConservationofEnergy
d.Power
7.Rotation(BigIdeas3,4,and5)[CR2g]
a.RotationalKinematics

b.RotationalEnergy
c.TorqueandRotationalDynamics
d.AngularMomentum
e.ConservationofAngularMomentum
8.Electrostatics(BigIdeas1,3,and5)[CR2h]
a.ElectricCharge
b.TheLawofConservationofElectricCharge
c.ElectrostaticForces
9.Circuits(BigIdeas1and5)[CR2i]
a.OhmsLaw
b.KirchhoffsLaws
c.SimpleDCCircuits
10.MechanicalWavesandSound(BigIdea6)[CR2j]
LABORATORYINVESTIGATIONS
Labsaregenerallyopenendedandwilltakeuptwentyfivepercentofthecourse.[CR5]Studentsaregiven
anobjective,e.g.Determinethecoefficientofstaticfrictionofwoodonwood,andstandardmaterials
string,ruler,protractor,massset,lightpulley,etc.Studentsareallowedtocreatetheirownexperimental
design,butultimatelymostofthelabdesignsmustleadtothecollectionofdatawhichcanbeanalyzed
throughgraphicalmethods.Studentsmustgraphbyhandusingarulerandgraphpaper,butareencouraged
tochecktheirworkwithaspreadsheetorstatisticalfunctionsontheirgraphingcalculators.Studentswork
inpairs,buteachstudentmustsubmitalabreportwhichisturnedinthedayaftertheconclusionofeach
activity,thengradedandreturned.Thereportdesignandformatisleftuptothestudent,butgenerallyeach
reportshouldinclude:[CR7]
astatementoftheproblem,
anhypothesis,
adiscussionoroutlineofhowtheprocedurewillbecarriedout,
thedatarecorded,
adiscussionoroutlineofhowthedatawasanalyzed,and
aconclusionincludingerroranalysisandtopicsforfurtherstudy.
Studentsarerequiredtokeepthereportsintheirnotebooksincasethecollegeoftheirchoicerequires
evidence,artifactsordocumentationpriortoawardingcollegecreditforphysics
Laboratoryactivitiesandsimulationsinthisclassareincludedthefollowingtable.[CR6a]Theinquiry
basedlabsarenotedinthesecondcolumn.
Name

RocketLab

OpenInquiryor
GuidedInquiry?
[CR6b]
O

TheWeight

EncounteringFriction

ShortDescription

SciencePractices

Studentswilldesignan
experimenttodetermine
theinitialvelocityofan
airpoweredrocket.
Studentsinvestigatethe
relationshipbetween
weightandmass.
Studentsdeterminewhat
effectaninclinehason

1.2,1.4,2.1,2.2,4.1,
4.2,4.3
1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,
4.2,4.3,5.3,6.1,6.4,
7.2
1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.2,
5.1,5.2,6.1,7.2

AnUphillClimb

ConservationofEnergy

TorqueLab

RollingStuff

SitonitandRotate!

CentripetalForceLab

WorldsofWonder

FlyingPig

HookesLaw

WaterWavesinan

thevalueoffrictionand
determinecoefficients
offrictionforvarious
objects.
Studentsdeterminehow
workchangesenergy.
Studentsexperiment
withtheconceptofthe
conservationofenergy
byqualitatively
investigatingthe
relationshipbetween
elasticpotentialenergy
andgravitational
potentialenergy
studentsdetermine
factorsthataffectthe
rotationalmotionofan
object.
Studentsdeterminethe
rotationalinertiaofa
cylinderfromtheslope
ofagraphofanapplied
torqueversusangular
acceleration.
Studentsinvestigate
howtheangular
momentumofarotating
systemrespondsto
changesintherotational
inertia.
Usingaspinningrubber
stoppertoliftmasses,
studentswilldetermine
therelationshipbetween
theaccelerationofthe
stopperandthe
centripetalforce.
Studentsusea
simulationtostudythe
orbitalmechanicsofa
simplifiedsolarsystem.
students
determinethefactors
thataffectcentripetal
force.
Todesigntwo
independent
experimentsto
determinethespring
constantsofvarious
springsofequallength.
Studentsobserveand

1.1,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.3,
4.1,5.1,6.2
1.1,1.2,1.3,1.4,1.5,
2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,4.2,
4.3,5.3,6.1,6.4,7.2

1.1,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.3,
4.1,5.1,6.2
1.1,1.2,1.4,1.5,2.1,
2.2,3.1,4.1,4.2,4.3,
5.1,5.3,6.1,6.4,7.2

1.1,1.2,1.4,1.5,2.1,
2.2,3.1,4.1,4.2,4.3,
5.1,5.3,6.1,6.4,7.2

1.1,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.3,
4.1,4.2,4.3,4.4,5.1,
6.1,6.2,6.4

1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,
4.2,4.3,5.1,6.2,6.3,
7.2
1.1,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,
4.1,4.2,5.1,5.2,6.1,
6.2,7.2
1.1,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,
4.1,4.2,4.3,5.3,6.1,
6.4,7.2

1.2,2.1,2.2,3.1,4.1,

ElectricSink

SpeedofSound

Ohm,Ohmonthe
Range

controlwavesinaripple
tanksimulationtolearn
thebasicsofwave
mechanics.
Designtwodifferent
procedurestodetermine
thespeedofsoundin
air.
Studentsinterpret
observationstofindthe
relationshipbetween
current,voltage,and
resistance.

4.2,4.3,5.1,5.3,6.1,
6.2,6.4,7.2
1.1,1.2,1.4,1.5,2.1,
2.2,3.1,4.1,4.2,4.3,
5.3,6.1,6.4,7.2
1.1,1.4,2.1,2.2,3.1,
4.1,4.2,5.1,5.2,6.1,
6.2,7.2

INSTRUCTIONALACTIVITIES
Throughoutthecourse,thestudentsengageinavarietyofactivitiesdesignedtobuildthestudents
reasoningskillsanddeepentheirconceptualunderstandingofphysicsprinciples.Studentsconduct
activitiesandprojectsthatenablethemtoconnecttheconceptslearnedinclasstorealworldapplications.
Examplesofactivitiesaredescribedbelow.
PROJECTDESIGN[CR3]
Studentsengageinhandsonactivitiesoutsideofthelaboratoryexperiencethatsupporttheconnectionto
morethanoneLearningObjective.
ACTIVITY:RollerCoasterInvestigation
DESCRIPTION:
Workingingroupsofthree,studentsdesignasimplerollercoasterusingprovided
materials(atrackwithaverticalloopandtoycars)totestwhetherthetotalenergyofacarEarth
systemisconservediftherearenoexternalforcesexertedonitbyotherobjects.Studentsinclude
multiplerepresentationsofenergytoprovideevidencefortheirclaims.Studentsuseabarchart,
themathematicalexpressionofconservationofenergyrepresentedbythegraph,andthe
correspondingcalculationstoevaluatewhethertheoutcomeoftheexperimentsupportstheideaof
energyconservation.

SCIENTIFICARGUMENTATION
Inthecourse,studentsbecomefamiliarwiththethreecomponentsofscientificargumentation.Thefirst
elementistheclaim,whichistheresponsetoaprediction.Aclaimprovidesanexplanationforwhyorhow
somethinghappensinalaboratoryinvestigation.Thesecondcomponentistheevidence,whichsupports
theclaimandconsistsoftheanalysisofthedatacollectedduringtheinvestigation.Thethirdcomponent
consistsofquestioning,inwhichstudentsexamineanddefendoneanothersclaims.Studentsreceive
explicitinstructioninposingmeaningfulquestionsthatincludequestionsofclarification,questionsthat
probeassumptions,andquestionsthatprobeimplicationsandconsequences.Asaresultofthescientific
argumentationprocess,studentsareabletorevisetheirclaimsandmakerevisionsasappropriate[CR8].
LaboratoryInvestigation:SpeedofSound
DESCRIPTION:
Workinginsmallgroups,studentsdesigntwodifferentprocedurestodeterminethespeed
ofsoundinair.Theybrainstormtheirapproachesandwritethemonthewhiteboard.Eachofthe
teamspresentstheirideastotheclass.Theyreceivefeedbackfromtheirpeersandthenconduct

theirexperiments.Theyrecordtherevisedproceduresintheirlabjournals.Duringthepostlab
discussion,thestudentsdiscusstheirresults(evidence)byexamininganddefendingoneanothers
claims.Thenasaclasswereachconsensusabouttheestimatedvalueforthespeedofsound.
REALWORLDPHYSICS
Inorderforstudentstobecomescientificallyliteratecitizens,studentsarerequiredtousetheirknowledge
ofphysicswhilelookingatarealworldproblem.[CR4]Studentsmaypickoneofthefollowingsolutions:
StudentswillpickaHollywoodmovieandwillpointoutthree(ormore)instancesofbad
physics.Theywillpresentthisinformationtotheclass,describingtheinaccuraciesboth
qualitativelyandquantitatively.
Studentswillresearchathrillrideatanamusementpark.Theywillpresentinformationtothe
classonthesafetyfeaturesoftheride,andwhytheyareinplace.
Studentswillpresentinformationtotheclassonnoisepollution,anditsdangertobothhuman
andanimallife.Theywillalsoproposesolutionstonoisepollutionproblems.
Studentswillgototheinsuranceinstituteofhighwaysafetywebsite(iihs.org)andwilllookat
thesafestcarsinacrash.Theywillpresentinformationastowhythesecarsaresaferandhowthe
safetyfeatureskeeppeoplesafe.