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AP Physics 1 You are taking Advanced Placement Physics “1”. This is a college-level course offered in High School. The class is designed to teach you Physics and prepare you to pass the AP Physics 1 exam in May. We will do this with a college style program of lecture, lab, and problem solving. You will be doing a substantial amount of work outside of the classroom. Also, you may find the pace of this class to be much faster than many classes you have taken so far. One of our special challenges is that we will cover one and onehalf semester of college material in less than two semesters due to the fact that the AP test is at the beginning of May and our school year ends in June. Materials Textbook: Serway, Faughn & Vuille. College Physics (Seventh Edition) Thompson, Brooks/Cole 2006 Recommended Supplemental Materials: Schaunm’s Outline – College Physics and How to prepare for the AP Physics B Exam (Barrons’s Guide); Conceptual Physics- (Paul Hewitt) An older edition is great. You will also need a scientific calculator, a notebook, and a 4-color clicky pen. Grades Your grade will be based on 4 categories: 1. Tests (3 -5 per semester) 2. Homework (weekly) 3. Lab work (weekly) 4. Quizzes (randomly) 60% 10% 20% 10% The weekly home work assignment will be either a set of approximately 25 problems from the end of the chapter, a reading assignment, and some conceptual questions. This will constitute the minimum amount of work that a student should do. If you are struggling with the concepts more problems should be done. Solutions are available on my website. The class will spend ample time reviewing homework. This is only useful if student homework is completed. Grades will be assigned based on the following scale A = 90.0 – 100% B = 80.0 – 89.9% C = 70.0 – 79.9% D = 60.0 – 69.9% F = Less than 60.0% For tests and quizzes at the level of the AP exam a special curve will be applied. This curve mirrors the grading scale of the AP exam where letter grades correspond to scores on the AP Exam. (A=5, B=4 etc.) Some of your peers have received the lowest grade in their High School careers from this class – even with this scale! Lab Work The College Board requires that 20% of the class be devoted to lab activities. These are activities that are “hands-on” for you. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Actually touching and “playing with” Physics is the best way to reinforce the key concepts. An average of once every two weeks we will bring out some equipment and try to answer some kind of question or explore a Physics concept. You will have to frame a question, construct some sort of apparatus, take data, analyze that data and come to some sort of conclusion. Then you must communicate that result. Here’s a list of some of the labs we will do: 1. Measuring the height of a building indirectly (many methods) 2. Measuring “g” (Galileo’s ramps) 3. Predicting Trajectories (projectile motion) 4. Hot Wheel Loops (circular motion and conservation of energy) 5. Determining spring constant (Hooke’s law) 6. Determining Density (many ways) 7. Determining Pendulum Period (Simple Harmonic Motion) 8. Determining the moment of inertia 9. Verify Ohm’s Law (circuits and measuring tools) 10. Measure the speed of sound (resonance in a closed pipe) 11. Determine the wavelength of a laser (interference) In addition many demonstrations and classroom inquiries will take place. In fact, most units will start with a “discrepant event” which is a demonstration of something that goes against common sense, but can be explained readily after a study of the topic. Overall, the labs, demos, homework, and open-ended activities will encourage students to ask questions about how things work, formulate a working hypothesis, figure out a way to test that hypothesis, perform experiments, analyze results, make predictions, evaluate the reasonableness of an answer to a calculation, and develop good physical sense. This works because Physics is about the “real World.” I have always felt that showing how the rules of physics match up with common sense is most powerful because we can continue using these rules when common sense eludes us. I’m glad you have chosen to take this class and take on this challenge. Every year I have students taking this class who are not ready for it. Perhaps they lack the mathematical background, perhaps they aren’t ready to keep up with the workload or perhaps they are just immature. If this is you GET OUT NOW! It is hard to transfer out of the class later on. Use of Internet: Homework assignments will be posted weekly at the teacher website found at www.losal.org/lahs . Grades will be available on Aires and accessible by parents. Students are expected to use this online service to periodically check current grades. No grades will be posted in class. (562) 799-4780 ext. 82703 deisenberg@losal.org