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Physics Lab

Course Description

$0.00

Single-semester course with full-year option. This course will provide an in-depth exploration of physical phenomena through laboratory investigation. In the fall, students will investigate topics including force and motion, energy and momentum, and thermodynamics. In the spring, students will investigate topics in electricity and magnetism and optics. Class meetings and assignments will require students to study and apply the experimental method (including use of relevant equations for data analysis), compose lab reports, engage in peer review with classmates, present lab results, and discuss special topics including scientific ethics and historic experiments in the field of physics. Upon completion of the Physics Lab course, successful students will have become adept at applying their knowledge of physics and the scientific method by designing and carrying out experiments, interpreting data and the results of scientific investigations, presenting their results for peer comment and review, and thoughtfully engaging in scientific discourse.

Please note: The fall and spring semesters of this lab cover different material. We recommend that students interested in science take both semesters. However, students may choose to register for the fall or spring semester only, depending on transcript needs.

Prerequisite: Students should be comfortable with concepts covered in Algebra II, like solving systems of equations for unknowns. Pre-Calculus is helpful but not required; however, students will need to become familiar with the basic principles of adding vectors.

Example Syllabus (Download the PDF)

Required materials:

  • Students must obtain lab materials in advance in order to successfully conduct lab investigations by the scheduled due date. Access the full materials list for both semesters here.
  • A high school physics textbook is highly recommended for reference. We recommend Paul G. Hewitt, Conceptual Physics, 11th edition. Glenview, IL: Pearson, 2015. ISBN 9780321568090

Class meets once per week for 50-55 minutes.

Class cap: 15 students.

Designed for grades 10-12.

Students in grades 9-12 may be awarded .5 Natural Science Lab credit upon completion of this course.

*A student will earn a full laboratory science credit if taking a non-lab science and the corresponding lab together. For example, if a student takes Biology and one-semester of Biology lab, she will earn 1.5 laboratory science credits.

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