Course Description


Full-year course. This course will provide a survey of basic principles in physics topics including but not limited to force and motion, properties of atoms and phases of matter, thermodynamics, sound and light waves, electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics topics including relativity and quantum mechanics. The class is structured in the manner of a “flipped” classroom, in which students will watch a video and read material from the textbook to prepare them for a class meeting focused on discussion and mastery of the material. Class assignments and assessments will focus on both conceptual topics and the use of relevant equations. Upon completion of the Physics course, successful students will have a mastery of introductory concepts and principles of physics as well as an ability to think scientifically. Students will become more adept at applying their mathematical and conceptual knowledge of physics and the scientific method to real scenarios, interpreting data and the results of scientific investigations, and thoughtfully engaging in scientific discourse.

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:

  • Hewitt, Paul G. Conceptual Physics, 11th edition. Glenview, IL: Pearson, 2015. ISBN 9780321568090
  • A scientific calculator (such as Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS) is required for this course. Online scientific calculators can also be used, but they are discouraged because they tie the student to the computer/internet for homework.

Class meets twice per week for 50-55 minutes.

Class cap: 15 students.

Designed for grades 10-12.

Students in grades 9-12 may be awarded 1 Non-Lab Science 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.