AP C Accelerated Physics
In This class we will be covering both AP C mechanics and AP C electricity and magnetism. You are required to have completed AP B and AP Calculcus B/C or be enrolled in AP Calculus B/C.
Overview and Course Objectives
The Advanced Placement Physics C courses at White Station have demanding curriculum designed specifically to introduce students to a more advanced study of physics, and to prepare them for taking the College Board's AP Physics C exams. Physics is truly the most fundamental of all sciences and one of the most enjoyable (and challenging!) to study. In here, you will receive a strong college-level foundation in physics: we will emphasize solving a variety of high-level problems, some requiring calculus. As the instructor of this course, it is my great pleasure and honor to assist you along this path you have chosen. It won't always be easy, but it is my sincere hope that you will find the journey rewarding.
This course is designed to provide the student with a college-level, calculus-based, introduction to the study of physics. At the completion of the course, all AP Physics students will be well-prepared to take the College Board's Advanced Placement Physics C Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism examinations.
The time you spend on this course will consist of participating in classroom lectures/discussions, participating in demonstrations, doing homework problems, performing labs and activities, and taking tests, all of which are designed to prepare you for the AP exam. It is understood that you will bring to class a well-organized notebook, pencils, pens, and a "scientific" calculator, i.e., one that performs sin, cos, tan, exponential notation, exponents, and log functions. You are expected to know how to operate your calculator correctly, including interpreting answers in degrees or radians, using scientific notation, and interpreting the correct number of significant figures.
Your grade will be based on a percentage, according to the following scale:
A : 93-100
F: Below 70
Quarter grades are determined by total points accumulated. Each unit includes about 35 assigned homework problems at a rate of 7 per night. Teacher-led labs for each unit will take place in the lab room during scheduled class time. PBL’s for most units must take place outside of scheduled class time except for final oral presentations. A clicker system will be used on a daily basis.
Homework Clicker Teacher Led Lab PBLs Unit Test
70 pts 40 pts 50 pts 90 pts 100 pts
A summary of each student's grade will usually be available online. This is an official record of students' progress, and may be used as a rough guide of one's progress in the course, as well as a reminder of possible missing assignments.
You will have assigned homework in this class most nights, usually consisting of 30-40 minutes spent solving 3-5 homework problems of varying difficulty. The noted Nobel laureate Richard Feynman cautioned that "You do not know anything until you have practiced," and we take his warning to heart: Do Your Homework. There's no better way to gauge your progress in the class. Correctly solving a problem is not nearly as important as honestly trying to solve the problem. You are expected to engage your mind in the mental gymnastics associated with problem solving, as opposed to simply watching the instructor solve problems in class (although that is of some value).
You should also understand that there is a big difference between an "answer" (the numerical result at the end of a problem) and a "solution" (the procedure by which one arrives at an answer). In physics, answers count for very little--solutions are everything. Your answer to a problem will be identified by a value and a unit with a box drawn around it, but the solution leading up to that answer is where you will demonstrate your understanding and earn your points.
Homework assignments will not be collected, with a small number of points awarded for completing—or at least attempting to complete—the work. This will be awarded when you demonstrate your solution and answer Socratic questions about your solution in class. Missing a homework assignment once every few weeks isn't typically a cause for concern. Habitually missing assignments or falling behind in doing homework will be disastrous in terms of your ability to keep up with the demands of the course.
There are systems in place to remind you of your responsibilities here.
For more information about homework, please see Homework in the AP Physics C Course.
Labs are an important part of the course curriculum. They will give you practical, hands-on experience collecting and analyzing data, and reinforce the learning that goes on in the classroom. For more detailed information, please see The Lab Experience.
There are many reasons that a teacher may have for testing students. In this Advanced Placement class, each test will give me a means of assessing your progress in the class, give me a basis for assigning you a grade in the class, give you feedback on how well you are acquiring the material, and prepare you for the actual AP Physics test.
Chapter tests will be administered approximately every 1-3 weeks, covering 1-3 chapters' worth of material. Most tests will be worth 100 points and consist of two parts: 10-15 short multiple-choice questions based on concepts and 2-4 longer free-response questions. Questions will consist mostly of questions based on the current unit of study, but necessarily include topics from previous units. Both multiple-choice and free-response questions may include selections taken from actual AP tests.
Preparation for taking a chapter test may include:
Students who show up to school on a test day are expected to take the test that day. In the event that you miss a test due to an excused absence, you must make up the test the first day you return to class.
Assignments are due on the assigned date—late work is typically not accepted. If you have an excused absence on the day an assignment is due, the work is due on the day you return to class, including test makeups, lab reports, and projects. For unexcused absences and tardies, you may not make up missed work. While many students are accustomed to turning in late work, timely evaluation of your work requires that assignments be turned in on time. Please do whatever is necessary to ensure that your work is turned in on the day it is due.
The AP Test
The Advanced Placement Test in Physics will be given on Monday, May 12, 2014, and actually consists of two separate hour-and-a-half sections, one on Mechanics, and one on Electricity and Magnetism (EM). Each of these sections in turn consists of two parts, a multiple-choice and a free response section. The multiple-choice section of each AP Physics C exam consists of 35 questions which must be answered in 45 minutes without the use of calculators or formula "cheat sheets". The free-response section of both AP Physics C exams consists of three "free response" questions, each worth 15 points. For these three questions only, you may use a calculator and the formula sheet provided with the test. We will spend a considerable amount of time in class preparing and practicing for these tests.
Based on the results of your AP examination, your university may grant credit and/or advanced placement in your college program. All students, whether they receive university credit or not, will find themselves better prepared for serious academic work at the university level as a result of taking this class.
The class website, at http://nucgirlphysics.weebly.com/index.html , will be a valuable source of info throughout the school year. Here, you'll be able to:
In addition to assisting students with learning material, teachers are often responsible for assessing their progress. In order to do this, students may be given a number of different types of assignments: homework, quizzes, tests, in-class activities, laboratory experiments to conduct, research papers, individual and group projects, presentations, etc.
It is understood that for some of these assignments, students may collaborate with one another. Four lab partners may perform an experiment as a group and share data. A student team may design and present a project together. Students might consult each other to find out how to solve a homework problem. In these cases, collaboration is accepted and even encouraged.
However, in other cases, the teacher desires an individual assessment of the student, ie. an answer to the question: "How much progress has the student made in mastering the material?" These assessments, usually in the form of quizzes and tests, are to be performed without assistance from any other sources or students.
There are many ways that a student may cheat, but they all fall into one of three categories:
The penalties for cheating vary, depending on the institution, the department, the teacher, and the nature of the infraction. Commonly, a student caught cheating will receive a failing grade on the assignment and be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension and a letter being placed in the student's file. A friend of mine who is a professor states that at her university, there are a total of ten disciplinary actions possible in response to cheating, including: "expulsion, suspension (withdrawal from the University for a given period of time), mark reduction on the assignment or exam, reduction in the final course grade, a grade of F in the course, conduct probation, written reprimand, suspension of any degree already awarded, rescinding any degree already awarded."
An extended discussion of the ethics of cheating is beyond the scope of this note. What IS important to understand is that any form of academic dishonesty, at any level, is taken very seriously by ALL academic institutions. Cheating places your grade at risk and jeopardizes your academic career. And it's just plain wrong.
Don't do it.
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS AND CONSEQUENCES AT WHITE STATION
If you fail to meet these expectations there will be consequences for you, depending on the severity of your failure. These consequences will almost certainly include a zero on the assignment and notification of the incident to parents, principals, and the Honor Code board.
Learning to solve physics problems can be difficult and frustrating, and you are encouraged to find study partners, share phone numbers, and exchange Instant Message names and e-mail addresses early on in the course. Although we will be proceeding at a fairly rapid pace through the material, I will attempt to schedule as much time as possible in class for us to work together on solving problems. In addition, I usually schedule review sessions a day or two before each test. This is an opportunity to meet with other students in the class to study, do review problems, and go over any difficulties you are having with the material.
For additional ideas on how to get help in the course, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website.
Due to the intensive nature of this course, most students have difficulties at some point. At such times, you are strongly encouraged to contact me as soon as possible so that we can discuss your situation and figure out a way to deal with it. Likewise, parents or guardians who wish to discuss the course or who have concerns regarding their student's progress are encouraged to contact me, by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) or by phone, at 901-508-0270.
For other info on how to reach me, please see How to Contact Ms. Cornell.