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Aug 28 - Sep 1

documents and details

  • Syllabus
  • Lab Safety Contract (we will not be handling chemicals and seldom work with glassware)
  • Both you and a parent should read the syllabus and safety contract, then acknowledge that you have done so by completing this form within the first three days of school

  • Read and complete exercises in Chapter 1: An Introduction to Physics
  • Primary objective: study a mathematical model for average speed; define a vector (with its two representations) and the Cartesian coordinate system; discuss distance and displacement
  • See homework in Calendar above. Note: HW is posted on the date it is due! Not the date it is assigned.

Sep 5 - Sep 8

documents and details

  • 2nd pd: complete the Reading Guide for Chapter 1 by Tuesday's class
  • 2nd pd: Quiz on Thursday over Chapter 1 and Section 0.3 of Chapter 2
  • B day: complete the Reading Guide for Chapter 1 by Friday's class

  • Read and complete exercises in Chapter 2: Kinematics
  • Primary objective: differentiate among and calculate displacement, distance, velocity, speed, and acceleration; be able to explain the importance of a reference frame


Sep 11 - Sep 15

documents and details

  • B day: Quiz on Tuesday over Chapter 1 and Section 0.3 of Chapter 2
  • Extra Practice Problems for Chapter 1 and Section 0.3 of Chapter 2 (Acceleration)


Stop Motion Video Project


- instructions

due date: 9/27-28

Sep 18 - Sep 22

  • Begin reading Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Projectiles
  • Work on Stop Motion Video Project
  • 2nd pd: Quiz on Thursday over motion graphs (B day quiz is next Tuesday)


  • Practice matching motion to graphs with this interactive
  • Find additional instruction and help on the webpage Kinematics 2, on this website
  • Find additional practice at page 1, page 2 and page 3
  • Primary objective: create position-time and velocity-time graphs from data; gain comfort "reading" graphs and drawing the corresponding velocity-time graph for any given position-time graph


Watch this excellent video on vectors by 3Blue1Brown.

go to current week

Watch this interesting explanation of vectors by Edward Frenkel in an episode of Numberphile.

data for 5th section of portfolio

sample portfolio page

helpful hints

Sep 25 - Sep 29

documents and details

  • Work on Stop Motion Video Project
  • B day: Quiz on Tuesday over motion graphs
  • Unit 1 Test on Friday/Monday(the 2nd)
  • Absent Wednesday or Thursday? Read this webpage before the test!
  • Unit 1 Test Review   (Answer Key)
  • Primary objective: create position-time and velocity-time graphs from data; add trend lines and properly interpret those trend lines as motion models; complete the Stop Motion Video Project


submit your video here

(don't share it... copy and paste it)

or submit a YouTube link here


  • ​​Primary objective: collect position-time data from a video of a moving object, graph that data, add trend lines, and interpret the trend lines to obtain high-level information about the object


Oct 2 - Oct 6

documents and details

Parabolas in the NFL: the physics of a football punt

Oct 10 - Oct 13

  • Complete Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Projectiles
  • Projectile Motion Practice Problems (with answers)
  • Thursday: B day: use Logger Pro to determine the acceleration of the "angry" bird in this video clip (set the scale so that the bird is 0.25 m tall), showing your work in your notebook; then read Chapter 4, section 0.5, in your booklet and do the following practice problems (pages 18-21); take home and complete the Conceptual Questions (linked at right but also available in class)
  • Find helpful instructional videos here. (See Chapter 3.) This "video book" is sponsored by the Texas Education Agency.
  • Primary objective: track the position and velocity of projectiles
  • Investigation of projectile motion (using a PhET simulation)
  • Discuss relative motion
  • Review for test quizzes (answer key) Note: There was a typo on the Review. The formula for initial velocity had the sine and cosine switched. The Review posted here has been corrected.
  • Kahoot review (in which free fall acceleration = -10 m/s/s)

  • Primary objective: track the position and velocity of projectiles; discuss relative motion

Oct 16 - Oct 20

documents and details

documents and details

  • Unit 2 Test Quizzes
  • Introduction to forces; begin reading Chapter 5: Laws of Nature and Forces 
  • Newton's Second Law Lab
  • Incorporate Newton's 2nd Law into our Motion Analysis (answer key)
  • Use Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation

  • Primary objective: discuss the concept of inertia and the significance of Newton's Second Law of Motion, relating force and acceleration; use Newton's model for calculating gravity

Oct 23 - Oct 27

documents and details

What is science supposed to do? What is it for? Does science bring truth? The answers to these questions changed dramatically in the 17th century.

  • Quiz on Newton's 2nd Law of Motion and his Law of Gravity
  • Tuesday (2nd period): following the quiz, complete this simulation-based lab (link to the simulation); your homework is to complete this lab (if necessary) and to finish reading Chapter 5; I'll collect and grade the lab
  • Introduction to Egg Drop Project - the writing assignment
  • Calculating Force and Acceleration Worksheet (the one with the little drawings)


  • Primary objective: differentiate between mass and weight; find means of working out the electromagnetic forces on an object

Oct 30 - Nov 3

documents and details

Did you know?


The mass of an object is a measure of its reluctance to change motion – the extent to which it impedes acceleration.


  • Primary objective: draw free body diagrams and find the unknown forces on various objects, including objects being pushed at an angle, objects on inclines, and objects in static equilibrium; differentiate between actual and apparent weight

Nov 6 - Nov 10

You Can't Touch Anything

documents and details

  • Enroll in this Physics PreAP class on Turnitin. Class ID's are as follows: 2nd pd - 16736926, 6th pd - 16736930, 7th pd - 16736935, 8th pd - 16736943. Get the password in class.


  • Primary objective: discuss Newton's 3rd Law of motion; review for the unit test

Nov 13 - Nov 17

documents and details

  • Primary objective: model how forces must act on an object to cause circular motion; define centripetal force and acceleration; equate centripetal force with gravity in a discussion of satellite motion

Nov 27 - Dec 1

documents and details

Log into for feedback on your Egg Drop paper.

  • Primary objective: practice proportional reasoning, then review for the unit quiz

Dec 4 - Dec 8

documents and details

  • Midterm Review
  • Explore kinematics and forces with Algodoo. [Install Algodoo from the Software Center on your school-issued laptop.]
    • Lesson 1 (Friction)
    • Lesson 2 (also Friction)
    • Lesson 3 (try to make a car with the back wheel acting as motor; create a course for it to drive across OR play Bumpkin's Dippy Gravity Golf, available in the Algobox)

  • Primary objective: review for the midterm; begin taking the midterm

Dec 11 - Dec 15

From Newton to Einstein: Our Changing Perception of Gravity


Warning: Somewhat advanced but insanely interesting.

Understanding Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces


Warning: One of these forces is fictitious!

Vsauce: All about spinning


Great illustrations and explanations of centripetal forces. Bonus: An explanation of gyroscopes and the Coriolis effect.

documents and details

  • Midterms (periods 2 and 6)

Dec 18 - Dec 19

  • Essays are due on
  • Explore the definitions of and relationship between kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy
  • Energy Skate Park Lab

  • Primary objective: loosely define energy, carefully define two types of energy: kinetic and gravitational potential energy, and introduce the Law of Energy Conservation

Jan 4 - Jan 5

documents and details

  • Primary objective: practice calculating kinetic energy, gravitational energy, work, and related quantities;  define and calculate power

Jan 8 - Jan 12

documents and details

Find an explanation of Elastic Potential Energy here. Elastic Potential Energy is the energy stored in a compressed or stretched spring.

  • Energy Quiz (Thurs: B day)
  • Thermodynamics PowerPoint

  • Primary objective: A-day -- define heat and internal energy and practice calculations using heat capacity, followed by a class discussion of entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics; B-day -- take the energy quiz and discuss power

Jan 17 - Jan 19

documents and details

submit your video here

(don't share it... copy and paste it)

  • Primary objective: B-day -- define heat and internal energy and practice calculations using heat capacity, followed by a class discussion of entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics; A-day -- review for the unit test

Jan 22 - Jan 26

documents and details

  • Primary objective: define momentum and impulse and use the conservation of momentum to mathematically analyze collisions

Jan 29 - Feb 2

documents and details

  • Primary objective: review momentum conservation and impulse, then take the end-of-unit quiz

Feb 5 - Feb 9

documents and details

  • Primary objective: define static electricity and calculate the electrostatic force of attraction/repulsion between charged particles; build simple electrical circuits and analyze their features

Feb 12 - Feb 16

documents and details

  • Primary objective: use Ohm's Law and Kirchhoff's Laws to solve circuit problems; discuss electromagnetic induction

Feb 20 - Feb 23

documents and details

New Scientist Reader Question
  • Read about electricity generation and distribution
  • Magnetism PowerPoint
  • Project Work Time

  • Primary objective: build series, parallel and combination circuits, as part of a project; measure current and voltage within your circuits; calculate resistance and power in your circuits

Feb 26 - Mar 2

documents and details

Oxygen is magnetic?!

Need help solving circuit problems?

(I do a combination circuit at 19:00.)

View an illustration of Electromagnetic Induction here and also here.

  • Practice calculating total resistance (and other stuff) for combination circuits (and the key) - NEW!!
  • Project Work Time - the project is due Thursday (B day) and Friday (A day); the actual presentation of the project and one-on-one interviews will take place Monday and Tuesday after Spring Break
  • Test Review (omit #10 & #18); simple Quizzizz Review; less-simple Kahoot! Review
  • Unit Test (on Electricity and Magnetism)

  • Primary objective: complete the ElectricArt project and take the unit test

Mar 5 - Mar 9

documents and details

  • Primary objective: define the major characteristics of transverse and longitudinal waves; discuss the "purpose" of waves, in terms of energy transport

Mar 19 - Mar 23

documents and details

Check out these great overviews of Simple Harmonic Motion!


And discover Hooke's Law using this simulation of a spring.

  • Discussion of sound waves, wave interference, beats, the Doppler effect, and resonance
  • The Physics of Musical Instruments (chapter from How Everything Works: Making Physics out of the Ordinary, by Louis Bloomfield)

  • Primary objective: discuss the nature of sound waves and the phenomena of beats, harmonics and the Doppler Effect

Mar 26 - Mar 29

documents and details

Find excellent visualizations of wave motion here.


And here is an overview of some basic properties of sound: pitch, loudness, & timbre

Vsauce: Will we ever run out of new music?

  • Primary objective: review for and take a test on simple harmonic motion and waves

Apr 2 - Apr 6

documents and details

  • Primary objective: discuss the origin of electromagnetic waves, their form, their speed, and how their frequency affects how they can be used and whether they're harmful to humans; discuss polarization and how 3D movie glasses work; discuss specular and diffuse reflection of EM waves; discuss refraction (Snell's Law)

Apr 9 - Apr 13

documents and details

Old army video on the workings of AM and FM radio.

  • Primary objective: discuss how converging and diverging lenses work and practice drawing ray diagrams of light passing through lenses; 2nd period will discuss dispersion, as well

Apr 16 - Apr 20

documents and details

  • PowerPoint slides on the Human Eye and Lenses in general
  • interesting pictures of a dissected cow's eye
  • quiz review
  • quiz over reflection, refraction and lenses; on Thurs/Fri

  • Primary objective: review converging and diverging lenses and discuss the workings of the human eye; B-day classes will discuss dispersion, as well

Apr 23 - Apr 27

documents and details

  • test review (the answer key)
  • B-day: bring a full-size Pringles can to class on Wednesday
  • Unit Test, on Thurs/Fri

  • Primary objective: discuss the fascinating phenomenon of color; construct pinhole cameras; take a test over electromagnetic waves: how they're made, how they travel, how they reflect and how they refract

Apr 30 - May 4

documents and details

  • Primary objective: research the pros and cons of the different types of power plants; as part of a team, defend the construction of a particular type of plant

May 7 - May 11

documents and details

  • Primary objective: model an electron within an atom and discuss how its motion determines atomic emission and absorption spectra; define a photon and discuss the photoelectric effect; continue working on the Power Plant Project

May 14 - May 18

documents and details

I've shifted the dates around, so take note: The power plant debates will be Tues/Wed May 29/30. (The annotated bibliography will be due May 28 at midnight, through Turnitin.) The quiz will be the following class period, May 31/June 1.
  • Fusion, Fission and Ionizing radiation - PowerPoint
  • Find a review for this final unit here (courtesy of Mrs. Pickle)

  • Primary objective: define fusion, fission and three types of radiation that are emitted from atomic nuclei: called alpha, beta and gamma radiation

May 21 - May 24

documents and details

  • Primary objective: debate the merits of 6 types of power plants; take a quiz over topics in modern physics

May 29 - Jun 1

documents and details

  • Final Exams

  • Have a great summer!

Jun 4 - Jun 8

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