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Pre-AP Physics (2018-2019)

Video Analysis with Logger Pro


Don't change the frame rate in Logger Pro. Ignore that one part of the video!
Newton's Third Law
This photo was taken by me from a rare 1729 edition of Isaac Newton's famous The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. This was the first edition of the book to be printed in English, based on a translation by Andrew Motte. Newton first published the book in 1687, in Latin. He died in 1727, just before the English translation was released.
Force and Position Graphs
Illustrating an impulse.
Gain confidence in "reading" position, velocity and acceleration graphs using this interactive tool.

What is a force?

What forces are acting on you?
A booklet of all of your Newton's Laws comic strips. (Warning: Large file!)
Egg Drop Project 2017






-Introduction to class; introduction to science as finding "the rules of the game"




-Constant velocity lab

-Constant velocity worksheet

-Homework: Make sure Logger Pro is installed on your laptop (Instructions for BYOT devices);

complete constant velocity worksheet




-notes on constant velocity

-Graph Match lab




-Graph practice




-Quiz on constant velocity motion, including the interpretation of position and velocity graphs

-Collision lab; an introduction to momentum and impulse




-notes and practice problems on momentum conservation

-Homework: finish any remaining momentum problems on the half-sheet (key); install Logger Pro on your laptop




-momentum conservation lab - (here's an example of how to set up your data table)

*the data table can look different, but it needs to hold the same information

-introduction of constant velocity / momentum project

-extra practice problems (if you want more practice before the quiz)

-Homework - complete the momentum conservation lab; you'll turn it in; also video an object moving

with constant velocity and bring the video to class (3 or 4 seconds is good)




-Quiz on momentum and impulse

-work on project (updated with info on Part 2)




-work on project

-review for test (key)

-Homework - complete the test review and project




-Unit Test

-the project is due through by the start of class




-begin Unit 2: Forces, Inertia, and Acceleration

-identify the cause of an impulse; differentiate between a "good" impulse and a "bad" impulse (from the perspective of a crash participant!)

-Homework - complete the handout of "Ranking Task Exercises"




-relate conservation of momentum to Newton's 3rd Law (click on the photo below)

-discover the various types of forces that operate in our world (follow this guide and answer questions in your class notebook; you'll need a computer)










-represent the force(s) on an object with a "free-body" diagram; use a free-body diagram and Ft=m∆v to solve for the ∆v of an object

-discuss Newton's 1st Law (of Motion) and the concept of inertia

-Homework - complete all handouts; review for the quiz (handout #3)




-quiz over Ft=m∆v, momentum conservation, Newton's 1st and 3rd Laws, and free-body diagrams

-practice creating free-body diagrams

-read this webpage about Newton's 2nd Law of Motion

-watch and interact with this simulation demonstrating Newton's 2nd Law (worksheet) -- you can sign in using your school Google account; you may also be able to open the simulation without signing in by opening the simulation from this page

-Homework - complete all three web-based activities above, including the attached worksheet




-complete an online investigation of Newton's 2nd Law -- complete this at home

-differentiate between mass and weight

-Homework - draw a comic strip that illustrates each of Newton's 3 Laws of Motion; each of the laws should be clearly identified within the comic; draw it on a sheet of standard 8.5x11 paper, landscape-mode; it should take up most of the page; color it and put your name on it (and please make it fun or interesting!) -- other people will see your comic, so make something you are proud to show off - DUE: first class after weekend

-Do you have questions about Newton's 3 Laws? This online book provides a good explanation. And so does this website.  [Connecting the First and Second Laws.]

















-practice calculating the total force upon and acceleration of various objects

-use trigonometry to incorporate forces that are not aligned with our x and y axes




-calculate the acceleration of an object with unbalanced forces, including angled forces (key)

-discuss how to calculate the friction force (notes on friction; just read the first page)

-use this simulation to explore static and kinetic friction (access here, if needed; it's the first Interactive)




-quiz over using free-body diagrams and F=ma to work out the acceleration of a body or to work out unknown forces

-homework - complete this packet of problems (solve for all forces and find acceleration) - (answer key)




-test Newton's Second Law in the laboratory (lab instructions); we'll finish this next class




-finish the Second Law lab

-calculate the acceleration of a box sliding down a hill

-assignment of Egg Drop Project (due Oct 31 or Nov 1)

-homework - 1st pd only - complete #1-3 on this worksheet 

(Incline Practice)




-practice drawing free-body diagrams and solving for acceleration;

check out this review of motion on an incline

-distinguish between actual and apparent weight; try this simulation:

Do you weigh less in a descending elevator? (also accessible





-derive the "kinematic equations" for tracking accelerated motion

-homework - complete the handout (the "challenge problems" are not required but are encouraged); start work on the egg drop project (begin working on design; buy materials)

-handout answer key




-draw and analyze position and velocity graphs that illustrate accelerated motion (key)

-homework - finish the graph worksheet; study for the quiz; here is the answer key for the worksheet with inclines and elevators




-quiz over a box on a hill, apparent weight, and the kinematic (motion) equations

-practice interpreting motion graphs (help sheet); check out the big green box below; find a tutorial here and here









-quiz over graphs for accelerated motion




-Egg Drop Project is due (turn in the paper through;

-1st pd: discussion of relative motion; review for test (answer key for test review)

-7th pd: we'll drop our eggs today!




-1st pd: we'll drop our eggs today!

-7th pd: review for the unit test




-unit test




-Ball Toss Lab: measure the acceleration of a freely falling object

-review the CBA (district pop quiz)




-discuss a way to track freely-falling objects (worksheet)




-model horizontally-launched projectiles (worksheet)






-track a launched projectile and determine its launch velocity (3-question worksheet with answers)




-quiz over freely-falling objects and horizontally-launched projectiles

-PhET projectile motion simulation (instructions)




-practice solving problems for projectiles launched at an angle (answer key)




-Angry Birds video analysis lab

-projectiles nTIPERs

-homework - complete both

assignments; study for quiz




-Kahoot review

-quiz over projectiles launched at an angle




-projectiles lab

-test review (answer key)

-homework - complete the test review




-unit test on projectiles




-review for midterm (these are the unit reviews, combined)


12/19:  7th pd midterm

12/20:  1st pd midterm





-begin unit on Work, Energy and Power

-work and power worksheet




-Energy Skate Park online lab




-derive the Work-Energy Theorem and solve problems using the Law of Energy Conservation (notes/worksheet)

-homework - do 12 of 30 practice problems (answer key; uses g=9.8 instead of 10 ... sorry)




-quiz on work, power and the work-energy theorem

-power mini-lab




-worked-out sample problems

-practice solving energy conservation problems



Well ... maybe energy isn't conserved.




-discuss thermal energy and specific heat capacity (PowerPoint)

-heat capacity worksheet (do #1-5)




-test review (answer key)

-free time to work on mousetrap car project




-unit test




-Mousetrap-Powered Cars and Essays are due (submit essays through

-Slinky Lab (on the nature of waves)




-discuss properties of a wave (PhET simulation) - Google form

-notes packet (extended version)




-discuss Hooke's Law and elastic potential energy

-Homework - complete worksheet (excluding parts on interference and the difference between

mechanical and electromagnetic waves, which we haven't yet covered) [answer key]




-quiz over waves and spring stuff (Hooke's Law and elastic PE)

-discuss wave interference (worksheet) and standing waves


















-self-paced online investigation of sound (including resonance and the Doppler effect)

video links - Google form for answering questions




-discussion of simple harmonic motion (handouts) - partial answer key




-circular motion (worksheet)

-complete this class survey, please!

-Homework - complete centripetal force worksheet




-watch this video on Newton's law of gravity

-watch this video on satellite motion

-complete this worksheet - key

-do this space elevator assignment




-review of Newton's law of gravity

-quiz over SHM, circular motion and gravity




-review sound-related topics, pendulums, and prepare for the test

-Unit 5 Test Review (Unit 5 Test Review KEY)

-homework - complete the test review




-Unit Test








-begin new unit on Electricity and Magnetism; introductory lab on electrostatics and discussion of Coulomb's law

-homework - read and do the problems on pages 2-5 in your yellow booklet




-review Coulomb's law

-investigating circuits lab




-quiz over Coulomb's Law and the attraction between a charged object and a polarized one

-Van de Graaff generator


Spring Break      Spring Break       Spring Break       Spring Break       Spring Break




-notes on electrical circuits (series and parallel), with a focus on voltage (Kirchhoff's Law of Voltages)

-introduction to Circuits Project   [project overview]

-homework - read pp. 6-20 in your yellow booklet




-notes on electrical circuits, with a focus on current (Kirchhoff's Law of Currents)

-homework - come prepared to work on the project next class; bring batteries (at least 2 AA and 2 9V)




-work on the Circuits Project




-practice analyzing series and parallel circuits (key to in-class practice)

-work on the Circuits Project




-quiz over circuits

-notes on combination circuits

-homework - do pages 31 and 32 in the yellow booklet




-work on the Circuits Project

-extra practice analyzing combination circuits

-homework - do the extra practice (linked above)




-notes on magnetism

-PhET electromagnetism lab





-review for the test; official test review (answer key)

-there might be time to work on the Circuits Project

-homework - complete the test review




-unit test

-you will choose a consumer product that uses an electromagnet for "part 2" of the Circuits Project: Electromagnetism in the Real World; this portion of the project involves independent research on your product and the creation of a "digital display"; it, too, will be due 4/24-4/25

-list of students and their chosen products (1st pd) (7th pd)




-work on the Circuits Project (ideally, you'll be done with the circuits and using today to work on the Electromagnetism part of the project)

-use this form to submit your digital display link by Tuesday night for A day and Wednesday night for B day




-the Circuits Project is due; interviews will be conducted during class

-each student should review the Electromagnetism digital display of

one classmate and fill out this form; review the student that is two lines below

you on the list -->

-locate your classmate's digital display here (1st pd) and here (7th pd)

-after reviewing your classmate's digital display, please view this powerpoint on

electromagnetic waves and complete this related notes sheet




-we begin out last unit of the year: Optics, Light and Modern Physics

-EM wave simulation; polarization simulation

-lecture on EM waves, polarization, and reflection [PowerPoint added]




- discussion of refraction; refraction simulation

refraction PhET lab




-review refraction and discuss total internal reflection and the critical angle

-homework - do pages 1-8 in the Light, Refraction and Lenses packet




-review homework and trace light rays through converging lenses; lens simulation

-homework - complete pages 11 and 12 in the packet




-more ray tracing with lenses, with some math thrown in (using the Lens Equation); another cool simulation




-quiz on EM waves, polarization, reflection and refraction

-homework - complete this worksheet on separate paper

-answer key for worksheet on refraction




1st pd: atomic spectra and ionizing radiation (worksheet)




1st pd: fusion, fission and E=mc2; the photoelectric effect

7th pd: atomic spectra and ionizing radiation (worksheet)

-PowerPoint on radiation, fusion and fission




7th pd: fusion, fission and E=mc2; the photoelectric effect

-video explaining photoelectric effect

-review for the quiz (key)

-homework - complete review




-final quiz of the year, over EM waves, reflection, refraction, optics and topics in modern physics




-Final Review (and key)


5/29 :   Final exam (1st pd)

5/30:   Final exam (7th pd)


Have a great summer!

Click on the video to download it.

Mousetrap-powered car



Due Jan 31 (A)/Feb 1 (B)


Project Details


(video help)

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

  • Read about electricity generation and distribution!
  • View an illustration of Electromagnetic Induction here and also here.
Humanity's first photo of a black hole was released to the public on April 10, 2019. The image was captured by a collection of radio telescopes, scattered across the Earth. The data they collected took about two years of processing, resulting in this blurry yet magnificent image!

Spectroscopy is the branch of science concerned with the investigation and measurement of spectra produced when matter interacts with or emits EM radiation.


Astronomers are interested in the spectra of stars, as it allows them to determine the chemical composition of those stars. But other scientists also use spectra. Biochemists, for example, sometimes study the absorption spectra of compounds that are exposed to UV, visible and IR radiation.


Here is a bit about UV and visible spectroscopy from an Organic Chemistry textbook. It's complicated, but it shows you that certain phenomena are important in multiple branches of science.