"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."  - Albert Einstein

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Governor's School Physics

Governor’s School Physics Outline
Instructor:  Mr. Jeff Steele (jsteele@cvgs.k12.va.us)
Textbook: College Physics available for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11406/1.7 by Rice University. Openstax College, College Physics. OpenStax College. 21 June 2017. <http://cnx.org/content/col11406/latest/>
Course Description
CVGS Physics is a college-level introduction using vector analysis and basic calculus to study the particle and wave nature of matter and energy and their interactions.  The topics are introduced conceptually with a steady progression to precise definitions and analytical applications.  Problem-solving strategies have a logical structure and are reinforced through examples and homework sets.  This course also emphasizes laboratory experiences and the use of technology.  Concepts are explored and applied through hands-on activities and in a computer-based laboratory through investigations requiring data collection and analysis or use of models and computer simulations that show interdisciplinary relationships. Development of problem-solving, analytical thinking, laboratory techniques, and communication is also stressed. The student receives one high school credit for this course. 
Instructional Methods
The inquiry-based and student-designed experiences in the physics laboratory encourage students to conduct their own investigations and perform many hands-on and computer-based labs in small groups. Several labs (approximately 12 each semester) utilize computer-interfaced sensors with data collection and analysis tools. Through direct instruction, students learn principles and apply the equations and concepts to new problem sets. The relationship between physics and other sciences, mathematics, and technology is emphasized throughout the course. 
Curriculum Topics
1st Semester
I. Kinematics – Vectors, Linear Acceleration, Graphs, Falling Objects
II. Two Dimension Kinematics – Vector Addition/Subtraction, Projectile Motion
III. Dynamics – Newton’s Laws, Forces, Acceleration, Friction, Pulleys
IV. Uniform Circular Motion and Gravitation – Centripetal Force, Orbits, Satellites
V. Work and Energy – Kinetic and Potential Energy, Conservation, Work and Power
VI. Linear Momentum and Collisions – Momentum, Force, Impulse, Elastic / Inelastic
VII. Statics and Rotational Motion – Torque, Force, Angular Momentum
2nd Semester
VIII. Oscillatory Motion and Waves – Hooke, Frequency, SHM, Pendulum, Sound
IX. Electric Charge and Electric Field – Static Charge, Coulomb’s Law, Fields and Force
X. Electric Potential and Electric Field – Energy, Potentials, Work, Equipotential
XI. Electric Current, Resistance, and Ohm’s Law – Current, Power, Energy, Charge
XII. Circuits – Resistor and Capacitors in series and parallel, power, current, voltage
Grades are determined by the total earned points divided by the possible points (total point system). Tests are worth 100 points and each lab is 20 – 50 points depending on the length of the assignment.  Other grades include homework, classwork, and projects. Letter grades are assigned based on the following: 
90% - 100% A
80% - 89%   B
70% - 79%   C
60% - 69%   D
< 60%          F
Since students are learning physics through active participation in the class activities, attendance is an extremely important factor in determining success. Students must be in class on time to utilize maximum instructional time. 
Students are responsible for making up any work missed during an absence.  If the absence is for only one day, then any work due on the day the students was absent is due at the beginning of class the day the student return to school.  For example, if absent on the day of a test, then the student is expected to make up the test the next day.  For longer absences, make arrangements with the instructor for catching up missed work. This also includes lab work. Long term assignments are due as scheduled.  For any pre-arranged absences, students are expected to turn work in on time or the day before the absence. 
Honor Code
Students are required to pledge all work according to the CVGS Honor Code found in the CVGS Student Handbook.