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Physics education on the move

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Differences Between AP Physics B and AP Physics 1 & 2

<p>Beginning this year, the <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.collegeboard.org/">College Board</a> will be replacing their <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_information/2007.html">AP Physics B</a> algebra-based physics course with two separate algebra-based physics courses, titled <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/2262.html">AP Physics 1</a> and <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/225113.html">AP Physics 2</a>. The two calculus-based courses, <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/2264.html">AP Physics C: Mechanics</a> and <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/2263.html">AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism</a>, will remain the same.</p> <h3>Why the Change?</h3> <p>So <img style="float: right;" title="professor_of_physics_hg_clr.gif" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/professor_of_physics_hg_clr.gif" alt="Professor of physics hg clr" width="312" height="312" border="0" />what does this change entail, and why has this change been undertaken? A study by the <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.nationalacademies.org/nrc/">National Research Council</a> concluded that the AP Physics B course “encourages cursory treatment of very important topics in physics rather than a deeper understanding,” according to the <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_information/225589.html">College Board’s FAQ</a>, and that students’ study of mechanics should include rotational dynamics and angular momentum, which are not part of the AP Physics B curriculum. The NRC recommended teaching the course over two years to emphasize inquiry-based instruction and deeper understandings. The College Board agreed.</p> <h3>What’s Involved?</h3> <p>The new AP Physics 1 course is targeted as equivalent to a one-semester college course in algebra-based physics, though the selection of topics for the course includes some irregularities compared to a standard introductory college physics course. Topics included in AP Physics 1 include kinematics; dynamics; momentum; work, energy, and power; rotation; oscillations; gravity; mechanical waves; and basic electric circuits. Most of these are topics that were previously on the AP-B exam, though the inclusion of rotation and angular momentum are new topics. Further, the emphasis on mechanics in an introductory college course is standard, but the inclusion of electric circuits is rather irregular. According to a committee member involved in the redesign of the course, the inclusion of circuits was forced into the new course to meet the needs of end-of-year state assessments for several large states, and was not originally part of the redesign plans.</p> <p>The new AP Physics 2 course is intended as an equivalent to a second-semester college course, covering fluid mechanics, thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and atomic / modern physics. Most of these topics were included in the previous AP-B course, though the modern physics portion of the course includes several new sub-topics.</p> <h3>A New Paradigm</h3> <p>Considerably more dramatic than just shifts in content, however, is the overall organization of the course. The new AP–1 and AP–2 courses are organized around seven “big ideas” in physics, coupled with an extensive list of essential knowledge (EK) and learning objectives (LOs) details what students should know and be able to do. Although these EKs and LOs are numerous, they are also quite vague in terms of how “deeply” students are expected to know a topic. As an example, several learning objectives discuss an understanding of springs in various contexts, but whether that also includes combinations of springs is left significantly vague. In the thermal physics arena, heat engines are not specifically covered, but students are expected to understand energy transfer in thermodynamic systems (which could be tested in the context of a heat engine). If it sounds a bit vague, I can’t disagree. Teachers across the country are also struggling to interpret the documentation about the new exams.</p> <p><img style="float: right;" title="tourist_map_confusion_hg_clr.gif" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/tourist_map_confusion_hg_clr.gif" alt="Tourist map confusion hg clr" width="243" height="312" border="0" /></p> <p>Also of interest is the focus on science practices. In addition to the 7 big ideas, the College Board has also identified <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/2012advances/11b_4615_AP_Physics_CF_WEB_120910.pdf">7 science practices</a> that are essential for success. These practices are broken down in detail, with course activities designed to verify students can “use mathematics appropriately” and “plan and implement data collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question,” for example. My detailed breakdown of the course curriculum frameworks can be found on the <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.aplusphysics.com/educators/AP1Outline.html/index.html">AP1 Roadmap</a> and <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.aplusphysics.com/educators/AP2Outline.html/index.html">AP2 Roadmap</a> documents.</p> <p>Ultimately, the goal of these changes is to provide an opportunity for students to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying foundational concepts in physics as well as the skills and practices necessary to treat physics as a science activity instead of a body of knowledge, better preparing students for success in further coursework as well as careers in science and engineering.</p> <h3>A New Exam</h3> <p>In late spring / early summer, the College Board released a secured practice exam to certified AP Physics teachers to better prepare for the new AP–1 and AP–2 exams. The change in style of the exam is quite significant. Questions place a strong emphasis on relational and conceptual problem solving, as well as application of the science practices, coupled with a significant decrease in “math-only” quantitative solutions. The new exam also emphasizes symbolic manipulation, analyzing situations from multiple perspectives, designing experiments, justification of answers, and scientific argumentation.</p> <p>Many of these changes are directly in line with the <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://modeling.asu.edu/modeling-HS.html">Modeling Physics</a> method of instruction, which emphasizes ongoing guided inquiry while maintaining consistency in approach and building upon previously-developed models throughout the course, a method strongly recommended by current <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.compadre.org/per/">Physics Education Research</a>.</p> <p>Although the changes to the courses are numerous, the general message to teachers and students is consistently clear: physics is something you do, not something you know. Success in the new AP–1 and AP–2 courses requires a multi-faceted approach to learning which includes hands-on inquiry and exploration activities, mastery of content and problem-solving principles, and the ability to reason, argue, and justify scientifically.</p> <h3>How To Succeed</h3> <p>So then how do students succeed in this brave new world? I would humbly recommend a learning plan which includes an ongoing cycle of exploration, refinement, and application. As students work through each unit/topic/model, begin with an opportunity to active explore the model, determine what is known, what is unknown, and what misconceptions might exist. Follow that up with activities that allow students to refine their knowledge through the collection and analysis of data, drawing their own conclusions to discuss and debate. Finally, these conclusions and skills need to be transferred and applied to new and unique situations, allowing students to determine where these models work, and where they fall short (setting the stage for development of the next model!)</p> <h3>Supplemental Resources</h3> <p>It sounds daunting, but there are tons of great resources available to help students succeed in these endeavors. Besides reading the textbook, a skill which is difficult to master yet extremely valuable, a review of the key material distilled down into a clean easy-to-understand format can be invaluable. I have been teaching online courses with the use of video since 2003, so please let me be clear, I absolutely do <strong>not</strong> believe in passive instruction by video. A little bit of me dies inside everytime I read about classes in which students are placed in front of a computer as the sole means of instruction. Besides being ineffective, how boring! Physics is supposed to be fun, and I have trouble imagining how students can make it through such lonely, soulless courses.</p> <p><img style="float: right;" title="image.jpeg" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/image.jpeg" alt="Image" width="300" height="225" border="0" /></p> <p>I do, however, believe that supplemental on-demand video lessons taught by strong instructors such as those at <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://educator.com/">Educator.com</a> and my AP Physics Series at <a href="http://aplusphysics.com">APlusPhysics.com</a> can do wonders for cementing the foundational concepts and demonstrating application of these foundational concepts to problem solving, especially in the refinement and application stages of instruction. Undertaking learning through inquiry and modeling can be messy and confusing. Having an online instructor there to assist in cleaning things up or explaining things in a different manner or from an alternate perspective can make a world of difference.</p> <p>Further, review books such as <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://aplusphysics.com/ap1">AP Physics 1 Essentials</a> are designed to assist in these stages of learning, not as a replacement for the oh-so-valuable active learning experiences, but rather as an easily accessible means of solidifying the basic relationships and concepts. I wrote <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://aplusphysics.com/ap1">AP1 Essentials</a> to help students understand essential physical relationships in a manner that is straightforward and easy-to-read, leaving development of in-depth problem solving and lab work for the classroom, where they are most effective. A review book can’t help a student if it’s so complex the student won’t read it. Instead, the goal for this book was to create a resource that students would actually read and enjoy, and help them along their path to a deeper conceptual understanding.</p> <h3>Putting It All Together</h3> <p>There is no “one-stop shopping” or easy path to success in AP Physics 1 or AP Physics 2, and strategies that may have worked for the previous AP Physics B course may no longer be successful. Instead, these new courses are comprehensive learning experiences combining exploration, experimentation, application, and communication skills. Only by putting in the effort and struggling through the frustrations will students find their way to mastery of the course. But they don’t have to go it alone – these courses are designed around collaboration and teamwork, and there are great supplemental resources to help out as well.</p> <p><img style="float: right;" title="APlusPhysics_Logo_HDef.png" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/APlusPhysics_Logo_HDef.png" alt="APlusPhysics Logo HDef" width="200" height="142" border="0" /><em>About the Author – <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://danfullerton.com/">Dan Fullerton</a> is a physics instructor at <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.westirondequoit.org/ihs/">Irondequoit High School</a> in Rochester, NY, and an adjunct professor of <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.rit.edu/kgcoe/eme/MicroEoverview">microelectronic engineering</a> at <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://rit.edu/">Rochester Institute of Technology</a>. He was named a <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.suny.edu/masterteacher/about/">NY State Master Physics Teacher</a> in 2014. Fullerton is featured in the AP Physics C and AP Physics 1 &amp; 2 video courses on <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://educator.com/">Educator.com</a>. He is the author of AP Physics 1 Essentials and creator of the <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" href="http://aplusphysics.com/">APlusPhysics.com</a> website. Fullerton lives in Webster, NY, with his beautiful wife, two indefatigable daughters, and sleepy dog.</em></p> <!-- Start Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><!-- End Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/8kodgBUBhZc" height="1" width="1"/> <a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~3/8kodgBUBhZc/" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

AP Physics 1 Essentials — What it Is, What it Isn’t

<p>Yesterday I received a review on Amazon for the AP1 book that was, at best, scathing. Please allow me a moment to first state that the reviewer is correct in his statement that the book doesn’t contain many of the high level, conceptual, reading-intensive questions that are found on the AP1 practice exams. I agree, as that is not the book’s intent. We have college level texts all over the place that do a MUCH better job as a primary source and going into detail. They are much bigger, are much more expensive, and are backed by much larger companies. I think the reviewer, however, missed the point of the book.</p> <p>The AP1 Physics Essentials book is designed to be a guide book that students will actually read, starting from basic principles and building fundamental concepts with simple examples (many from past NY Regents Physics Exams) and then building upon those examples to intermediate level problems, which are demonstrated in detail. The goal is to allow students to build these “essentials” so that they can get a better foundation in concepts and basic applications independently (as, of course, reading is primarily an independent activity).</p> <p>The AP-1 style exam problems, however, are considerably different. They focus on considerably more complex problems, are challenging to read and interpret what is being asked, tie multiple concepts together in unique and novel applications… a style of learning that is extremely difficult to accomplish independently and passively. Research has shown again and again that this type of understanding requires active learning activities, inquiry-based labs, guided analysis, discussion, and group problem solving. All of which are impossible to accomplish within a book, which is why the AP1 book doesn’t even try. It is meant as a supplement to assist with building the foundational skills so students are better prepared for the active learning experiences which will build those skills so necessary for success in the course.</p> <p>In truth, the AP-1 book is the book I would want to use with my students. It is the book that I could send them home with to read a few pages, coupled with the video mini-lessons, so that we can use our valuable class time more productively in those active-learning experiences. It is not meant to be a textbook replacement, or a 320-page miracle for those taking the AP-1 exam without external preparation.</p> <p>I also believe that having an AP-1 style problem set would be valuable to teachers and students, as very few AP-1 style problems have been released for use in classrooms (likely because the sample exam was JUST released to instructors). Over the summer I’ll be working with other physics instructors to build up a set of public domain AP-1 style problems which we will make available to instructors and students. I can also foresee incorporating these into a future edition of the AP-1 book (perhaps as end-of-chapter problems) to provide further resources to students and instructors as we learn more about the actual AP-1 course.</p> <p>To summarize, though, I hate to see customers disappointed in APlusPhysics products, especially when the customer misses the intent of the product. I’m hoping this post clarifies the intent of the book, and I have also updated the book descriptions on Amazon and the iBooks store to call this out even more clearly and (hopefully) alleviate such potential disappointment in customers in the future.</p> <!-- Start Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><!-- End Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/AnYv4TEnN2w" height="1" width="1"/> <a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~3/AnYv4TEnN2w/" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Playstation VR In Educational Settings?

Not long ago I acquired a Playstation VR (PSVR) which I set up in my basement office, and was asked to evaluate the system for potential educational applications.  Beyond that, my scope was wide open, though I was provided the opportunity to sample a variety of games on the system to get a feel for the potential of the system.  What follows are some general ramblings and thoughts about the system. The Hardware Playstation VR Headset and Camera The tested system included a Playstation Pro console, a PSVR Launch Bundle (headset, two move controllers, camera, and appropriate cables), and external Playstation Gold headphones in place of the standard earbuds.  Included software included a Demo Disk, and Playstation VR Worlds Disk, and I utilized a store credit to try out several system games of my choosing. First Impressions Initially, I was somewhat disappointed in the resolution of the headset.  Though I had been forewarned that resolution wouldn’t be as sharp as an HD monitor, I was initially taken aback at the poor quality of the Playstation’s Main Menu rendering and the level of color aliasing I was seeing, especially in white text.  With 20/20 vision following Laser PRK corrective eye surgery nearly 20 years ago, this was a bit of a shock to the system that provided some initial disappointment.  I quickly found out, however, that this effect is especially bad in the Playstation Main Menu, and is not indicative of the system’s performance as a whole.  Further, with some time in the system, I found that placing the headset a touch lower over my nose (lower PSVR screens, higher eyes) improved sharpness considerably.  Still, though, after nearly 20 hours using the system, I would say the resolution of the system is adequate, but with substantial room for improvement in the future. From an immersion standpoint, however, I was blown away.  After about two minutes in my first simulation, the VR Worlds “Ocean Descent” program, I was having a blast descending in a shark cage through the ocean.  It’s hard to convey just how immersive it is, as I swiveled my head back and forth, leaned forward over the bars of the cage to look down, and eventually jumped through my seat when a shark ran into the cage.  Further, the resolution concern quickly evaporates in actual gameplay. From a comfort standpoint, I found the headband that holds the PSVR a bit tight, but fairly well balanced.  You don’t feel as though there is a weight on your head, and the over-the-ear headphones are a huge improvement over the included earbuds, though it is a bit of a trick to figure out how to put the PSVR headset on, followed by the earmuff-like headphones.  The cabling is a bit tricky to figure out while you are looking into the VR headset, but after a couple tries, you get a system down pretty easily.  The only lingering concern I had with the headset involved rubber nose flaps that push against the outside of your nose.  Try as I might, I couldn’t find a way to make them comfortable, and they pushed just enough on the outside of my nose that breathing was slightly impeded.  Just recently I finally decided to cut them off altogether with scissors, and am absolutely thrilled with the improvement in comfort. One of the primary concerns with VR systems is the potential for nausea / motion sickness.  VR systems are so immersive that they trick your brain into thinking it’s moving, which may be in opposition to your other senses, leading to motion sickness.  I didn’t have any trouble with the Ocean Descent demo, though the first time I tried the “London Heist” demo, also on the Playstation VR Worlds Disk, a car chase scene had me feeling a little bit ‘off.’  I never became overly ill, but I was also careful to discontinue use of the PSVR anytime I began to feel the least bit queasy.  Other activities that led to queasiness included Driveclub VR (regular driving was OK, but spinning out upon collision forced me to quit immediately), and a few circumstances when the dog came between me and the camera during a game, in which tracking was lost and the PSVR displayed weird motions that weren’t accompanied by my head movements.  It has been reported by many that over time the motion sickness effect lessens as your brain becomes accustomed to the VR system.  My experience was consistent with these reports.  Finally, I found upon removing the nose flaps my breathing improves, I remained cooler during use of the system, and that also appears to have contributed to reduced nausea.  I should note here that another ‘trick’ to improving comfort levels is to have a fan blowing on your face while using the PSVR system.  I tried this recently as well and found it a nice enhancement. Immersion The immersion level in PSVR, from my standpoint, is amazing.  After you get over the “wow” factor in a game or simulation, you quickly begin to feel as if you are really there.  The surround sound headphones coupled with the extremely smooth tracking truly give you the feeling of being there.  The PSVR does appear to have an issue with drift over time, where the center focus area of your screen can lead you to looking off-center.  A button on the controller can be held to re-center the system, an act that becomes second nature over time, and at regular intervals I find myself closing my eyes and relaxing for a second while pressing the button, then re-opening my eyes to a fully re-centered view. My most-recent PSVR expedition found me attempting the first AAA game release, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, completely in VR.  To begin with, the shortcomings of the graphics system previously detailed is nearly non-existent in this game, which leads me to believe many of my graphics concerns can be mitigated by software.  I should also note that I’m not typically a horror fan, though I do recall playing a Resident Evil game on a Playstation some 20-ish years ago.  To say this game induced an emotional response is an extreme understatement.  Though there are several “jump scares” throughout the game, this title doesn’t rely on them, and instead does a fantastic job of creating an environment of suspense and foreboding using the PSVR hardware.  You truly feel like you’re there, and I’m not ashamed to admit I nearly had to purchase new drawers when I was playing the game one evening and the dog jumped on my lap at an inopportune time. With the goal of finishing a report on immersion by the end of February, I wanted to work through this entire game by mid-February, which totaled roughly 10 hours of in-game time.  Though I experienced one technical hiccup which required a reboot of the entire system, I completed the adventure yesterday.  I could continue talking about my thoughts on immersion, but I believe my habits around using the PSVR to play RE7 tell it all… after the first night, I told my wife I couldn’t play this after the kids went to bed… it was too creepy.  Instead I tried to sneak in an hour after dinner, or on weekend afternoons.  The immersion level is just that high. Implications Following this trial (which I’ll be continuing for some time), I’m now a believer that there are tremendous opportunities for the use of VR in education.  Though I don’t see this as a popular “in-class” tool in standard high school settings due to the cost/complexity/infrastructure required, I do think as an individual tool some amazing things could be accomplished. Imagine a history class in which students don’t just read about the Battle of Gettysburg, but actually get to “live it” from various perspectives.  Envision a biology lesson in which you are miniaturized and travel through the bloodstream to various organs, seeing the operation of the heart from the inside (remember Inner Space, anyone?)  Or a virtual dissection for biology and anatomy classes.  Picture the ability to explore a nuclear reactor from the inside, with the ability to zoom in and ‘view’ the actual chemical and physical reactions as they occur, or traveling through a circuit as an electron.  Imagine viewing a surgical procedure from the standpoint of the operating physician!  You could explore the universe at will, or dive into the geology of the Earth from the inside.  The possibilities are limitless, though I imagine tools to build such simulations must evolve to the point that content instructors have content creation and distribution tools that will make the learning curve for such projects reasonably accessible.  I haven’t investigated this in-depth, but I would believe that such accessibility is a ways off, but getting closer every day. Though not quite as immersive, I can also envision the use of this technology for distance learning courses, though there are challenges for this as well.  I imagine streaming or recording classes in a VR-friendly format may not be way off, but appropriate application will take significant further thought.  “Sitting in” on an MIT lecture and demonstration may be possible, but is it a significantly more engaging experience than a two-dimensional video cast of the course?  Would the VR technology and headset make note-taking and student work while participating in the class too restrictive?  What tools and interactivity would make this a positive leap in learning vs. a play area where the complexity overcomes the educational benefits?  It is extremely early, but I look forward to seeing how such amazing technology is utilized for purposes beyond just standard gaming.  And in the meantime, I’m having a blast not only trying out the technology, but envisioning potential applications for the future.   Please let me know in the comments what potential opportunities you can envision for virtual reality in education!

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

New Release: The Ultimate Regents Physics Question and Answer Book

<p>So last year I took every single question from the last 17 NY Regents Physics exams, organized them by topic, and printed them neatly into worksheet / workbook formats for myself and others to use. They’ve been pretty popular, but have also been a fairly high maintenance item, as I have been receiving at least 10-15 e-mails per week about the worksheets. Some requests have come from teachers asking if I have created an answer sheet to go with them. Other requests have been from students looking to check their answers. Some have even been from students posing as instructors attempting to find the answers to the worksheets. But far and away, the most popular question has centered around whether I might offer a print version of the worksheets.</p> <p><a href="http://aplusphysics.com/regents/wb"><img style="float: right;" title="RegentsQA-500-TranspBkgd.jpg" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/RegentsQA-500-TranspBkgd.jpg" alt="RegentsQA 500 TranspBkgd" width="300" height="203" border="0" /></a></p> <p>It’s taken awhile, but I’ve finally cleaned up all the sheets, arranged them into a workbook format, solved every single problem, added answer sheets, and sent them off for publication. The result — yesterday, <a href="http://aplusphysics.com/regents/wb">The Ultimate Regents Physics Question and Answer Book</a> was released.</p> <p>I’m planning on leaving the individual worksheets available for download on the APlusPhysics site — the book is merely provided as a convenience for those who’d rather have a hard copy, bound compendium of all the worksheets, with the answers included. Because these sheets are also popular as homework assignments, quizzes, etc., I don’t plan on posting the answer sheets publicly… that’s just making things a little too easy for students hoping to avoid productive work. The list price on the book is $11.99, which (typically) Amazon discounts within a few weeks of publication. I think that’s a reasonable price for a resource that took me many, many hours to compile, with the goal of hopefully recouping the costs required to publish the book within a year or so if all goes well.</p> <p>Having said that, last night I received a troubling e-mail. Before even one copy had sold, I received a request asking if I would donate copies of the workbook to cover an entire physics course at a school. Now, I understand there’s no harm in asking, so I politely responded that the cost for any donated/promotional copies come directly out of the pocket of a high school teacher (me), and that the entire content was already available for download and printing direct from the APlusPhysics website. The follow-up, however, left me troubled. The response stated that the copies were for an inner city school and therefore computers and Internet access to download and print the files wasn’t reasonable.</p> <p>Maybe I’m being naive, but I have trouble believing that there are school districts (and individual schools) that are SO poor that there isn’t a single computer with an Internet connection anywhere in the school. Or let’s say that there aren’t ANY computers in the school — how can not one teacher have access to a computer and Internet to obtain the files on their own time? And in what world is it reasonable that I should pick up the costs to print and ship a volume of copies to a school where they can’t find a way to download and print freely available files (which I also pay to host)?</p> <p>Rant ended. I’m more than happy to give away a ton of my work (and time) for free, but there are some costs associated with making these resources available. The software to create the site, the hosting fees, publication costs, licensing costs, etc. Almost all of the content in the books is already freely available on the site for educational use, and I LOVE when folks make use of these resources. But, the reality is that all of these things have some cost, and if I want to continue to build a terrific physics resource for our students, a few of the items on the site have to generate enough income to cover the costs of the site.</p> <p>Now, with that out of the way, I’m excited to be diving into the next project at full speed — review / guide books for the new AP-1 and AP-2 courses. Background work / development has been going on for over a year, and, if all goes as planned, the first draft should be underway within a couple weeks!!!!!</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/ttfO5au910Q" height="1" width="1"/> Source

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

AP Physics 1 Outline

<p style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17px;"> I’ve received quite a few requests over the past couple months, and especially the past couple days, asking if I knew of an “outline version” of the AP Physics 1 learning objectives, essential knowledge, etc., organized by topic. I already had this created from working on the <a href="http://aplusphysics.com/ap1">AP Physics 1 Essentials</a> book as a chapter outline/roadmap correlated to the new <a href="http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/2262.html">AP 1 course</a>, but had never bothered to put it in a user-friendly format to share. Well, until yesterday.</p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17px;"> Here it is: <a href="http://aplusphysics.com/educators/AP1Outline.html/">http://aplusphysics.com/educators/AP1Outline.html/</a></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17px;"> I understand this may not be the order in which you’d teach the topics, but for me at least, this organization is much easier to wade through and make sense of than the current <a href="http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-course-exam-descriptions/ap-physics-1-and-ap-physics-2-course-and-exam-description.pdf">AP Physics 1 and 2 Framework</a> document (in which I get easily lost in the 200+ pages). Perhaps it will be of use to you as well. Please note that you can drill down by clicking on the triangles to the left of the topics, i<span style="color: #000000;">t’s quite a big document if you expand it all out.</span></p> <p style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17px;"> I’m planning on doing this for AP-2 as well, though I probably won’t have a chance to start on it until late July.</p> <!-- Start Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><!-- End Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/kHYnj6tUV94" height="1" width="1"/> <a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~3/kHYnj6tUV94/" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

What I Learned at Educator.com Filming AP Physics C in Two Weeks

<p><a href="http://educator.com"><img style="float: right;" title="image.jpeg" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/image1.jpeg" alt="Image" width="300" height="225" border="0" /></a></p> <p>It’s my last day on the west coast following two weeks of recording at the <a href="http://educator.com">Educator.com</a> studios in Los Angeles. I’ve completed filming of the AP Physics C: Mechanics and the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism courses, and roughly 18 months ago finished recording the AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 course sequences. At the conclusion of this massive effort, I thought it fitting to take a few minutes and summarize what I’ve learned from the experience.</p> <p>First, I’m amazed at the total amount of content involved in these projects when all was said and done. The AP Physics 1/2 course includes more than 930 slides, and the AP Physics C total is up over 950. Coupled with diagrams, formulas, and illustrations, these represent roughly a year’s worth of full-time effort, squeezed in to an already busy schedule with early morning work, weekends, and middle-of-the-night can’t sleep sessions.</p> <p>Second, I’ve recognized how challenging the content truly is for the AP-C course. I had some of the content prepared already from my APlusPhysics videos, yet it still took me more than 5 months to create the more-detailed Educator.com lessons. I designed each lesson in detail, and even made notes on what I would discuss, derive, and explain on each individual slide. When I reached the studios in LA, however, I still had tons of preparation work to do. Each day I rehearsed every lesson three times before filming. I’d go over the lessons in detail (including solving all problems and writing out all derivations in my notebook) over an extended dinner each night in the hotel, then go back to my hotel room and do it all again while listening to a baseball game before bed. Early the following morning, I’d get up around 5 am and go through it once more before our 9- or 10-am filming session would begin. Once filming for the day was complete, I’d do it all again in preparation for the next set of lessons. I wonder if I didn’t do more physics homework in my two weeks of filming in LA than my students do in an entire year.</p> <p>I found as I went through this that every time I solved a free response problem or walked through a derivation, I found slightly different methods of solving the problem. Some were smoother than others; some were longer than others. Even though my final passes were usually “cleaner” than my initial solutions, I tried to stick with my initial solutions in the videos to better mirror the approach students might take.</p> <p>Even with all that preparation, the recording sessions were still quite stressful. In walking through the lessons, there were technical components to the presentation that were fairly unforgiving. Hit the wrong button in the wrong order and you’d have to start all over again. Switch colors and then switch slides before writing and you’d have to do it all over again. Cough, sneeze, or forget where you are in a lecture or stump yourself — you got it, do it all again. Thankfully, I’d had quite a bit of experience in this sort of thing from my previous trip out to LA to record the AP-1/2 series, so the amount of “re-do” work was kept to a minimum due to all that preparation. But recording four hours of video lessons sure felt like a 12+ hour day.</p> <p>In addition, I still found the AP-C material challenging. In my classroom, I prepare with 42-minute lessons, and the longest I ever lecture in a row is one entire 42-minute period (and I try to avoid that like the plague). Here, the lessons are straight lecture, with no breaks, no edits, no room for error. That leaves a lot of material to have down cold while also dealing with technical concerns. My detailed noted were invaluable, and I referred to them throughout my lectures to make sure I covered all the salient points in each slide, as well as having calculations pre-solved, as opposed to making viewers wait while I punched numbed into my calculator. With my preparation, my time between lessons was approximately 10 minutes or so to get a quick drink, review the slides for the next lesson for any last-minute issues, and allow the technical folks to prepare the studio for the next round. Others in the studio, however, would take extended time between recording lessons in order to prepare. They had the luxury as they were fairly local to the studios, and could spread their recording work out over months.</p> <p>Working through these courses from start to finish in such a detailed manner in such a compressed time span provides a unique perspective on the course. Each lesson is designed to present a concept as simply as possible, illustrate that concept, and then demonstrate its application in a variety of scenarios. In creating these courses I solved every released AP-C free response problem going back to 1998, as well as a scattering of earlier problems. With the entire breadth of the course fresh in my mind, I’m confident the foundational principles emphasized in the course provide excellent preparation for students taking the AP Physics C exams. </p> <p>One of my goals in creating these courses was to provide a more streamlined video series than their previous video series. Their previous courses totaled 48 hours for mechanics, and 41 hours for electricity and magnetism. My goal was to cut each of those at least in half, allowing students to minimize their time watching videos, and instead maximize their time actively working with the material. I haven’t seen the final count for the new courses, but I’m confident we’ll be close, if not under, our target.</p> <p><img style="float: right;" title="uncle_bob_has_a_toupee_hg_clr_st.gif" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/uncle_bob_has_a_toupee_hg_clr_st.gif" alt="Uncle bob has a toupee hg clr st" width="200" height="350" border="0" /></p> <p>I’m also excited that the College Board will be allowing students the use of formula sheets and calculators throughout the entire exam next year. Even after studying and preparing all day every day for weeks, I still referenced my formula sheets and notes in solving problems and preparing. Memorizing formulas does not constitute learning or understanding, and removing the requirement to have all these formulas memorized will allow students to better focus on what is important.</p> <p>Finally, I knew being gone from my family for two weeks would be difficult. I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old daughter at home, and they are already growing up way too fast. I treasure my time with them, especially our time in the summer when Daddy-Daughter Day Care includes swimming, playing around out back in the sandbox and water table, riding bikes, playground time, and so on. But it’s been even tougher than I expected. I’m so thankful for modern technology which allows me to see them and talk to them each day, but when your little girls says all she wants is you to curl up in bed with her after story time at night, it tugs on your heart strings something fierce.</p> <p>I’m proud of what we’ve put together here at Educator.com through these efforts, and hopeful that students across the world will find these videos helpful in their studies. I’m also excited to know that I will be able to use these resources with my students in the coming years. I’m relieved to have finished this project, eager to refocus my efforts on other projects such as revisions to <a href="http://aplusphysics.com/ap1">AP Physics 1 Essentials</a> and completing <a href="http://aplusphysics.com/ap2">AP Physics 2 Essentials</a>, but most importantly, I can’t wait to get home and hug my girls.</p> <!-- Start Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><!-- End Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/RW9AunwM-oY" height="1" width="1"/> <a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~3/RW9AunwM-oY/" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Creating Screencasts – 2013 Update #edtech #flipclass

<p>Hi Folks,</p> <p> At least once or twice a week I receive an e-mail asking how I make my screencasts, and given these posts are a couple years old, and I’ve adjusted my methodology a bit in the past few years, it seems high time I provided an update on my recommendations for screencasting. So, here goes.</p> <p><a href="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Screen-Shot-2013-05-29-at-8.20.40-AM.png"><img src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Screen-Shot-2013-05-29-at-8.20.40-AM-300x166.png" alt="Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 8.20.40 AM" width="300" height="166" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-613" /></a></p> <p> For those using Windows PCs, not much has changed terribly. I still highly recommend <a href="http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html" target="_blank">Camtasia:Studio</a> as one of the most cost-effective and easy-to-use software packages for screencasting (make sure you choose Education pricing for a 40% discount). It allows you to record what’s occurring on your screen, as well as your face (via webcam), and puts it all together with a variety of output options. It is my go-to tool when using a Windows system. Typically I create my presentation in Powerpoint, then load up Camtasia to record my walk-through of the presentation, and do a majority of post-processing in Camtasia. Finally, I upload to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/FizziksGuy" target="_blank">Youtube</a> and also to the APlusPhysics.com site (many schools block Youtube, so having the videos in a separate place helps teachers provide access to all their students, regardless of location or device). A good example of a video created in this manner is the <a href="http://www.aplusphysics.com/courses/regents/videos/KinEqns_Reg/KinEqns_Reg.html" target="_blank">Kinematics Equations Regents Physics Tutorial</a>.</p> <p> About 18 months ago, however, I switched from the Windows platform to the PC platform. The “why” of the change is a long story, and probably not of interest to most readers here, but the transition was much smoother than I expected, and although I realize you pay a premium on the hardware end, I’m much happier with the transition than I initially anticipated. Initially I tried quite a few different methods championed by other teachers using Macs, but everything I tried was either flaky, too complex, or required too much “work” during the presentation — and when I’m creating the screencasts, I want to focus as much of my attention as I can on teaching the material as effectively as I can, with as little focus as possible on technical aspects of screencasting. For those who have been making screencasts, you realize how challenging it is to try to take a lesson, concept, or problem-solving approach and condense it down into just what the students need to know to get started. My goal in my videos isn’t to replace the classroom or teacher, but rather take the repetitive basic content and condense it down into something the kids can do at home, leaving us more time in class for hands-on activities, exploration, extension, and challenge work.</p> <p> Without digressing TOO much further, I soon decided I had to come up with my own method. After a bit of trial and error and the purchase of several software packages that just didn’t work out for me, here’s the method I came up with (and am quite happy with). First, I create my presentation materials in either Powerpoint or Keynote (I prefer Keynote on the Mac to Powerpoint on the Mac just for level of integration, but they’re pretty much equivalent). Once my presentation slides are complete, I export them in PDF form. Then, I import the PDF presentation into a wonderful Mac software package known as <a href="http://www.zengobi.com/products/curio/" target="_blank">Curio</a> (HIGHLY recommended and comes with amazing developer support), “Spread” the PDFs out onto various pages, and I use <a href="http://www.zengobi.com/products/curio/" target="_blank">Curio</a> as my background software when I run my screen capture.</p> <p><a href="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Screen-Shot-2013-05-29-at-8.50.34-AM.png"><img src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Screen-Shot-2013-05-29-at-8.50.34-AM-300x170.png" alt="Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 8.50.34 AM" width="300" height="170" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-616" /></a></p> <p> For the actual screen capture work, I went back to Techsmith’s <a href="http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html" target="_blank">Camtasia:Mac</a>. It doesn’t have quite as many features as the Windows version, and post-processing is considerably less intuitive if you want to zoom, scroll, etc., but for the basics it’s pretty slick, and it also has one more GREAT feature that I love — the ability to remove a color from your recorded webcam video. This means you can do some basic “green screen” or “chromakey” work right in <a href="http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html" target="_blank">Camtasia:Mac</a>. I’m not thrilled with the level of control of this feature, as there’s definitely some room for improvement, but it’s a great start and its easy integration right into the regular workflow makes it quick and easy to implement. The <a href="http://www.aplusphysics.com/courses/ap-c/videos/APC-Gauss/APC-Gauss.html" target="_blank">AP Physics C: Gauss’s Law video</a> demonstrates a screencast created with this workflow. As an added bonus, <a href="http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html" target="_blank">Camtasia for Mac</a> is also considerably cheaper than the Windows version, currently about $75 for an academic license.</p> <p> Which leads us into the tricky part, the hardware. The most important part of your setup, from my perspective, is your writing input device. On the Windows side, for years I’ve used a Tablet PC (not an iPad or similar device, but rather a laptop computer that has a screen you can write on). These tend to be rather pricey (prices typically start around $2K for a decent system), and I haven’t had the greatest luck with them as far as reliability goes, despite attempts at buying high-end systems. What I consider a better alternative is the purchase of a separate input device, so that you can always upgrade / swap out the computer itself as needed, but continue using the input device from system to system.</p> <p> Initially I started working with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Wacom-Intuos4-Wireless-Pen-Tablet/dp/B0035ERQ6O/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369834340&sr=1-6&keywords=Wacom+Intuos+Tablet+Wireless" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Wacom Intuos tablet</a>. It does what it’s supposed to, but I had a heck of a time looking at a separate screen while drawing on a separate input device. My handwriting was awful (even more awful than when I write directly on the screen), and I found myself stressing about the technicalities of the screencast as I worked. It just wasn’t comfortable at all. So, the barely-used system is sitting under my desk waiting for me to either put it up on eBay, loan it to another APlusPhysics contributor, or sell it for pennies on the dollar.</p> <p> Shortly thereafter, I decided to take the plunge and purchased a Wacom Interactive Pen Display, model <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Wacom-DTU-1631-Interactive-Pen-Display/dp/B003RHX03M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369832737&sr=8-1&keywords=dtu-1631" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">DTU-1631</a>. I use this in my classroom each day as well, projecting the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Wacom-DTU-1631-Interactive-Pen-Display/dp/B003RHX03M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369832737&sr=8-1&keywords=dtu-1631" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">DTU-1631</a> screen on a digital projector, and writing my notes directly on the screen. This has the extra advantage of allowing me to capture all my class notes and publish them directly to our Regents Physics and AP Physics C blogs. It’s not the greatest monitor as far as overall image quality, and it’s certainly priced above where I think it should be (~$1000), but it works, and has become my everyday workhorse in the classroom. I’m pleased to see Wacom is coming out with some considerably upgraded interactive pen displays this summer, which may provide some further options.</p> <p> I also invested in a system for home use this past fall, saving me the hassle of lugging the DTU-1631 back and forth from school to the home office regularly. Without the need to project the monitor, I decided on the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Wacom-CINTIQ-22HD-Pen-Display/dp/B008HB5K5O/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369832961&sr=1-1&keywords=Cintiq+22hd" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Wacom Cintiq 22HD</a> system. Again, the monitor image characteristics leave a bit to be desired in a high resolution monitor, but the ability to write directly on the screen at high resolution takes all the technical hassle out of creating screencasts. It’s not for the dabbler, however, as discount price is typically right around $2000.</p> <p><div id="attachment_620" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 140px"><a href="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/BlueYeti.jpg"><img src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/BlueYeti-130x300.jpg" alt="Blue Yeti USB Microphone" width="130" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-620" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Blue Yeti USB Microphone</p></div></p> <p> As far as audio and microphones go, I continue to use a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-H2-Portable-Stereo-Recorder/dp/B000VBH2IG/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369833015&sr=1-1&keywords=Zoom+H2" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Zoom H2 Digital Recorder</a> at home, which does a nice job of capturing audio cleanly at a price point around $180 with a bit of searching, but a year or so ago I purchased a separate <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphones-Yeti-USB-Microphone/dp/B002VA464S/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369833190&sr=1-2&keywords=Blue+Yeti" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Blue Yeti USB Microphone</a> and I absolutely love it. It’s easy to use, has a tremendous cardiod mode, and provides awesome sound in a cheap, reliable manner. At a price point of roughly $100, I don’t think you can beat it, and it wouldn’t take much for me to trade in my more expensive <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-H2-Portable-Stereo-Recorder/dp/B000VBH2IG/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369833015&sr=1-1&keywords=Zoom+H2" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Zoom H2</a> for a second <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphones-Yeti-USB-Microphone/dp/B002VA464S/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369833190&sr=1-2&keywords=Blue+Yeti" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Blue Yeti</a> for the home office.</p> <p> As far as webcams to capture the instructor’s face, just about any Logitech-type USB webcam will do. I’ve used a number of different webcams, most recently a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Portable-Webcam-Autofocus-960-000733/dp/B004YW7WCY/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369833374&sr=1-1&keywords=Logitech+C615" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Logitech HD Webcam C615</a> (due to its Mac compatibility). They do a decent job. For the higher-end videos using the chromakey (green screen) technology, I wanted something a little better, and found an outdated <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Canon-ZR850-MiniDV-Camcorder-Optical/dp/B000M4JDQQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369833546&sr=1-1&keywords=Canon+ZR850" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Canon ZR850</a> sitting in our closet. This mini-DV camcorder didn’t see much use in our house due to the advent of all the flip cam technologies, iPhones, etc., but I found that by connecting to my Mac through its firewire connections, I could get high quality, stable images fed directly into the computer and compatible with Camtasia. Certainly not a necessity, but a nice little extra.</p> <p> Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, I do just a touch of post-processing on my videos outside of Camtasia. Although Camtasia has noise reduction algorithms built in, I had already purchased a license for the full <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Collection-Student-Teacher-Edition/dp/B007S03070/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369834182&sr=8-1&keywords=Adobe+CS6+Teacher+Master" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Adobe Creative Suite (Master Edition)</a> to build the <a href="http://aplusphysics.com" target="_blank">APlusPhysics</a> website, so thought I might as well use as many features of the software as I can. I use <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-65159072-Audition-CS6/dp/B007PMNVWA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1369834380&sr=8-2&keywords=Adobe+Audition" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Adobe Audition</a> to tweak the audio input from my microphones just a touch before final processing. This allows me to easily standardize volume levels, pull out 60Hz hum from the electrical system, and even remove a bit of the HVAC noise from my recordings. Certainly not necessary for a good screencast, but a little extra since I already had the software on my system.</p> <p> There are certainly cheaper ways to do screen casting, and many great free to nearly-free alternatives. I’ve chosen this route with the goal of spending my time and resources up front to create high quality videos that I can use for years and years, tweaking and re-doing individual videos on a piecemeal basis to continually improve the quality of the video collection, as opposed to redoing the course year after year. There are certainly other strategies and workflows, but I’m hoping this may provide at least a start to others who are interested in screencasting without having to travel down all the mistaken paths I had to in developing this methodology. Make it a great day everyone!</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/wOxY6Xaw0PI" height="1" width="1"/> Source

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

AP Physics 1 Essentials -- Coming Soon!

After many, many long hours and tons of great feedback from physics teachers across the globe, I'm thrilled to announce the AP Physics 1 Essentials, a guidebook / review book for the upcoming AP Physics 1 course, is due for release in late August. I began work on this project in the summer of 2010 when conversations at the AP Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., led to a number of different teachers talking about the need for a detailed course breakdown to support the change, followed by discussion of what the true cost of the change would be in terms of instructor hours, curriculum rewrites, resource revisions, etc. It was obvious there was going to be a need for a guidebook for the course, and my goal was to provide a short "everything you need to know" book that was easy-to-read, fun, engaging, and inexpensive so that students could pick this up as a guidebook/review book without having to purchase entirely new textbooks to support the changing course. I quickly picked up a following of fans eager to see the project succeed and more than willing to contribute what they could, from early draft versions of the Division of Content plans (which only vaguely resemble the final curriculum guides), to proposed and/or recommended formula sheets, to technical reviews, editing, "wish lists," etc. I've been amazed at the positive response and helpfulness of so many, that has allowed this project to progress through multiple obstacles, from revised content and organizational issues through technical hurdles such as a corrupt book file caught nearly 80% into the rough draft. I guess this qualifies as checking the "nothing worthwhile is easy" box on the project. I'm grateful to my family for allowing me the many hours early in the morning, late in the evening, and during the summer to work on this effort. As I write this, for example, I'm on vacation with my family. It's almost 6 am, I'm watching the Allegheny River flow past, and just saw a bald eagle fly up the river, not 30 feet from where I sit typing. I also must thank the many physics instructors across the globe who have contributed in so many ways, from editing to hints to encouragement... but I need to say a special thank you to the APlusPhysics community. The website began as a tool to use in my own classroom, and quickly grew so popular that I felt compelled to continue to expand it at the request of its users. With more than 30,000 students using it EACH MONTH, I've been absolutely floored by the number of thank-you messages, letters of encouragement, and success stories contributed voluntarily by community members. You guys set me on this path, made the site and the books successful, and it's your encouragement and support that have kept me at this project through the wee hours of the night and long hours of frustration. Moving on to the final product… I'm proud to say the book is finished. Sure, it has a few more edits to make, a few more tweaks here and there, but everything is on track for a late August 2013 release. My long-term goal was to have the book released one year before teachers began teaching the revised AP course, and it appears we'll hit that deadline on the nose (with special thanks to the AP for delaying the change a year from the date I was originally told back in the summer of 2010). I'm hoping you find it valuable to your courses and studies. This book was written as the guidebook I would want my students to have for the course. Not a full standard physics textbook, because my students don't learn and fully read their physics textbook (except in snippets), but rather a book designed to be used as written, read AND understood, with tons of example problems and solutions. Thank you so much for your tremendous support. I hope you enjoy AP Physics 1 Essentials as much as I enjoyed the opportunity to work with you and so many other amazing people on this project. Make it a great day!

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Kerbal Moon Landing Mission (Practice / System Try-Out) #kerbal #KSP

<p>I’ve been playing around with the Kerbal Space Program recently because (1) it’s fun and (2) I want to know enough to be able to help my kids during their post-AP project, at least from a technical / computer perspective. My mission — have a Kerbal walk on the moon (and return home safely).</p> <p>The first step was designing the vehicle. I went with a one-man capsule, a small engine, and lots of extra fuel (to give me plenty of room for mistakes on my first landing mission.</p> <p><img title="screenshot11.png" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/screenshot111.png" alt="Screenshot11" width="600" height="337" border="0" /></p> <p>I made sure to add landing struts, a ladder to allow Jebediah a quick EVA, and, of course, a parachute for the command pod. The launch vehicle itself was designed in two stages, four large engines and fuel tanks to get the craft past 10 km, and another single large tank and engine to easily push into orbit, leaving the lander vehicle itself fully fueled in orbit.</p> <p><img title="screenshot12.jpg" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/screenshot12.jpg" alt="Screenshot12" width="317" height="600" border="0" /></p> <p>The launch was very straightforward. I controlled the engines carefully under 10 km to keep the velocity below 200 m/s and avoid overheating. At 12 km I performed an orbital tilt to 45 degrees, got speed up, and then coasted to the highest point in the path, at which point I turned again on an orbital maneuver.</p> <p><img title="screenshot14.jpg" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/screenshot14.jpg" alt="Screenshot14" width="600" height="495" border="0" /></p> <p><img title="screenshot15.png" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/screenshot15.png" alt="Screenshot15" width="600" height="337" border="0" /></p> <p>Separation was clean.</p> <p><img title="screenshot17.jpg" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/screenshot17.jpg" alt="Screenshot17" width="600" height="288" border="0" /></p> <p>This left me with the landing craft fully fueled in a stable Earth orbit, ready to begin maneuvers to head to the Mun.</p> <p><img title="screenshot18.jpg" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/screenshot18.jpg" alt="Screenshot18" width="600" height="371" border="0" /></p> <p>As I approached the moon I adjusted my orbit to bring me down near “the bright side,” and set my orientation to maintain a retrograde orbit.</p> <p> </p> <p><img title="screenshot5.jpg" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/screenshot5.jpg" alt="Screenshot5" width="600" height="411" border="0" /></p> <p>After a few minutes of sweating with a light hand on the thrusters while maintain a retrograde orbit, I finally had the lander down on the ground (and even remembered to extend the landing struts!)</p> <p> </p> <p><img title="screenshot7.gif" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/screenshot7.gif" alt="Screenshot7" width="323" height="377" border="0" /></p> <p>The external tanks were just barely empty (I hadn’t separated them during the descent as I thought perhaps the extra fuel might be nice for the Mun launch. However, upon reaching the surface, they were just barely drained. Easy quiet separation. Now for the EVA. I extended the ladders and Jebediah had himself a short stroll on the Mun before climbing back in for the trip home.<img title="screenshot8.gif" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/screenshot8.gif" alt="Screenshot8" width="481" height="423" border="0" /></p> <p> </p> <p>From there, a simple launch to get back into Mun orbit, then an orbital transfer back to Earth, which brought Jebediah down nice and safe and ready for his next mission!</p> <p>Key Learning — having all that extra fuel was nice, but next time I could do things MUCH more efficiently at the landing stage, allowing me to launch a much lighter landing vehicle. Next challenge – Landing on Minmus and returning safely!</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/o920EKmKED0" height="1" width="1"/> Source

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

AP Physics C 2015 Free Response Solutions

<p><iframe width="474" height="267" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NBrDW-vNHog?feature=oembed"frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe width="474" height="267" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ejp8aurJ294?feature=oembed"frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mechanics Exam Questions: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap15_frq_physics_c-m.pdf</p> <p>E&amp;M Exam Questions: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap15_frq_physics_c-e-m.pdf</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/iUAb2okjHqQ"height="1" width="1" alt=""/> <a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~3/iUAb2okjHqQ/"class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

AP Physics 1 Essentials — The Mystery Third Edition

A few years ago I put together a review/guide book for the AP Physics 1 course the College Board recently released.  The project was started around 2009, but took several years to complete as the scope and direction of the College Board’s AP Physics 1 course continued to evolve, as more and more information about the course was released, modified, re-released, etc.  It has done fairly well, and after the release of the first exam, a second edition was released, which included minor edits, modifications, and rephrasings in the main text, but also incorporated a significant number of more challenging questions in the appendix, though many of them remain numerically focused. The Goal The goal of this book was never to be a “sole source to success in AP Physics 1.”  The AP Physics 1 course is a VERY challenging introductory physics course, which requires a strong foundation in fundamental physics principles, logical problem solving, and transfer of basic concepts to new and unique situations.  In my humble opinion, building skills of this sort requires more than a review book.  It requires more than videos.  It requires extensive hands-on work with applications utilizing the concepts, individual and group problem solving, debate, discussion, and research.  It’s a very high level of expectation for what has been largely touted as an introductory physics course.  For many, AP Physics 1 will be the only physics course they take.  I am concerned that the course offers only a subset of what I would like to see in a general survey course of physics.  Though it covers basic circuits, it is light on electrostatics.  Though it covers mechanical waves, it doesn’t touch electromagnetic waves, optics, or modern physics.  If these were the only topics my students were introduced to in their only physics course, I feel I would be doing them a disservice, and not providing them an opportunity to see more of the breadth and beauty of the field I so love and enjoy. The AP1 Essentials book, as written, was designed as the book I’d want to use with my students.  The book which I’d ask them to read outside of class (coupled with video mini-lessons) so that when they arrived in class, they’d have some level of exposure to the basic material allowing us to use our class time more efficiently for those deeper explorations into the topics under study. Public Response Public response to the book has been strongly bimodal.  Overall reviews are very positive (4.5/5 stars on Amazon.com), with the primary criticisms and 1-star reviews focusing on the book utilizing too much numerical problem solving, and focusing on basic problems that are “too easy” compared to the actual AP 1 test questions.  These are VERY valid criticisms, and I agree with them.  However, in the context in which the book is intended to be used, these criticisms are inconsistent with the book’s purpose. AP Physics 1 Concerns A grader of this year’s AP Physics 1 exam recently stated that he was surprised to learn that “not including the date, birth date and school code, a student could have made a perfect score on the whole exam without writing down a single number.”  I find this extremely troubling.  I am in favor of questions that test understanding, but I also believe that many physics students who go on to successful careers in STEM fields learn by first mastering the calculations, mathematics, and numeracy of problems, and over time build deeper conceptual understandings as they recognize patterns in their answers.  There is a place for these conceptual and symbolic problem solving exercises in AP Physics 1 and on the AP Physics 1 exam, but there is also a significant place for what I’ll call physics numeracy for lack of a better term — traditional problem solving that involves recognizing appropriate relationships, manipulation equations, finding a numerical answer, and verifying that numerical answer makes some sort of physical sense. Further, I strongly believe that the College Board’s vision for the AP program should focus on providing opportunities for high school students to earn college credit consistent with the courses offered by most colleges.  More simply, the AP courses should strive to mimic what colleges are offering and testing in their corresponding courses.  In the case of AP Physics 1, the College Board is attempting to lead the way in physics education reform.  Regardless of personal opinions on the direction of the AP Physics 1 curriculum and exam, which may very well be valid, a change of this sort shouldn’t be led by the AP program, but rather mirrored by the AP program as it becomes the norm at colleges and universities. The Third Edition Back in December, I started work on a third edition of the AP Physics 1 Essentials book, with the goal of migrating the book closer to style of the AP Physics 1 exam.  It’s now late June, and the third edition is well over half done.  I have no doubt if I continued on this course, I could have the third edition completed in time for the book to hit the shelves in late August. The third edition, as currently being drafted, however, won’t see the light of day.  Since I started this revision effort, I haven’t felt good about the work I’ve been doing.  Though I do believe I am making a book that is more closely aligned to the AP Physics 1 exam, I’m moving further and further away from the book I’d want to use with my AP Physics 1 students.  Regardless of what the College Board is asking for on the AP Physics 1 exam, I want my students to be best prepared for their future endeavors, which may include AP Physics 2, AP Physics C, and their ongoing academic courses in the sciences.  That will, most assuredly, require strong physics numeracy skills. And it will require students to learn how to learn independently. Resolution There is a place for physics modeling, for building understanding and for MANY of the ideals inherent in the AP Physics 1 curriculum.  But there’s also a place for the traditional course and problem solving skills.  This debate doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition.  There’s definitely room for a happy medium including aspects of both viewpoints.  Personally, however, I can’t continue work on a third edition of the AP Physics 1 book when in my heart I strongly feel I’m doing my students a disservice in their overall physics education and creating a lower-quality product, even if it means more one-star reviews and critiques that the book doesn’t match the AP 1 exam.  Maybe someday I’ll change my mind, but Friday afternoon I took all the changes to the third edition, zipped them up, copied them somewhere safe, and removed them from my computer. I strongly believe there will be a 3rd edition of the AP Physics 1 book.  I see TONS of opportunities for improvement.  But the work I’ve been doing for the past six months to make the book more consistent with the AP 1 exam isn’t really an improvement, it’s an attempt to improve student scores on a test I believe has significant flaws, at the expense of other important skills.  If I’m honest with myself and focus on doing what is truly best for my kids, I want to see them continue to use the book as an introduction to the essential concepts of AP Physics 1, including significant algebraic manipulation and problem solving, and leaving more time in the classroom for application and hands-on activities.  I still feel the book is a great tool for students preparing for the AP 1 exam, and I’m going to keep significant numeric problem solving with basic concept application, and leave the deeper-dive and conceptual understanding questions for class time when the instructor is available to direct, guide, and differentiate as needed. Addendum This is not meant as an attack on the AP Physics 1 Curriculum, the design committee, the test writers, or any others.  I am honored to work in a profession where so many are so passionate about trying to do what’s best for their students and the field itself.  Sometimes we disagree on the path forward, and that’s OK.  And I could be wrong.  I often am.  I admire the effort and the vision so many have put into this work, and the feedback and support I’ve received and continue to receive for this book, both in praise and in criticism. The post AP Physics 1 Essentials — The Mystery Third Edition appeared first on Physics In Flux.

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge

<p>I ran across this “SWEAT” pledge from Mike Rowe and absolutely loved it, so thought I’d share… a great philosophy for taking ownership and control of your life! Learn more about this effort by clicking on the image itself.</p>
<div style="width: 622px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="[url="http://profoundlydisconnected.com/foundation/poster/pledgedownload/"]http://profoundlydisconnected.com/foundation/poster/pledgedownload/[/url]"><img class="" [url="src="]src="http://profoundlydisconnected.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Resized-Downloadable-SWEAT-Pledge.jpg"[/url] alt="Mike Rowe's SWEAT Pledge" width="612" height="765" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Mike Rowe’s SWEAT Pledge</p></div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="[url="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/events/mike-rowes-s-w-e-a-t-pledge/"]http://aplusphysics.com/flux/events/mike-rowes-s-w-e-a-t-pledge/[/url]">Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" [url="href="]href="http://aplusphysics.com/flux">Physics[/url] In Flux</a>.</p>
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FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

AP Physics 1 Essentials – Coming Soon! #physicsed #physics #apphysics

<p>After many, many long hours and tons of great feedback from physics teachers across the globe, I’m thrilled to announce the AP Physics 1 Essentials, a guidebook / review book for the upcoming AP Physics 1 course, is due for release in late August. I began work on this project in the summer of 2010 when conversations at the AP Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., led to a number of different teachers talking about the need for a detailed course breakdown to support the change, followed by discussion of what the true cost of the change would be in terms of instructor hours, curriculum rewrites, resource revisions, etc. It was obvious there was going to be a need for a guidebook for the course, and my goal was to provide a short “everything you need to know” book that was easy-to-read, fun, engaging, and inexpensive so that students could pick this up as a guidebook/review book without having to purchase entirely new textbooks to support the changing course.</p> <p>I quickly picked up a following of fans eager to see the project succeed and more than willing to contribute what they could, from early draft versions of the Division of Content plans (which only vaguely resemble the final curriculum guides), to proposed and/or recommended formula sheets, to technical reviews, editing, “wish lists,” etc. I’ve been amazed at the positive response and helpfulness of so many, that has allowed this project to progress through multiple obstacles, from revised content and organizational issues through technical hurdles such as a corrupt book file caught nearly 80% into the rough draft. I guess this qualifies as checking the ”nothing worthwhile is easy” box on the project.</p> <p><img title="AP1Cover.jpg" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/AP1Cover.jpg" alt="AP1Cover" width="550" height="452" border="0" /></p> <p>I’m grateful to my family for allowing me the many hours early in the morning, late in the evening, and during the summer to work on this effort. As I write this, for example, I’m on vacation with my family. It’s almost 6 am, I’m watching the Allegheny River flow past, and just saw a bald eagle fly up the river, not 30 feet from where I sit typing. I also must thank the many physics instructors across the globe who have contributed in so many ways, from editing to hints to encouragement… but I need to say a special thank you to the APlusPhysics community. The website began as a tool to use in my own classroom, and quickly grew so popular that I felt compelled to continue to expand it at the request of its users. With more than 30,000 students using it EACH MONTH, I’ve been absolutely floored by the number of thank-you messages, letters of encouragement, and success stories contributed voluntarily by community members. You guys set me on this path, made the site and the books successful, and it’s your encouragement and support that have kept me at this project through the wee hours of the night and long hours of frustration.</p> <p>Moving on to the final product… I’m proud to say the book is finished. Sure, it has a few more edits to make, a few more tweaks here and there, but everything is on track for a late August 2013 release. My long-term goal was to have the book released one year before teachers began teaching the revised AP course, and it appears we’ll hit that deadline on the nose (with special thanks to the AP for delaying the change a year from the date I was originally told back in the summer of 2010). I’m hoping you find it valuable to your courses and studies. This book was written as the guidebook I would want my students to have for the course. Not a full standard physics textbook, because my students don’t learn and fully read their physics textbook (except in snippets), but rather a book designed to be used as written, read AND understood, with tons of example problems and solutions.</p> <p>Thank you so much for your tremendous support. I hope you enjoy AP Physics 1 Essentials as much as I enjoyed the opportunity to work with you and so many other amazing people on this project.</p> <p>Make it a great day!</p> <!-- Start Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><!-- End Shareaholic Recommendations Automatic --><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/PhysicsInFlux/~4/DnWJQ6JEW_o" height="1" width="1"/> Source

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

The Ultimate Regents Physics Question and Answer Book

So last year I took every single question from the last 17 NY Regents Physics exams, organized them by topic, and printed them neatly into worksheet / workbook formats for myself and others to use. They've been pretty popular, but have also been a fairly high maintenance item, as I have been receiving at least 10-15 e-mails per week about the worksheets. Some requests have come from teachers asking if I have created an answer sheet to go with them. Other requests have been from students looking to check their answers. Some have even been from students posing as instructors attempting to find the answers to the worksheets. But far and away, the most popular question has centered around whether I might offer a print version of the worksheets. It's taken awhile, but I've finally cleaned up all the sheets, arranged them into a workbook format, solved every single problem, added answer sheets, and sent them off for publication. The result -- yesterday, The Ultimate Regents Physics Question and Answer Book was released. I'm planning on leaving the individual worksheets available for download on the APlusPhysics site -- the book is merely provided as a convenience for those who'd rather have a hard copy, bound compendium of all the worksheets, with the answers included. Because these sheets are also popular as homework assignments, quizzes, etc., I don't plan on posting the answer sheets publicly… that's just making things a little too easy for students hoping to avoid productive work. The list price on the book is $11.99, which (typically) Amazon discounts within a few weeks of publication. I think that's a reasonable price for a resource that took me many, many hours to compile, with the goal of hopefully recouping the costs required to publish the book within a year or so if all goes well. Having said that, last night I received a troubling e-mail. Before even one copy had sold, I received a request asking if I would donate copies of the workbook to cover an entire physics course at a school. Now, I understand there's no harm in asking, so I politely responded that the cost for any donated/promotional copies come directly out of the pocket of a high school teacher (me), and that the entire content was already available for download and printing direct from the APlusPhysics website. The follow-up, however, left me troubled. The response stated that the copies were for an inner city school and therefore computers and Internet access to download and print the files wasn't reasonable. Maybe I'm being naive, but I have trouble believing that there are school districts (and individual schools) that are SO poor that there isn't a single computer with an Internet connection anywhere in the school. Or let's say that there aren't ANY computers in the school -- how can not one teacher have access to a computer and Internet to obtain the files on their own time? And in what world is it reasonable that I should pick up the costs to print and ship a volume of copies to a school where they can't find a way to download and print freely available files (which I also pay to host)? Rant ended. I'm more than happy to give away a ton of my work (and time) for free, but there are some costs associated with making these resources available. The software to create the site, the hosting fees, publication costs, licensing costs, etc. Almost all of the content in the books is already freely available on the site for educational use, and I LOVE when folks make use of these resources. But, the reality is that all of these things have some cost, and if I want to continue to build a terrific physics resource for our students, a few of the items on the site have to generate enough income to cover the costs of the site. Now, with that out of the way, I'm excited to be diving into the next project at full speed -- review / guide books for the new AP-1 and AP-2 courses. Background work / development has been going on for over a year, and, if all goes as planned, the first draft should be underway within a couple weeks!!!!!

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Guest Blog Post: Make a Positive Impact on Your High School Students’ Education With These Tips

Make a Positive Impact on Your High School Students Education With These Tips   High school teachers do not have easy shoes to fill, as an integral part of preparing teenagers for adulthood. Not only are they responsible for educating these young adults, they need to be able to engage with them in a way so that they are willing to learn and participate in new experiences. This is an age group who are at a major turning point in their lives, and despite needing guidance are more often prone to turning away from the adult figures in their life.   Be Up to Date on Trends – Teachers of high school students shouldn’t be showing up to school in a Jay-Z t-shirt, but they should at least know who he is. Opening the doors of communication with teenagers about important issues such as school progress and plans for the future often starts best with conversations about their likes and dislikes. Being able to chat about recent movies, popular TV shows or current music helps in beginning a conversation that will than lead to more pressing topics.   Use Media That Teenagers are Comfortable With – Face to face conversations have become somewhat of a novelty these days, making kids more comfortable with chatting on social media sites or through SMS messaging on their cell phones. Use these new forms of communication as an opportunity to send project assignments, details about upcoming exams or reminders of upcoming events. Teachers should not have a personal Facebook page or Twitter account that is visible to their students, but they can set one up that is meant specifically for their students. They can also use a school notification system such as DialMyCalls to take advantage of being able to send SMS text messages to an entire class at the same time.   Learn to Listen – If you want your high school students to excel as adults, you need to be an active listener. It takes a lot for kids of this age to open up to an adult, and any sign of disinterest will only result in them shutting adults out even further. Show your full interest in what they are saying by providing eye contact and responding appropriately. Many times, all a teenager really needs is for someone to hear them out without judgment or criticism.   Be Engaging in the Classroom – Not only are the one on one conversations difficult to achieve, teaching teenagers in the classroom is also a hurdle for high school teachers. Lectures usually go unheard, as your students minds drift to upcoming dates, where to go for lunch, and what to wear to the party Friday night. Instead of having lectures in the classroom make your lessons interactive, with students needing to actively participate. Ask questions frequently, give rewards for correct responses, and even allow for the students to take over your role in front of the class if they are knowledgeable about the subject matter.   Passionate high school teachers are those who end up making a positive impression on their students for the rest of their lives. Strive for this in your career by being creative in your communication methods with teenagers, and they will grow to make a positive impact in their own lives.    By Mary Donovan, DialMyCalls Account Manager The post Guest Blog Post: Make a Positive Impact on Your High School Students’ Education With These Tips appeared first on Physics In Flux.

Guest

Guest

 

Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge

I ran across this “SWEAT” pledge from Mike Rowe and absolutely loved it, so thought I’d share… a great philosophy for taking ownership and control of your life!  Learn more about this effort by clicking on the image itself.   The post Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge appeared first on Physics In Flux.

Guest

Guest

 

AP Physics 1 2015 Free Response Solutions

<p><iframe width="660" height="371" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GyTFznnrtTs?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p>
<p>Questions here: <a href="https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap15_frq_physics_1.pdf" target="_blank">https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap15_frq_physics_1.pdf</a></p>
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FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Which AP Physics Course Should I Take?

<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">Considering an AP Physics course? Outstanding, but which course should you take? The College Board now offers four separate and distinct versions of AP Physics, each designed with very different content, styles, and levels of mathematical complexity.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">Currently, the four physics courses offered are AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C: Mechanics, and AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism. So let’s start by talking about the courses and what each has to offer.</p>
<h2 style="text-rendering: optimizelegibility; line-height: 1; margin: 0.5rem 0px 1rem; font-size: 2.25rem; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif;">Algebra-Based Courses</h2>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">The new AP Physics 1 and 2 courses are both algebra-based courses, meaning no knowledge of calculus is required, though students should be comfortable with basic algebra and trigonometry. The exams for these courses were first offered in May of 2015, so the courses and the exams are still evolving through their infancy. Further, the AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 courses include a strong emphasis on conceptual understanding and critical thinking. Compared to traditional physics courses, these courses include a significant amount of reading and structured writing, experimental design, and critical thinking.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">Though mathematical reasoning and problem-solving are required for success in the course, they aren’t emphasized as strongly as in traditional courses. The courses are centered around seven “big ideas in physics,” and many of the exam problems will test your ability to interpret and apply one or more of these ideas to a new and unique situation (sometimes referred to as a transfer task).</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">Like most introductory physics courses, both AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 include a strong lab component to help students develop proficiency in science practices which are crucial to success. The course as a whole focuses on the idea that physics is something you do, not just something you know.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">The associated AP exams for these courses consist of two sections: a 90-minute multiple choice section and a 90-minute free response section. The multiple choice section consists of 50 to 55 questions with four answer choices per question. Unlike most multiple choice tests, however, certain questions may have multiple correct answers that need to be chosen to receive full credit.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">The free response section consists of four or five questions. Typically one question will cover experimental design, one question will cover quantitative and qualitative problem solving and reasoning, and three questions are of the short answer variety. In addition, students are expected to articulate their answers with a paragraph-length response.</p>
<h3 style="text-rendering: optimizelegibility; line-height: 1; margin: 0.5rem 0px 1rem; font-size: 1.75rem; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif;">AP Physics 1</h3>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">The AP Physics 1 course itself is designed as a first-year physics course. The bulk of the course centers around traditional Newtonian Mechanics, beginning with the study of motion (kinematics), forces (dynamics), work, energy, power, linear momentum, circular motion and rotation, gravity, and oscillations. In addition, AP Physics 1 also includes a brief introduction to mechanical waves, basic electrostatics, and simple electrical circuits.</p>
<h3 style="text-rendering: optimizelegibility; line-height: 1; margin: 0.5rem 0px 1rem; font-size: 1.75rem; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif;">AP Physics 2</h3>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">AP Physics 2 is designed as a follow-up to AP Physics 1, utilizing the same course philosophy, but extending the content covered to include fluids, thermal physics, a deeper look at electrostatics and more complex electrical circuits, magnetism, optics, and modern physics.</p>
<h2 style="text-rendering: optimizelegibility; line-height: 1; margin: 0.5rem 0px 1rem; font-size: 2.25rem; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif;">Calculus-Based Courses</h2>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">The two AP Physics C courses both incorporate calculus, so students should have calculus as a pre-requisite or co-requisite for the best possible experience. AP Physics C: Mechanics can be offered as a first-year physics course, though some schools offer both AP Physics C: Mechanics and AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism in the same year to students who have prior physics courses in their background.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">Compared to AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2, the AP Physics C courses follow a more traditional path with a stronger emphasis on quantitative problem solving. The level of calculus complexity is relatively light, with a strong focus on application of principles to various situations as opposed to the longer written explanations of the AP–1 and AP–2 courses.</p>
<h3 style="text-rendering: optimizelegibility; line-height: 1; margin: 0.5rem 0px 1rem; font-size: 1.75rem; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif;">AP Physics C: Mechanics</h3>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">Similar to AP Physics 1, AP Physics C: Mechanics covers only traditional Newtonian Mechanics. Students study motion, forces, work, energy, power, linear momentum, angular momentum, circular motion, rotational motion, gravity, and oscillations. Compared to AP Physics 1, however, the C course incorporates a higher level of technical complexity, such as dealing with situations of a non-constant acceleration, incorporation of drag forces (such as air resistance), and calculations of rotational inertia.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">Both of the AP-C exams consist of roughly 35 multiple choice questions given in a 45-minute interval, followed by three free response questions in a second 45-minute interval. The AP-C exams are typically given back to back on the same afternoon.</p>
<h3 style="text-rendering: optimizelegibility; line-height: 1; margin: 0.5rem 0px 1rem; font-size: 1.75rem; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif;">AP Physics C: Electricity &amp; Magnetism</h3>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">The AP Physics C: Electricity &amp; Magnetism course is by far the most technically complex of the AP Physics courses. Beginning with electrostatics, the course includes a detailed look at charges, electric forces, electric fields, electric potential, and capacitors. These concepts are then applied to an analysis of electrical circuits, including circuits with multiple sources of potential difference, real and ideal batteries, and transient analyses of circuits which include capacitors.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">From there, the course transitions into a look at magnetism, with a strong focus on the relationships between electricity and magnetism as Maxwell’s Equations are investigated. It’s typically in this section that students really begin to challenge themselves, applying fundamental relationships (and calculus skills) to problems of increasing sophistication and technical complexity. With the added knowledge of magnetism, inductors are also discussed and tied back into the analysis of electrical circuits.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">As you can see from the course descriptions, both of the AP Physics C courses are quite limited in scope, allowing for a much deeper exploration of the fundamental relationships and their application to various problems and situations.</p>
<h2 style="text-rendering: optimizelegibility; line-height: 1; margin: 0.5rem 0px 1rem; font-size: 2.25rem; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif;">Long-Term Goals</h2>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">So then, back to our original question – which AP Physics course should you take? The answer, as is so often the case in life, is that it depends. Students who are planning on a career in engineering or physics should definitely consider the calculus-based courses (AP Physics C). These courses are fundamental to future studies, and a majority of colleges and universities accept scores of 4 or 5 in these courses for credit (though many students choose to re-take these courses to further cement their understanding of the fundamental concepts and boost their freshman GPA).</p>
<p><img style="float: right;" title="AP-1-2-C Table.001.png" src="http://aplusphysics.com/flux/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/AP-1-2-C-Table.001.png" alt="AP 1 2 C Table 001" width="400" height="237" border="0" /></p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">For students who aren’t planning on a career in engineering or physics, the AP Physics 1 / AP Physics 2 series might be a better answer if their school of choice accepts AP–1/2 credit, as AP Physics C could be “overkill” compared to future course requirements. The problem, however, is that the AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 courses are so new that many colleges don’t know how to deal with them, and as of the writing of this article, there aren’t many schools that provide college credit for strong scores on the exams, as the course content and philosophy often times don’t match up well with the college’s offerings. For this reason, students who are up for a challenge and enjoy problem solving may want to target the AP Physics C course, even if they aren’t planning on a career in engineering or physics. Many universities will give credit for a good score in AP Physics C as a general science credit.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">To complicate matters, there are often times opportunities to take a sequence of these courses. In many high schools, AP Physics C is offered as a second-year physics course, with students taking on both the Mechanics and E&amp;M courses in a single year. It’s a fast-paced course, but doable for those who have successfully passed an introductory physics course. For those taking physics for the first time, AP Physics C: Mechanics is a reasonable year-long endeavor. Some schools with extended class times offer both AP–1 and AP–2 in the same year, though this is a very aggressive undertaking.</p>
<h2 style="text-rendering: optimizelegibility; line-height: 1; margin: 0.5rem 0px 1rem; font-size: 2.25rem; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif;">Summarizing the Choices</h2>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">To summarize as best I can in this nebulous time period, AP Physics C courses are traditionally for students heading toward physics and/or engineering related career paths, and require a pre-requisite or co-requisite in calculus. Definitely take AP-C Mechanics before AP-C E&amp;M, though it is possible to do both in the same year, especially with some prior physics background. For students not taking calculus or not headed toward physics or engineering careers, AP Physics 1 is a great place to start, with AP Physics 2 a reasonable follow-up for those interested. The concern with these choices is the newness of the courses, and whether colleges and universities will give credit for a strong AP score. As always, discussing and planning out course selections with a guidance counselor in consultation with an admissions counselor is highly advised.</p>
<h2 style="text-rendering: optimizelegibility; line-height: 1; margin: 0.5rem 0px 1rem; font-size: 2.25rem; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif;">Strategies for Success</h2>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">Regardless of which course(s) you choose, the AP Physics courses are challenging courses that require a level of independence and personal accountability to learn the material. These courses aren’t designed for “spoon feeding,” in which the instructor lectures, students listen, and everything works out. In order to truly understand the material and perform well on the culminating exam, you must engage in the class on a daily basis, struggle through the challenging problems, make mistakes again and again, and learn from them. Actively participate in classroom and lab activities and discussions, ask questions, but be prepared to search out your own answers. And don’t be afraid to take a step back every now and then and think about how what you’re learning applies to the course goals as a whole. Concept-mapping or outlining the topics in the course can be a terrific way to make connections you might not otherwise recognize.</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; line-height: 32px;">And of course, you have tons of resources to help you. Beyond just your textbook (which I do recommend you actually open and actively read) and teacher, you’ll find outstanding video tutorials and Q&amp;A forums like those at <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" title="Educator.com" href="http://educator.com/">Educator.com</a>, discussion and <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" title="Homework Help" href="http://aplusphysics.com/community/index.php/forum/13-homework-help/">homework help</a> communities, <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" title="AP-C Guide Sheets" href="http://www.aplusphysics.com/courses/ap-c/APC_Physics.html">“cheat sheets,”</a> and extra problems at <a style="color: #308bd8; text-decoration: none;" title="APlusPhysics.com" href="http://aplusphysics.com/">APlusPhysics.com</a>, and of course there are some great review and companion books available for these specific courses.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><strong>About the Author </strong></p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 28px;">Dan Fullerton is the author of <a href="http://aplusphysics.com/ap1" target="_blank">AP Physics 1 Essentials</a>, <a href="http://aplusphysics.com/ap2/" target="_blank">AP Physics 2 Essentials</a>, and the <a href="http://aplusphysics.com" target="_blank">APlusPhysics.com</a> website. He is an AP Physics teacher at <a href="http://www.westirondequoit.org/ihs/" target="_blank">Irondequoit High School</a> in Rochester, NY, and was named a <a href="https://www.suny.edu/masterteacher/" target="_blank">New York State Master Physics Teacher</a> in 2014.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p style="margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; font-family: Helvetica, Helvetica, Georgia, serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 32px;"><em>AP and Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Board, which does not sponsor or endorse this work.</em></p>
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FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Unrolling Toilet Paper

In his Dec. 17 Action-Reaction blog post titled "Falling Rolls," one of my heroes of physics instruction, Frank Noschese, details an exercise from Robert Ehrlich's book Why Toast Lands Jelly-Side Down. The exercise, a rotational motion problem that challenges students to find the ratio of heights at which you can drop two identical toilet paper rolls, one dropped regularly, the other dropped by holding onto the end of the paper and letting it unroll, such that the two rolls hit the ground at the same time. It's a terrific, easy-to-replicate and demonstrate problem that pulls together a great number of rotational motion skills --> finding the moment of inertia, applying the parallel-axis theorem, identifying forces and torques from free body diagrams, and converting angular acceleration to linear acceleration. My students dove into the challenge with zest! To begin the exercise, we set our variables (H=height for dropped roll, h=height for unrolled roll, r = inner diameter, R = outer diameter), then identified the time it takes for the dropped roll to hit the ground using standard kinematics: Next, we did the same thing for the unrolling toilet paper roll: Of course, if we want them to hit at the same time, the times must be equal, therefore we can show: Obviously, what we really need to focus our efforts on is finding the linear acceleration of the unrolling roll. To save ourselves some time, we started by looking up the moment of inertia for a cylinder: Using the parallel-axis theorem to account for the unrolled roll rotating about its outer radius we find: Next, we can use a free body diagram to identify the net torque on the roll as MgR, and use Newton's 2nd Law for Rotational Motion to find the angular acceleration: Since linear acceleration can be found from angular acceleration multiplied by the radius of rotation ®: Finally, since we're looking for the ratio of the dropped height to the unrolled height: This conflicts with the results from Noschese's class, where they derived However, their demonstration based on their results is very convincing. Let's take a look at the difference in ratios using the two derivations: For a toilet paper roll of inner diameter .0095m and outer diameter R=.035m (our school rolls from the janitor supply closet): It appears that our derivation is correct, per our visual confirmation with a high speed video camera: You can follow the original blog response at Physics In Flux.

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Kerbals in Space? Gamifying the Physics of Space Exploration

So, not long ago I came across a sandbox simulation software package / game called Kerbal Space Program. It allows you to build space vehicles on the fictional planet of Kerbal, launch the vehicles, attempt to put Kerbals into orbit, help them travel to other planets, etc. etc. Cute. But as I looked into it a little more, it has quite a bit of scientific and educational merit. The physics modeling is pretty good, the game is extremely addictive, and I believe it could be a great way to help students in my AP Physics C course transition from pure physics to applied physics and engineering in our last few weeks of school following the AP Exam. So I bought the game. Or, rather, I bought a copy, and the school bought five copies for the kids! Right now I'm still working out the details of the project. In general, though, I think it'd be fun to have the kids work through the simulation with a set of challenges as part of a "space race." Each group of 3 students will form their own space exploration team. With safety of all Kerbals as their prime directive, they will be asked to complete a series of tasks, documenting and analyzing their work along with each design and launch, and sharing their findings with the other teams through the use of blogging. In this manner, we'll begin to combine technical writing, project management, and even risk management with an addictive game centered around physics principles! I'm thinking their challenges may look something like:
Launch an unmanned rocket
Launch a manned rocket safety
Safely put a Kerbal in orbit (and bring him home)
Safely land a Kerbal on the Mun (and bring him home)
Safely land a Kerbal on a distant planet (and bring him home)
etc.
In just playing with the sim for a few minutes tonight, I managed to put a Kerbal in orbit, but them promptly left him there as I played around with an extra-vehicular activity walk… and then couldn't bring him back in as my command pod was out of fuel. Should be a hoot to see how the kids do, and if anyone else has played with the sim, wants to join us in our "experiment," etc., we'd love to work with others!

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Regents Physics SBG Objectives 2011-2012

I've been hammering out our Skills-Based Grading (SBG) objectives for Regents Physics for the coming school year, pulling from the tremendous efforts already in place and utilized by folks such as Frank Noschese, Kelly O’Shea, and others, as well as our state and district standards. In defining these, we were conflicted about how detailed and specific to make our goals, providing students more concrete feedback on their objectives, compared to more general objectives that allow for more interpretation and generalization of the “big picture” concepts. Eventually, we settled on a fairly specific list of concrete objectives in an effort to provide students specific information on what they need to do well on the end-of-year state culminating exam. These are absolute minimum baseline standards, provided with the strong understanding that these baseline objectives will be augmented throughout the year as we teach significantly above and beyond the state minimums. For example, our current list of magnetism objectives is quite limited, and will most certainly grow in individual classrooms as all our physics classes spend significantly more time on electromagnetic induction than is required to meet the state minimums. With this large number of objectives, assessment and feedback could become quite involved, which is where our implementation of Gravic Remark OMR will be of tremendous benefit in streamlining assessment on a specific type of standardized exam. Of course, we’ll still have our hands full with more authentic assessments, student-initiated assessments, labs, activities, etc., but it’s a start, and of course, we can always adjust as the year progresses. Here’s our first pass rough draft: Math Review MAT.A1 I understand and can estimate basic SI units
MAT.A2 I can convert basic SI units using common metric prefixes
MAT.A3 I can convert compound SI units
MAT.B1 I know the difference between scalar and vector quantities
MAT.B2 I can use scaled diagrams to represent and manipulate vector quantities
MAT.B3 I can determine x- and y-components of two-dimensional vectors
MAT.B4 I can determine the angle of a vector given its components
MAT.C1 I can draw accurate graphs and solve for the slope and y-intercept
MAT.C2 I can recognize linear and direct relationships and interpret the slope of a curve
MAT.C3 I can recognize quadratic and inverse relationships
MAT.D1 I can solve algebraic equations symbolically and numerically
MAT.D2 I can utilize the Pythagorean Theorem to solve problems involving right triangles
MAT.D3 I can utilize basic trigonometric identities to solve for sides and angles of right triangles
MAT.E1 I can use my calculator to solve algebraic equations with exponents
MAT.E2 I can use scientific notation and significant figures effectively
General Skills GEN.A1 I can design a reliable experiment that tests a hypothesis, investigates a phenomenon, or solves a problem
GEN.A2 I can communicate the details of an experiment clearly and completely with a formal lab report
GEN.A3 I can record, analyze, and represent data in a meaningful way
GEN.A4 I can identify sources of uncertainty and error
GEN.B1 I can solve problems using the FSA format
GEN.C1 I can properly utilize a metric ruler, meter stick, protractor, mass balance and stopwatch
GEN.D1 I can use writing to clearly and constructively communicate my thoughts to others using proper grammar, spelling, organization, and punctuation
GEN.D2 I can use technology effectively and appropriately to further my learning
GEN.D3 I can engage in constructive and responsible discourse in both small and large group environments
Constant Velocity Motion VEL.A1 I know the difference between position, distance and displacement
VEL.A2 I can calculate both distance and displacement
VEL.B1 I know the difference between average speed and velocity, and instantaneous speed and velocity
VEL.B2 I can solve problems involving average speed and velocity, and instantaneous speed and velocity
VEL.C1 I can interpret/draw motion diagrams for objects moving at constant velocity
VEL.C2 I can interpret/draw d-t and v-t graphs for objects moving at constant velocity
Constant Acceleration Motion ACC.A1 I can define acceleration and I know the difference between acceleration and velocity
ACC.A2 I can calculate acceleration with both direction and proper units
ACC.B1 I can interpret/draw motion diagrams for objects moving with changing velocity
ACC.B2 I can interpret/draw d-t, v-t, and a-t graphs for objects moving with changing velocity
ACC.C1 I can use kinematic equations to solve problems involving objects with changing velocity
ACC.C2 I can use kinematic equations to solve problems involving objects in free fall
ACC.D1 I understand that the vertical and horizontal motions of a projectile are independent of one another
ACC.D2 I can solve problems involving projectile motion for projectiles fired horizontally
ACC.D3 I can solve problems involving projectile motion for projectiles fired at an angle
Dynamics DYN.A1 I understand Newton’s 1st Law of Motion and can define mass and inertia
DYN.B1 I know the relationship between acceleration, force, and mass (N2)
DYN.B2 I can draw a properly labeled free body diagram showing all forces acting on an object
DYN.B3 I understand the relationship between the weight and mass of an object.
DYN.B4 I can determine unknown forces, accelerations, etc.
DYN.C1 I understand the meaning of Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion
DYN.C2 I can recognize and identify force pairs
DYN.D1 I can define and identify frictional forces
DYN.D2 I know the factors that determine the amount of static/kinetic friction between two surfaces
DYN.D3 I can determine the frictional force and coefficient of friction between two surfaces
DYN.E1 I can calculate the parallel and perpendicular components of an object’s weight to solve ramp problems
UCM & Gravity UCM.A1 I can explain and calculate the acceleration of an object moving in a circle at a constant speed
UCM.A2 I can define centripetal force and recognize that it is provided by forces such as tension, gravity, and friction
UCM.A3 I can solve problems involving calculation of centripetal force
UCM.A4 I can calculate the speed, period, frequency, and distance traveled for an object moving in a circle at constant speed
UCM.B1 I can state and apply Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation
UCM.B2 I know how mass and separation distance affects the strength of the gravitational force between two objects
Momentum and Impulse MOM.A1 I can define and calculate the momentum of an object
MOM.A2 I can determine the impulse given to an object
MOM.A3 I can use impulse to solve a variety of problems
MOM.A4 I can interpret and use F vs t graphs
MOM.B1 I can apply conservation of momentum using momentum tables to solve a variety of problems
MOM.C1 I can distinguish between elastic and inelastic collisions
Work, Energy, and Power WEP.A1 I can define and calculate the work done by a force
WEP.A2 I can calculate the kinetic energy of a moving object
WEP.A3 I can calculate the gravitational potential energy of an object
WEP.B1 I can solve problems using the law of conservation of energy
WEP.B2 I can solve problems using the work-energy theorem
WEP.C1 I can calculate the power of a system
WEP.D1 I can utilize Hooke’s Law to determine the elastic force on an object
WEP.D2 I can calculate a system’s elastic potential energy
Electrostatics ELE.A1 I understand and can calculate the charge on an object
ELE.A2 I can describe the differences between conductors and insulators
ELE.A3 I can explain the difference between conduction and induction
ELE.A4 I understand how an electroscope works
ELE.A5 I can use the law of conservation of charge to solve problems
ELE.B1 I can use Coulomb’s Law to solve problems related to electrical force
ELE.B2 I can compare and contrast Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation with Coulomb’s Law
ELE.C1 I can define, measure, and calculate an electric field
ELE.C2 I can solve problems related to charge, electric field, and forces
ELE.D1 I can define and calculate electric potential energy
ELE.D2 I can define and calculate electric potential difference (voltage)
ELE.D3 I can solve basic parallel-plate capacitor problems
Circuits CIR.A1 I can define and calculate an electric current
CIR.A2 I can define and calculate resistance using Ohm’s Law
CIR.A3 I can explain the factors and calculate the resistance of a conductor
CIR.B1 I can identify the path and direction of current flow in a circuit
CIR.B2 I can draw and interpret schematic diagrams of circuits
CIR.B3 I can use voltmeters and ammeters effectively
CIR.C1 I can calculate the equivalent resistance for resistors in series
CIR.C2 I can solve series circuits problems using VIRP tables
CIR.D1 I can calculate the equivalent resistance for resistors in parallel
CIR.D2 I can solve parallel circuit problems using VIRP tables
CIR.E1 I can define power in electric circuits
CIR.E2 I can calculate power and energy used in circuits
Magnetism MAG.A1 I understand that magnetism is caused by moving charges
MAG.A2 I can describe the magnetic poles and interactions between magnets
MAG.A3 I can draw magnetic field lines for a magnet
MAG.B1 I can describe the factors affecting an induced potential difference due to magnetic fields lines interacting with moving charges
Waves WAV.A1 I can define a pulse and a wave
WAV.A2 I understand the difference between a mechanical and an EM wave
WAV.A3 I understand the difference between a longitudinal and transverse wave
WAV.A4 I understand the relationship between wave characteristics such as frequency, period, amplitude, wavelength, and velocity
WAV.B1 I can utilize the superposition principle to analyze constructive and destructive wave interference
WAV.B2 I understand and can predict the result of the Doppler Effect
WAV.B3 I can recognize standing waves and explain nodes, antinodes, and resonance
WAV.C1 I can apply the law of reflection to plane surfaces
WAV.C2 I can explain the cause and result of refraction of waves
WAV.C3 I can utilize Snell’s Law to solve problems involving wave refraction
WAV.D1 I understand the principle of diffraction and can identify its effects qualitatively
WAV.E1 I recognize characteristics of EM waves and can determine the type of EM wave based on its characteristics
Modern Physics MOD.A1 I can explain the wave-particle duality of light
MOD.A2 I can calculate the energy of a photon from its wave characteristics
MOD.A3 I can calculate the energy of an absorbed or emitted photon from an energy level diagram
MOD.A4 I can explain the quantum nature of atomic energy levels
MOD.A5 I can explain the Rutherford and Bohr models of the atom
MOD.B1 I can explain the universal conservation laws (mass-energy, charge, momentum)
MOD.B2 I recognize the fundamental source of all energy in the universe is the conversion of mass into energy
MOD.B3 I understand the mass-energy equivalence equation (E=mc^2)
MOD.C1 I can explain how the nucleus is a conglomeration of quarks which combine to form protons and neutrons
MOD.C2 I understand that each elementary particle has a corresponding anti-particle
MOD.C3 I can use the Standard Model diagrams to answer basic particle physics questions
MOD.D1 I can define the known fundamental forces in the universe and can rank them in order of relative strength

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

 

Creating Screencasts (Mac) – 2017 Update #edtech #flipclass

So, it’s been a few years since I’ve detailed how I make my screencasts, and my workflow and equipment have evolved as I’ve added a few bells and whistles in an attempt to make the screencasts look a touch more professional (and more fun).  Some things have stayed the same, and others, well, not so much.  Here’s the basic workflow. The Computer 27″ iMacI’m still working on a Mac platform, doing most of my work on a 27-inch 2013-vintage iMac.  I try to keep up to date with the latest version of the operating system, which is currently OS X Sierra.  The iMac includes the higher-end graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB), has an i7 processor, and I’ve installed 32 GB of RAM.  Typically when I purchase a computer I shoot for a five to six year productive life span, at which point I’ll upgrade to a newer model.  This has worked pretty well for me with respect to my Mac laptops (a MacBook Pro), as the last one was in service for about six years, but I’m anticipating this iMac may continue well past that mark.  It still looks beautiful, runs quickly, and with the amount of RAM and the built-in Fusion Drive, its performance doesn’t appear to be in any danger of slowing down in the near future. Pen Displays Wacom Cintiq 22HDAttached to the iMac I have a Wacom Cintiq 22HD pen display unit, which is basically an external monitor that I can “write on” with a special pen, allowing me to annotate the screen as I talk through the video.  I’ve previously used a Wacom DTU-1631, and am looking forward to trying out the newly-released Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 with a USB-C enabled MacBook Pro.  Though the Wacom pen displays are a very significant investment, I’ve been very impressed with their quality and longevity.  The DTU-1631 has lasted five years in the classroom with heavy daily use, and the Cintiq 22HD is just shy of five years of service (though a much lighter workload) and could easily pass for brand new.  These monitors also hold their value extremely well over time. Audio & Video Blue Yeti MicrophoneI’ve gotten a ton of mileage out of my Blue Yeti USB microphone… I’ve tried a number of other mics, including lapel mics, and microphones that cost more than three or four Blue Yeti’s, but I haven’t found anything that compares to the quality of the Blue Yeti, especially at its very reasonable price point.  If you want to upgrade your audio from the built-in microphones, this is a very solid choice, and another piece of electronics that has held up well for more than five years of service. Canon Vixia HF G20I’ve put together a small office in my basement to allow for a fairly quick and seamless transition to video creation mode, which includes a foam green screen (and stand).  Especially if you’re just getting started, something as simple as a green flannel blanket can work, though I have to admit, the foam green screen has held up extremely well these past few years (even with the dog sleeping on the portion that sits on the floor at least daily).  They sell rather expensive lighting clips to hold the green screen to the stand, but I found quality clips at a much more reasonable price at the local hardware store. Genaray SpectroLEDFor illumination, I use a couple of super-cheap reflector work lights coupled with a Utilitech Pro floor LED and a Genaray SpectroLED SP-E-240D mounted on the ceiling.  With a little bit of playing, I can obtain pretty reasonable uniform green screen illumination.  I also use a couple of desktop clip-on lamps to illuminate the foreground (i.e. — my face) in the videos. To record my face in the videos, I’m using a Canon Vixia HF G20, saving the digital video file onto an SD card.  Most any digital camcorder or webcam can do the job, however.  While the Canon is recording my face, I’m separately using the iMac and Telestream’s Screenflow 6 (Telestream JUST released Screenflow 7, but I haven’t tried it out yet) to record the Wacom Cintiq screen, as well as recording the input from the Blue Yeti microphone. Recording Prior to any recording, however, I create my “slides” for the screencasts using Apple’s Keynote software, and export those slides as a PDF.  I then open the PDF using Zengobi’s Curio software, which is the software actively running on the Wacom screen that I use to annotate the slides.  If you haven’t tried it out, Curio is a pretty amazing piece of software that allows you to do so much more than just write on PDF slides…  if you have a Mac, it’s worth checking out for a variety of purposes! So, the workflow.  With everything set up, I have Screenflow 6 start recording the Wacom screen while recording the Blue Yeti mic, and simultaneously I start up the Canon video camera.  Once I’ve gone through the lesson, I stop Screenflow from recording and stop the Canon video camera.  I should now have an SD card that contains the digital video file of my face (with sound recorded from the Canon’s rather poor microphone), and a Screenflow 6 file that has video from the Wacom screen coupled with the Blue Yeti-recorded sound. Now it’s time to put the video all together.  First I export the digital video file from Screenflow 6, taking care to export at 29.97 fps and not 30 fps so that it will match up to the Canon digital video file.  Then, using Final Cut Pro on the Mac (coupled with the Motion and Compressor add-ons), I create a project and import both the recorded screen video file and the video camera file.  Using Final Cut, I create a combined clip from these two files and have Final Cut Pro sync them up based on the audio (although the sound from the Canon camera is poor, it’s good enough to sync the clips together).  Next, I mute the sound from the Canon camera, so that I now have my recorded screen video below my “live action” video, but using only the sound from the recorded video screen, which was recorded with the Blue Yeti mic. Editing Chroma Key EffectNext it’s time to edit.  First step is to take care of the green screen effect (formally known as chroma key), which Final Cut Pro does quite easily.  I remove the green color from the “live action” file using the “Keyer” effect, and tweak it as needed to get the desired result.  I then shrink the clip down and position it where I want, so that I have the live video taking up just a small portion of the screen, the background green from the video shows as transparent, and what shows through from underneath is the recorded video from the Wacom screen. The hard part’s done.  Final steps now involve fixing any audio issues, clip editing if necessary, adding any titles, and appending on the opening and closing video sequences, which were created using Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition from Adobe Creative Cloud.  Once I have the video looking the way I want in Final Cut Pro, I use Compressor to export it in multiple formats — high definition video for YouTube, and an APlusPhysics-specific size and quality for viewing directly from the APlusPhysics site. Next Steps Moving forward, I would really like to spend some time working with my old iPad to see if I can re-purpose it for use as a teleprompter.  I tend to spend a lot of time up front planning my videos, but still have yet to come up with a slick, efficient way of presenting notes to myself while I’m making a video.  I have to believe there’s a reasonable way to have my notes show up on my iPad and use some sort of remote (perhaps my phone?) to scroll through PDF notes on my iPad as necessary.  Currently I tend to tape my paper notes to the bottom of the camera, which is chock-full of problems, messiness, and opportunity for improvement. Back to Reality If it sounds like there’s quite a bit of work involved, you’re not wrong, but don’t think you have to go to anywhere near this level of complexity or expense to make quality screencasts.  My workflow has evolved over the years as I’ve tinkered and gone through a length set of try/fail sequences to learn what works for me and provides the level of quality I’m after.  Much of what I do can be accomplished in a similar manner using fairly basic tools — Techsmith’s Camtasia software coupled with a Webcam, a USB lapel mic, and most any digitizing tablet will get you pretty solid results without a huge investment. Even though this article is a technical how-to / what do I use, I’d still like to end with two bits of advice I’ve learned from doing things the hard way more times than I can count. First, and foremost, a flipped classroom is NOT about the videos, it is about building more in-class time for active learning strategies such as hands-on activities, group problem solving, deep-dives into a topic, discussions, etc.  The videos themselves are such a tiny part of the whole equation, and are primarily a means to create more available class time. Second, though it can be fun to doctor-up your videos and add all sorts of bells and whistles, realize that these embellishments and investments of time and resources have extremely minimal payback in the form of student learning and performance.  If you’re interested in doing these things, make sure you’re doing them because you want to and think it’s going to be fun, but don’t expect to see any sort of substantial learning improvement with higher quality videos (which brings me back to item one… it’s not about the videos!) Useful References Video: Developing a Successful Flipped Classroom Video Series: How to Get the Most Out of Studying (Dr. Chew) The post Creating Screencasts (Mac) – 2017 Update #edtech #flipclass appeared first on Physics In Flux.

FizziksGuy

FizziksGuy

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