Archive for year 2012
APlusPhysics has been chosen as a finalist for a professional website redesign, but we need your vote! Please help us out by voting at https://www.facebook.com/LogoSnap/app_127709503932081. Thanks!
On March 2, 2013, the Central Western Section of the Science Teachers Association of NYS will sponsor the thirty sixth annual Science Congress at St. John Fisher College. Students (grades 6-12) from the region represented by Central Western Section present their research projects to scientists and educators who judge their understanding, research methods, and ability to communicate. Many student projects are recognized with awards, such as Honorable Mention, Honors, High Honors, and Highest Honors. In addition, special awards are presented by organizations for exceptional work in particular subjects. The highest reward is to be chosen to present at the STANYS State Science Congress or at the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)*. Some participants may be eligible to participate in a special middle school program entitled Broadcom MASTERS * (a competition in Math, Applied Science, Technology and Energy for Rising Stars). It is a joint effort of Broadcom and the Society for Science and the Public (SSP). The ISEF and Broadcom MASTERS opportunities offer our students horizon broadening experiences at the national level. It is only through the support of area businesses, local professional organizations, St. John Fisher College, the military, scientists, teachers, and other individuals, that Central Western Section is able to hold a Science Congress and to make these unique opportunities possible.
* Funding for 2013 has not been assured to enable STANYS-CWS to participate in these national and international programs.
The Science Congress Committee is composed of members from education and industry. Some people volunteer their time to find judges, mentors, sources of awards, and donations. Other volunteers register the students, make educational connections, or review student work for conformity to ISEF regulations. If you are interested in being a member of the Committee, a judge, or have ideas about sources of donations, please contact Director Dr. Jutta Dudley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Co-Director Sheila Root (email@example.com).
AP-C Independent Unit: Oscillations and Gravity
As AP-C students in a college course, you have the skills and ability to work and learn independently. Toward that end, starting today we will engage in our second independent work unit, tying up our Oscillations and Gravity units. Between now and ______________________, you are to:
- Read textbook sections 14.1-14.3, 11.1-11.4.
- Watch all APlusPhysics AP-C videos in the “Oscillations” and “Gravitation” sections.
- Watch Walter Lewin MIT OpenCourseWare Videos #11, 13, 14, 22 from course 8.01 Mechanics.
- Complete the attached SHM Equation Analysis Practice worksheet.
- Complete the Oscillations On An Incline Lab Activity.
- Complete the Oscillations WebAssign homework by midnight 12/17 and turn in all work.
- Complete the Gravitation WebAssign homework by midnight on 12/20 and turn in all work.
- Complete the four free response questions in your packet and achieve a score of 100% (answers available to check your work).
- Catch up on your APlusPhysics blog posts (target is one per week), comment on at least one other blog post per week, and rate at least three blog posts.
You may work alone or in groups, and the order and scheduling of your activities is completely up to you. At the beginning of class on ___________________, prior to taking the exam, you are to place your work for items #4 through #8, all stapled together with your name, into the INBOX.
I will be available for guidance if you get stuck, but will recommend you utilize the available resources (including each other) to help you independently first. These resources include, but are not limited to:
- Textbook sections 14.1-14.3, 11.1-11.4
- APlusPhysics AP-C Physics Videos (available from APlusPhysics.com or YouTube)
- Physics Podcasts / Videos: MIT’s OpenCourseWare Physics (Walter Lewin) available on iTunes, YouTube, and other online locations.
- Physics Videos: LearnAPPhysics.com
- Physics Forums HW Help: http://www.aplusphysics.com/forums
It’s been a crazy couple months, but last night I finished up the flipped class videos covering the entire AP Physics C: Mechanics curriculum. My goal was to try and target all the major points of the course requirements in roughly 6 hours worth of videos, realizing, of course, that students would need some background in physics in order to handle the material at this speed. I have a bit of tweaking to do (there’s a minor math typo in the SHM video, for example, that I’ll redo at my earliest convenience), but I’m pretty excited that the entire set of videos clocks in right around 6:18:00.
When people first hear this, the typical reaction I receive is “you must not have done a good job to cover all that material in such a short period of time.” I look at it from the alternate perspective — I’m boiling down the course into the key concepts and examples that illustrate them. These videos are not meant to be a substitute for an in-the-classroom standard course — far from it, for that purpose, they would be an abysmal failure (as, I imagine, any video-based system would fail). Instead, these are meant as an additional resource, a tool, for students to review the take-away highlights from each subject, reinforcing major principles and applications. Physics is something you do, not something you know, therefore the meat of any course is taking resources such as these and applying them in a variety of situations. Practice, exploration, discovery — that’s how you learn. But having a concise review available on demand certainly can’t hurt.
So, for those interested in such a resource, I hope you find these videos useful and enjoyable. At the beginning of the year I’d never planned to undertake this project, but student requests in early September got me started, and ongoing feedback on the value of these has been tremendous. Our most recent unit, in which I completely flipped the classroom (absolutely no lecture in class, students watched videos at night and each day was hands-on exploration, lab, group problem solving, and reflection) led to the highest end-of-unit exam grades I’ve seen from a class to date. This reinforces how effective this method of instruction can be with motivated students who engage fully in the process.
In short, I hope others are also able to take some value from these videos. For the 6 hours of completed videos, I would estimate I’ve put in close to 120 hours of work (organizing, researching, presenting, taping, re-taping, re-re-taping, editing, producing, etc.) beyond what I would have done just to teach my standard lectures, but I believe I’ve created a resource I can use again and again, year after year, tweaking and updating the videos as I find improved methods and alternate explanations. Not sure I want to take on the E&M half of the course this year… I have a ton of other projects on my docket (some of which are quite extensive with looming deadlines), but would love your feedback if you find these of value, if you don’t, or if you’d like to see E&M completed as well.
Make it a great day!
Link to AP Physics C: Mechanics guide sheets (accompany videos)