Course Number: SC.PHY2AP

This course forms the first part of the college sequence that serves as a foundation in physics for students majoring in the physical sciences and engineering. The subject matter of the course is principally mechanics and electricity-magnetism. Strong emphasis is placed on solving physics problems, some of which will require calculus. Additionally, students will be expected to demonstrate, in a variety of ways, a rigorous understanding of the concepts central to the above domains of physics and will perform appropriate experiments through the two semesters. Students will be prepared to take both parts of the AP Physics C exam upon completion of the course of study.
Prerequisite: Chemistry, Physics; Concurrent with Calculus recommended
Course Length: 2 Period Length: 1 Grade Level: 9-12 Credit per Semester: 1
Additional Credit Information: Credit per Semester: 1.0 (Science requirement or Elective)
Enduring Understandings - important ideas that students should carry with them years beyond the instruction received this year.

Scientific Process
  • After a review of available and pertinent information, scientists formulate a hypothesis.
    A scientific investigation uses a repeatable procedure to explore one independent variable and proper constants or controls.
  • Technology in a scientific investigation allows scientists to quantify observations for analysis.
  • Scientists recognize and strive to limit sources of error or uncertainty. Scientific explanations and concepts change over time to reflect new evidence. Scientific results are supported by experimental evidence and explained using scientific concepts. Scientists share information to collaborate and extend knowledge. Scientists collaborate in order to identify alternative explanations and models for the results observed in an investigation. A scientific theory is a hypothesis that has been repeatedly tested and is generally accepted by most scientists.
    Safety is a primary concern with all laboratory techniques.
  • Scientists use evidence gained through scientific processes to explain the natural world.
Science and Technology
  • The implementation of any technology and the development of any resource has both benefits and consequences. Technology uses scientific principles to make things and to make things better. The two fields reinforce one another. Science and technology enhance the work we do.
  • Recognizing bias and opinion is important when processing scientific information.
    Scientists communicate about and critique each others work.
  • By analyzing data, systematic patterns and trends can be discovered. Many natural processes are cyclic.
    A system is composed of discrete parts that are interrelated. Natural cycles respond to internal and external influences. Some quantities in nature change continuously by a constant factor and can be described by exponential functions.
  • A valid hypothesis or theory must accommodate new data or the hypothesis or theory must be changed.
    The interdependent fields of science are connected through a particular way of knowing.
Essential Questions - most important “big picture” questions students should be able to answer after completing learning activities.

Scientific Process
  • Why do scientists generate hypotheses? What makes a science question testable?
    Why do scientists investigate one independent variable at a time? Why must a scientific procedure be repeatable? What kind of measurements are made in a scientific investigation? What tools can be used to make measurements? What constitutes scientific evidence? What makes data valid and reliable?
    Why is it important to continuously evaluate and revise scientific explanations and models?
    What makes a scientific conclusion valid and reliable? What is the importance of written communication in a scientific investigation? Why might there be alternative explanations and models? What is the importance of identifying alternative explanations and models? How do theories change over time? How does a scientific hypothesis drive an investigation?
  • What are safe laboratory practices?
  • What constitutes scientific evidence? What makes data valid and reliable? Scientists use models to help explain natural systems and to predict the behavior of systems under given circumstances.
Science and Technology
  • Which drives which, science or technology?
    When will we run out of our natural resources? When is technology a 'good thing' and when is it a 'bad thing'?
    How are science and technology used in the (teenage) workplace?
Processes and Connections
  • What constitutes scientific evidence? Why do scientists share their work?
  • Why is it important to recognize patterns and trends in scientific data?
  • How do cycles start and stop?
  • How are systems kept in balance?
  • Can the dynamics of natural cycles be predicted?
  • How are models used to increase our understanding of the natural world?
  • How are exponential functions useful in biological sciences?
  • How do hypotheses and theories change over time?
Where are the boundaries of various science disciplines? (e.g. Where does biology end and chemistry begin? Where does chemistry/Molecular genetics end and genetics/Mendelian begin?)