High School Physics (twice/week)

March 28, 2018 - 5 minutes read

$588/15 weeks; class meets twice/week

12 students maximum

Prerequisites: A basic understanding of the scientific method and the atomic structure of matter. Students must have passed High School Algebra with a B or better. Note: Additional support for specific algebra skills will be provided as needed throughout the course.

Required materials: Textbook: Glencoe Physics: Principles and Problems Copyright: 2013. https://www.mheducation.com/prek-12/program/MKTSP-GBO12M0.html

Students must have access at home to a PC with good internet connectivity and a Google Mail account to participate in online work for the class, including lesson videos and online physics simulation. Use of free online Google Office tools of Slides, Sheets and Docs for reports and presentation are strongly encouraged.


In High School Physics we will take an in-depth look at the world of Physics and explore some of the fundamental approaches to understand and quantify classical interactions of material bodies in the Universe. Students study displacement, velocity and acceleration vectors, and how these concepts are applied in one- and two-dimensional space to explain projectile motion for bodies in the Earth’s gravitational field, then Newton’s laws of motion and the use of forces to describe a broad range of mechanical systems which govern our world. This in turn leads to alternative approaches to explain motion in terms of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum. The first semester ends with an application of these concepts to understand Newton’s law of gravitation and how it explains the laws of planetary motion as described by Kepler’s laws.

The spring session starts by extending these general mechanics concepts to understand the laws of thermodynamics. We study the physics of vibration, simple harmonic motion of simple systems such as a mass-loaded spring or a pendulum,and the physics of waves, where we explore sound and the physics of musical instruments. Finally, we extend these concepts to include the electrostatic force, leading to the concepts of the electric field, potential energy, and electric potential based on strong analogies to the gravitational force field. These ideas are then used to analyze DC circuits and resistor networks. We end the course with an analysis of magnetic fields and the effects of the Lorentz force on moving charges.


Students should be committed to daily study five days per week. A textbook resource and lab notebook will be required. Students will take class notes; perform lab experiments and complete calculations based on their lab data; learn how to apply basic algebra to complete calculations for various concepts; and participate in class activities designed to reinforce core concepts.

The majority of lab experiments will be completed in class but students will be required to complete their pre-lab and post-lab write-ups at home (including calculations and research). Students will be expected to complete assigned reading and written homework, as well as at least one research paper and presentation on modern physics topics. A detailed syllabus will be provided to students outlining all assignments. Tests will be proctored at home with parent signatures ensuring students follow our testing standards. Grades will be based on graded assignments, unit tests, lab reports, research reports, and a final at the end of each semester.


At-home work: Assignments may require 1 hour a day for 5 days per week. An answer key will be provided with each assignment, and students will be expected to check their own work to ensure understanding. Each class will begin with a short quiz on the previous day’s homework.


This is a year-long course. Students joining mid-year must have prior experience with high school physics and teacher permission.