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Science AP


Course Outline


Honors Biology:

Course Overview:

This course provides students with a challenging honors-level biology curriculum, focusing on the chemistry of living things: the cell, genetics, evolution, the structure and function of living things, and ecology. The program consists of advanced online lessons including extensive animations, an associated reference book, collaborative explorations, and hands-on laboratory experiments students can conduct at home. Honors activities include debates, research papers, extended collaborative laboratories, and virtual laboratories.

Course Outline:


Unit 1: The Science of Biology  

Students explore biology as one of the sciences and confront the concepts of scientific methods. After exploring scientific processes as they apply to biology, students examine what "life" means as they investigate the characteristics that all living things share. Students then look at the importance of energy, what kinds of energy are significant when considering living things, and the relationship of structures of living things to their functions.

  • Introduction

  • Biology and Scientific Methods

  • Scientific Processes

  • Laboratory: Using a Microscope

  • The Characteristics of Life

  • Energy and Life

  • Structure and Function

Unit 2: The Chemistry of Life

Students explore the chemical basis for life by examining the most important groups of organic compounds: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Students then examine water and how it is important for living things. In each case, students focus on the relationship of the molecular structure of compounds to its function in living things.

  • Chemistry Review

  • Chemical Bonds

  • Carbon and Life

  • Organic Compounds and Trace Elements

  • Ions in Living Things

  • Useful Chemicals from Living Things

  • Water

  • Laboratory: Investigating Biological Compounds 1

  • Simple Carbohydrates

  • Complex Carbohydrates

  • Lipids

  • Amino Acids and Proteins

  • Levels of Protein Structure

  • Proteins as Enzymes

  • Nucleic Acids

  • ATP

Unit 3: Cell Biology

Students now are able to begin looking at the structure and function of living things. They begin with an exploration of the cell. They confront the structure of the cell, its membranes, and organelles. In particular, they look at the processes by which cells gather and make energy available, focusing on the activities of the mitochondrion and the chloroplast. Students then proceed to look at cellular reproduction and study the processes of meiosis and mitosis.

  • The Cell and Life

  • Cell Structure

  • Cell Organelles

  • Two Types of Cells

  • Cell Membrane Structure

  • Movement Across Membranes

  • Passive Transport

  • Active Transport

  • Laboratory: Determining the Rate of Diffusion 1

  • Laboratory: Determining the Rate of Diffusion 2

  • Glycolysis and Fermentation

  • The Krebs Cycle

  • The Electron Transport System

  • Light and Photosynthesis

  • Photosynthesis and Glucose

  • Chemical Energy and Life

  • Respiration and Photosynthesis

  • Laboratory: The Rate of Photosynthesis 1

  • Reproduction and Development

  • Mitosis

  • Laboratory: Observing Mitosis

  • Cell Differentiation

  • Cell Specialization

  • Sexual Reproduction

  • Meiosis I

  • Meiosis II

Unit 4: Mendelian Genetics

Students learn about the work of Gregor Mendel as a way of studying modern genetics. They perform genetic crosses and begin to see how traits are inherited. As they examine Mendelian genetics more closely, they see the relationship between inheritance and chromosomes and between genes and alleles. This unit prepares students to go deeper into genetics at the molecular level.

  • The Work of Gregor Mendel

  • Mendelian Inheritance

  • Laboratory: Genetic Crosses 1

  • Pedigrees

  • Laboratory: Gene Mapping

  • Chromosomes and Genes

  • Genes and Alleles

  • Genetic Variation

Unit 5: Molecular Genetics

The chemical basis for genetics is one of the cornerstones of modern biology. In this unit, students understand the relationship between DNA, RNA, and proteins—and what this has to do with genes and inheritance. After establishing a firm basis in molecular genetics, students are able to understand modern applications of genetics, including biotechnology and genetic engineering.

  • DNA, RNA, and Proteins

  • Structure of DNA

  • Structures of RNA

  • DNA Replication

  • Transcription

  • Laboratory: Modeling DNA

  • Laboratory: Modeling DNA Replication

  • DNA Makes RNA

  • RNA Makes Protein

  • The Genetic Code

Unit 6: Semester 1 Review and Test

Students prepare for and take the semester test.

Unit 7: Honors Project 1: Research Paper

An independent research paper gives honors students the opportunity to explore biology topics in depth. Students select one of five topics to research and then develop a paper reporting on their topic.

  • Planning Your Research Paper

  • Finding and Using Information for Your Paper

  • Organizing Notes and Developing an Outline

  • Writing Your Paper

  • Creating a Works-Cited Page

  • Revising and Proofreading the Research Paper

Unit 8: Honors Project 2: Extended Lab: Rate of Photosynthesis

This honors project extends the Rate of Photosynthesis Lab so that students test the effects of an additional variable—light—as well as heat. Students model communication and collaboration of the scientific community by collecting and sharing data in an online shared spreadsheet. They benefit from multiple sets of data and repeated trials rather than a single set of their own data. Students download and graph the data then discuss outliers, experimental error, and other factors related to experimental design.


Unit 1: Gene Expression

In this unit, students explore the process by which the DNA-RNA relationship builds proteins. Then students learn how the process of proteins synthesis is controlled, a process called gene expression. Students then are able to understand modern applications of genetics, including biotechnology and genetic engineering.

  • Introduction

  • Proteins Express DNA

  • How Proteins Work

  • Gene Expression

  • Biotechnology

  • Genetic Engineering

Unit 2: Evolution

Evolution is the central organizing principle of biology. Students learn about the concept of evolution and the underlying principles of natural selection. Once they have mastered the fundamental principles, they see how modern evolution is a science that includes gene changes over time as the underlying mechanism for evolution.

  • Evolution and Biology

  • Evolution of Populations

  • Multiplying Variation in Populations

  • Types of Natural Selection

  • History of Evolutionary Thought

  • Evidence for Evolution

  • Evolution and Earth History

  • Laboratory: The Process of Natural Selection

  • Genetic Basis of Evolution

  • The Hardy-Weinberg Equation

  • Geographic Isolation

  • Genetic Isolation

Unit 3: Survey of Living Things 1

Students learn about the structure and function of living things by examining three representative organisms: a flatworm, a fern, and a human. In doing so, students examine processes such as digestion and respiration—comparing and contrasting how living things obtain food, break down food, eliminate waste, and obtain and use oxygen.

  • Classification and Taxonomy

  • Modern Classification

  • Laboratory: Dichotomous Key

  • Viruses and Prokaryotes

  • Protists and Fungi

  • Animals

  • Plants

  • Three Representative Organisms

  • Getting Energy

  • Digestion

  • Digestion in Humans

  • Laboratory: Human Digestion Actions

  • Waste Removal

  • Waste Removal in Humans

  • Obtaining Oxygen

  • Oxygen and the Human Body

Unit 4: Survey of Living Things 2

Students continue their examination of living things, focusing on three representative organisms. They explore the nervous and muscular systems and see how these systems aid in responding to the organism's environment. Students then examine various aspects of reproduction among living things and finish with a study of defense.

  • How Organisms Monitor Their Environments

  • Human Nervous System

  • Feedback Mechanisms

  • How Living Things Respond to Their Environments

  • Muscular Systems

  • How Muscles Contract

  • Laboratory: Chicken Muscles

  • Fern Reproduction

  • Flatworm Reproduction

  • Human Reproduction

  • How Organisms Defend Themselves

  • Human Immune Response

  • Plant Defenses

Unit 5: Ecology and the Environment

As students have moved through this curriculum, they have learned about living things, their structure, and functions. In this unit, they confront organisms in relation to their environments. Students study living things and the ecosystems in which they live, examining both the biotic and abiotic components of the world in which organisms exist.

  • Individuals and Populations

  • Communities

  • Ecosystems

  • Ecosystem Stability

  • Biomes

  • Biodiversity

  • Energy Flow in Ecosystems

  • Food Chains and Food Webs

  • Succession

  • Laboratory: Patterns of Succession

  • Changes in Ecosystems

  • Water and Nitrogen Cycles

  • Carbon and Oxygen Cycles

  • Laboratory: Fixation in Root Nodules

  • Laboratory: The Effects of Acidity on Seed Germination

  • Natural Resources

  • Environmental Challenges

  • Global Temperatures

  • Pollution

Unit 6: Semester 2 Review and Test

Students prepare for and take the semester test.

Unit 7: Honors Project 1: Virtual Lab: Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance describes how the effects of antibiotics on certain bacteria weaken or become ineffective over time. Students investigate antibiotic resistance by conducting an experiment in the K12 Virtual Science Lab.

  • Virtual Lab: Antibiotic Resistance

Unit 8: Honors Project 2: Issues in Science: Online Debate

Research and technology produce new information and capabilities, as well as great responsibility. The scientific community wrestles with the question, "Just because we can, does that mean we should?" Examining all sides of an issue can sometimes bring together everyone's opinions. Other times, people just must agree to disagree. Different sides of an issue can be examined with a debate. This project is an opportunity for students to examine current scientific issues and express opposing viewpoints through structured debate. Students work in collaborative teams to develop and present a case online. Teamwork and sharing ideas are emphasized; students meet online or in person.

  • Debates: A Different Way to Argue

  • Gathering Evidence

  • Building a Case

  • Reasoning and Refutation

  • Effective Debating Strategies

  • Debate: Constructive Argument

  • Debate: First Rebuttal

  • Debate: Second Rebuttal

  • Debate: Summary Argument


AP Biology:

Course Description:

AP Biology is an intensive course designed to be the equivalent of an introductory biology course taken in college. The emphasis is on developing an understanding of biological concepts rather than an accumulation of facts. The student should understand and appreciate the science of biology as a process and a personal experience in scientific inquiry that develops their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

This course also prepares the high school student to take the AP exam given in May. In order to pass the exam (usually this is with a score of 3 or higher), students must be highly motivated and driven to excel in this challenging course. The format for this class will be primarily lecture and lab, supported by interactive labs, hands on activities, and quiz review.


Course Outline:

I.  Molecules and Cells (25%)

A. Chemistry of Life (7%)

1. Water

2. Organic molecules in organisms

3. Free energy changes

4. Enzymes

B. Cells (10%)

1. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

2. Membranes

3. Subcellular organization

4. Cell cycle and its regulation

C. Cellular Energetics (8%)

1. Coupled reactions

2. Fermentation and cellular respiration

3. Photosynthesis

II. Heredity and Evolution (25%)

A. Heredity (8%)

1. Meiosis and gametogenesis

2. Eukaryotic chromosomes

3. Inheritance patterns

B. Molecular Genetics (9%)

1. RNA and DNA structure and function

2. Gene regulation

3. Mutation

4. Viral structure and replication

5. Nucleic acid technology and application

C. Evolutionary Biology (8%)

1. Early evolution of life

2. Evidence for evolution

3. Mechanisms of evolution

III. Organisms and Population (50%)

A. Diversity of Organisms (8%)

1. Evolutionary patterns

2. Survey of the diversity of life

3. Phylogenetic classification

4. Evolutionary relationships

B. Structure and Function of Plants and Animals (32%)

1. Reproduction, growth, and development

2. Structural, physiological, and behavioral adaptations

3. Response to the environment

C. Ecology (10%)

1. Population dynamics

2. Communities and ecosystems

3. Global issues


AP students will be required to do a minimum of 12 predetermined AP labs. Several of these will be written up as formal lab reports. Additional labs will be completed in a composition book. Due to the nature of lab work and the significance of the labs to the final AP Exam, labs will typically be valued at 100 points or more. We complete these labs in 1-2 class periods (3 hours), with most of the lab write up and evaluation and conclusion completed outside of the classroom. *The fruit fly lab is an exception – as it takes several weeks to complete.

Recommended AP Biology Laboratories:

1.) Diffusion & Osmosis

2.) Enzyme Catalysis

3.) Mitosis & Meiosis

4.) Plant Pigmentation & Photosynthesis

5.) Cell Respiration

6.) Molecular Biology

7.) Genetics & Organisms

8.) Population Genetics & Evolution

9.) Transpiration

10.) Physiology of the Circulatory System

11.) Animal Behavior

12.) Dissolved Oxygen & Aquatic Primary Productivity


Honors Chemistry:


Course Overview:

This advanced chemistry course gives students a solid basis to move on to more advanced courses. The challenging course surveys all key areas, including atomic structure, chemical bonding and reactions, solutions, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, organic chemistry, and nuclear chemistry, enhanced with challenging model problems and assessments. Students will complete community-based written research projects, treat aspects of chemistry that require individual research and reporting, and participate in online threaded discussions.


Course Outline:


Unit 1: The Study of Chemistry

Students explore chemistry as one of the sciences and confront concepts of matter, energy, the metric system, and scientific methods. Students examine the relationship of matter and energy, including learning about classification of matter. To prepare students for solving chemistry problems throughout the course, students learn about the metric system, significant figures, and the scientific method as applied in chemistry research.

  • Semester Introduction

  • Chemistry and Society

  • Matter and Energy

  • Pure Substances

  • Mixtures

  • Laboratory: Paper Chromatography 1

  • Laboratory: Paper Chromatography 2

  • Properties of Substances

  • Problem Solving in Chemistry

  • Metric System: Base Units

  • Metric System: Derived Units

  • Graphing

  • Scientific Method and Chemistry

  • Honors Project 1

Unit 2: Atomic Structure

This unit introduces students to the atom and examines changing perspectives of the nature of the atom throughout history. In following a historical story, students learn about the parts of the atom and its properties such as atomic number, atomic mass, atomic orbitals, and electron arrangement. To ensure the most current understanding of the atom, students examine the quantum theory of the atom and its use in understanding atomic spectra. This unit prepares students for the periodic table.

  • Early Theories of the Atom

  • The Nuclear Atom

  • Atomic Number and Mass Number

  • Ions

  • Isotopes and Atomic Mass

  • Laboratory: Properties of Substances 1

  • Laboratory: Properties of Substances 2

  • The Bohr Atom

  • Electron Orbitals

  • The Quantum Atom and Atomic Spectra

Unit 3: The Periodic Table

With a basis in matter and the structure of the atom, students now turn their attention to the organization of atoms and elements and their graphic representation as a periodic table. The properties of the periodic table are defined, and then students examine trends that are brought out by the arrangement of atoms according to atomic number. Students study elements by learning about metals and other classes of elements.

  • Atomic Number and the Periodic Law

  • The Periodic Table

  • Electron Arrangement Patterns

  • Trends within the Periodic Table

  • Metals

  • Nonmetals

  • Laboratory: Reaction of Metals 1

  • Laboratory: Reaction of Metals 2

  • Metalloids

  • Honors Project 2

  • Inner Transition Metals

Unit 4: Chemical Bonding

Atoms form bonds. In the first part of this unit, students learn about different types of bonds, principally ionic and covalent bonds. This unit focuses on recognizing why and how bonds form and the naming of the substances involved. Included in this unit are examinations of metallic bonding and of intermolecular forces that result in hydrogen bonds.

  • Monatomic Ions

  • Polyatomic Ions

  • The Ionic Bond and Salts

  • Properties of Ionic Compounds

  • Naming Ionic Compounds

  • Laboratory: Salts: Precipitation Reactions 1

  • Laboratory: Salts: Precipitation Reactions 2

  • Bonding in Metals

  • The Covalent Bond and Molecules

  • Lewis Structures

  • Molecular Shapes

  • Van der Waals Forces

Unit 5: Chemical Reactions

Bonding is now firmly established, so students can progress to learning how bonds break and form in chemical reactions. Different types of chemical reactions are explored in both direct instruction and virtual laboratory experiences. Students learn the fundamentals of products and reactions and learn to balance equations to show that mass is conserved as change happens in these reactions.

  • The Conservation of Mass

  • Balancing Chemical Equations

  • Combustion Reactions

  • Synthesis Reactions

  • Decomposition Reactions

  • Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

  • Single Displacement Reactions

  • Double Displacement Reactions

  • Laboratory: Chemical Reactions 1

  • Laboratory: Chemical Reactions 2

Unit 6: Stoichiometry

Now that students understand the basics of chemical reactions and the ability to balance chemical equations, it is possible for them to apply this knowledge to real-world situations. Stoichiometry is the study of determining the yields of chemical reactions, given the masses of some parts of the chemical equation. Mastering this allows students to solve problems similar to those that confront chemists in industrial production.

  • Stoichiometry and Its Uses

  • Mole-Number Relationships

  • Mole-Mass Relationships

  • Mole-Volume Relationships

  • Moles and Chemical Equations

  • Laboratory: Stoichiometry of Chemical Reactions 1

  • Laboratory: Stoichiometry of Chemical Reactions 2

  • Calculating Yields of Reactions

  • Percent Yield

Unit 7: Semester Review and Test

  • Semester Review

  • Semester Test


Unit 1: States of Matter

The study of gases, liquids, and solids not only tells us of their properties, but gives us a strong basis for understanding how matter is organized and how it behaves. Students closely examine how a volume of gas behaves under changing conditions of pressure and temperature. Students also investigate some of the properties of liquids and solids and relate all three states of matter using phase diagrams.

  • Semester Introduction

  • The Behavior of Gases

  • Boyle's Law

  • Charles's Law

  • Gay-Lussac's Law

  • Laboratory: Gas Laws 1

  • Laboratory: Gas Laws 2

  • The Ideal Gas Law

  • Absolute Zero

  • Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures

  • Graham's Law of Effusion

  • Phase Diagrams

  • Honors Project 3

  • Some Properties of Liquids

  • Some Properties of Solids

Unit 2: Solutions

Much of chemistry involves understanding solutions, in which a solute is placed in a solvent. The properties of the resulting solution can be understood by examining the interactions between the parts of a solution. Students learn the various ways to describe the concentration of solution and how to separate the component substances.

  • Solutions

  • The Dissolving Process

  • Laboratory: Factors Affecting Solution Formation 1

  • Laboratory: Factors Affecting Solution Formation 2

  • Molarity and Mole Fraction

  • Molality and Mass Percent

  • Colligative Properties

  • Separating Solutions

Unit 3: Acids and Bases

Most students entering chemistry have some experience with acids and bases from everyday life. In this unit, after examining the properties of acids and bases, students analyze different definitions of acids and bases that have been developed since the time of Arrhenius. They learn how to solve problems dealing with the strength of acids and bases. Students gain practical experience working with acids and bases in a virtual laboratory setting, including doing titrations.

  • Properties of Acids and Bases

  • Arrhenius Acids and Bases

  • Bronsted-Lowery and Lewis Acids and Bases

  • Measuring Acids and Bases

  • Buffers and Titration

  • Laboratory: Titration: Testing Water Quality 1

  • Laboratory: Titration: Testing Water Quality 2

  • Strength of Acids and Bases

Unit 4: Chemical Thermodynamics

A vital part of the study of matter is learning about the energy associated with both chemical and physical changes. The study of energy in chemical systems is called chemical thermodynamics. It involves understanding that energy is conserved during chemical reactions and when substances change from gas to liquids to solids—and back again. Overarching all this content is the law of conservation of energy.

  • The Conservation of Energy

  • Measuring the Flow of Heat

  • Laboratory: Heat Transfer 1

  • Laboratory: Heat Transfer 2

  • Specific Heat

  • Changes in Enthalpy

  • Writing Thermochemical Equations

  • Heat during Changes of State

  • Hess's Law

Unit 5: Reaction Rate and Equilibrium

In the previous unit, students developed a basic understanding of the role of energy in chemistry and how it applied to certain processes. In this unit, students examine the role of energy in two important chemical phenomena: reaction rates and system equilibria. Based on an understanding of collision theory, students develop a "big idea" understanding of why chemical reactions do and do not occur.

Reaction Rates and Energy of Activation

  • Factors Affecting Reaction Rates

  • Laboratory: Reaction-Rate Factors 1

  • Laboratory: Reaction-Rate Factors 2

  • Collision Theory

  • Equilibrium

  • Le Chatelier's Principle

  • Spontaneous Reactions

  • Entropy and Free Energy

Unit 6: Electrochemistry

In this unit, students conduct a systematic study of the electrochemical processes. They learn the basics of the conversion of electrical energy to chemical energy and vice versa. They examine voltaic cells, batteries, and electrolytic cells.

  • Electrochemical Processes

  • Honors Project 4

  • Voltaic Cells

  • Laboratory: Electroplating 1

  • Laboratory: Electroplating 2

  • Dry Cells

  • Electrolytic Cells

Unit 7: Organic Chemistry

As students move through this curriculum, they learn about chemicals and their relationship to living things. In this unit, they conduct a systematic study of carbon-based compounds as they study organic chemistry and biochemistry. First, they confront some types of organic compounds and learn about schemes for naming them. Students then turn their attention to biochemistry, including an examination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

  • Hydrocarbons and Other Organic Chemicals

  • Laboratory: Modeling Organic Compounds

  • Polymers

  • Carbohydrates and Fats

  • Proteins and Nucleic Acids

Unit 8: Nuclear Chemistry

The reactions that form the basis of the study of classical chemistry are those involving relationships between electrons of reactants and products. Nuclear chemistry, however, is a branch of chemistry that deals with the atomic nucleus, its particles, and forces. Students learn about radioactivity, transmutation of elements, and aspects of nuclear fission and fusion. In addition, students become aware of the uses of nuclear chemistry in the modern world.

  • Forces within the Nucleus

  • Radioactivity and Half-Life

  • Laboratory: Calculating Half-Life

  • Transmutation of Elements

  • Nuclear Fission and Fusion

Unit 9: Semester Review and Test

  • Semester Review

  • Semester Test


AP Chemistry:


Course Description:

This AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. For most students, the course enables them to undertake, as a freshman, second year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or to register in courses in other fields where general chemistry is a prerequisite. This course is structured around the six big ideas articulated in the AP Chemistry curriculum framework provided by the College Board and listed below. A special emphasis will be placed on the seven science practices, which capture important aspects of the work that scientists engage in, with learning objectives that combine content with inquiry and reasoning skills. AP Chemistry is open to all students that have completed 
a year of chemistry who wish to take part in a rigorous and academically challenging course.

Chapter 1: Course Introduction

  • Class expectations

  • How to write a lab report

  • How to prepare for the AP Exam

  1. Unit 1: Foundations

Chapter 2: Math & Measurements


  • Scientific notation

  • Significant Figures

  • Metric unit conversions & dimensional analysis

  • Percent error

  • Graphing your results

  • Estimation

  • Solving equations


  • Think Like a Scientist: Students use basic tools to make measurements and then check the accuracy of their measurements.

Chapter 3: Building Blocks of Matter

Big Idea 1: The chemical elements are fundamental building materials of matter, and all matter can be understood in terms of arrangements of atoms.


  • Atomic structure

  • Dalton’s atomic theory

  • Atomic models

  • Electron configurations

  • Molecules and Ions

  • Coulomb’s Law


  • Electron Transitions: Students will use a SAS Curriculum Pathways virtual lab to investigate energy absorption and emission for single- and multi-electron atoms. (SP 1, 3, 5, 7)

  • Discharge Lamps and Flame Tests: Students will conduct an at home flame test from Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments. They will use a PhET simulation to apply this information to discharge lamps and how they work. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 3, 5, 6)

Chapter 4: Periodic Law

Big Idea 1: The chemical elements are fundamental building materials of matter, and all matter can be understood in terms of arrangements of atoms.


  • Introduction to the periodic table

  • Periodic trend

    • Atomic/ionic radii

    • Ionization energy

    • Ion charge

    • Electronegativity

  • What causes the periodic trends?

  • Using the trends to predict properties

  1. Unit 2: Talking About Matter

Chapter 5: Naming Matter

Big Idea 2: Chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules and the forces between them.


  • Review Nomenclature:

    • Ionic

    • Covalent

    • Acids

  • Organic Compounds

Chapter 6: Counting Matter

Big Idea 3: Changes in matter involve the rearrangement and/or reorganization of atoms and/or the transfer of electrons.


  • Compositional stoichiometry

    • Mole-mass conversions

    • Mole-particle conversions

  • Percent composition

  • Empirical and molecular formulas

  • Molarity

  • Dilution


  • Using Sports Drinks to Explore Concentration: Students use a chem-collective auto-graded virtual lab in order to apply what they have learned about concentration and become more familiar with the virtual lab system. (SP 1, 2, 5, 6)

  • Cola and Sucrose Concentration Problem: The students will use a chem-collective virtual lab to prepare a sucrose solution for a soda recipe. They will calculate the concentration of their solution in terms of molarity, percent mass, and density. Finally, the students can compare their solution to that of a generic cola solution in order to determine which has a higher concentration of sugar. (SP 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)

  • Guided Inquiry –Properties of Pennies: In this experiment, students will devise a procedure to determine the average density of a sample of pennies. Students will communicate results, hypothesize reasons to explain discrepancies in experimental results, and using known densities of pure metals, calculate the percent composition of pennies. (SP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Chapter 7: Describing Matter

Big Idea 2: Chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules and the forces between them.


  • States of Matter

    • Phase changes

  • Classification of Matter

  • Forces between molecules

  • Solutions

    • Types

    • Formation

    • Rate of dissolution

    • Vapor pressure


  •  Kool-Aid Chromatography: Students will review and practice techniques for the separation of solutions. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 5, 6)

  • Determine the Formula of a Hydrate: From Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments, student will find the empirical formula of a hydrate using items they can obtain at home. (SP 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)

Chapter 8: Gas Laws

Big Idea 2: Chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules and the forces between them.


  • Kinetic Molecular Theory

  • Individual gas laws

  • Combined gas laws

  • Ideal gas law

  • Dalton’s Partial Pressures

  • Real Gases


  • Guided Inquiry – Solving for R: Students are asked to design and conduct an experiment to find the gas law constant given a set list of materials. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

  • Guided Inquiry – Gas Laws: Students will conduct a PhET virtual lab that allows them to design experiments to measure the relationships between different properties of gases and to allow them to derive the gas laws. (SP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Chapter 9: Thermodynamics

Big Idea 5: The laws of thermodynamics describe the essential role of energy and explain and predict the direction of changes in matter.


  • Temperature vs heat

  • Transfer of energy

  • Calorimetry

  • Enthalpy of formation


  • Guided Inquiry – Determine Heat Capacity of an Unknown Metal: Students use a coffee-cup calorimeter at home to calculate the heat capacity of an unknown metal. They use this value to identify their metal. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

  1. Unit 3: Interactions Between Matter

Chapter 10: Bonding

Big Idea 2: Chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules and the forces between them.


  • Physical and chemical changes

  • Inter and intramolecular forces

  • Types of bonds

  • And the forces that cause them

  • Properties causes by the type of bond

  • Types of solids


  • Guided Inquiry – Physical or Chemical? Students are given a list of 8 different types of changes that they need to observe. They design and conduct experiments using materials they have at home. The data collected is used to develop a set of criteria for determining whether a given change is chemical or physical. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6, 7)

  • Guided Inquiry – Which Bonds Are best? Students experimentally analyze salt and sugar to determine if ionic and covalent bonds appear. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Chapter 11: Covalent Bonds

Big Idea 2: Chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules and the forces between them.


  • Localized Electron Model

  • Resonance

  • Orbitals and interactions

  • Hybridization

  • Bond Order

  • Molecular Orbital Model


  • Molecular Shapes: Students are given a list of molecules. They are asked to draw the Lewis structure and predict the molecule’s shape using VSEPR theory. They check their answers using a 3-D modeling program at PhET. (SP 1, 6)

Chapter 12: Chemical Reactions

Big Idea 3: Changes in matter involve the rearrangement and/or reorganization of atoms and/or the transfer of electrons.


  • Evidence of a chemical reaction

  • Types of chemical reactions

  • Synthesis, decomposition, single replacement, double replacement, & combustion

  • Acid/base neutralization

  • Redox reactions

  • Molecular, ionic, and net equations

  • Balancing Chemical Equations (including Redox)

  • Predicting Products

  • Reaction Stoichiometry

  • Mass-mass conversion

  • % yield

  • limiting reactant


  • Alka-Seltzer Experiment: Students will determine the mass percent of sodium bicarbonate found in Alka-Seltzer tablets using equipment in their home. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 5, 6)

  • Candle Stoichiometry – Students will use experimental observations and measurements to perform calculations regarding the stoichiometry of burning a candle. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 5, 6)

  • Precipitation Reactions: Students use a virtual lab from SAS Curriculum Pathways to investigate precipitation reactions, balance chemical equations, and discover basic solubility rules. (SP 1, 2, 5, 6)

  • Guided Inquiry – Exploring Oxidation-Reduction Reactions: Students will design an experiment to order Cu, Mg, Zn, Al, and Fe from most to least easily oxidized. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6, 7)

  1. Unit 4: Reaction Dynamics

Chapter 13: Kinetics

Big Idea 4: Rates of chemical reactions are determined by details of the molecular collisions.


  • Reaction rates, rate law

  • PE diagrams

  • Reaction intermediates, rate determining step

  • Catalysts


  • Reaction Rates: Students will use a PhET virtual lab to determine experimentally how temperature, concentration, and activation energy change the rate of a reaction. (SP 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)

Chapter 14: Chemical Equilibrium

Bi Idea 6: Any bond or intermolecular attraction that can be formed can be broken. These two processes are in a dynamic competition, sensitive to initial conditions and external perturbations.


  • Chemical equilibrium is dynamic

  • Equilibrium constant

  • Reaction quotient

  • Solubility constant

  • Le Chatelier’s Principle


  • Guided Inquiry – Determine a Solubility Product Constant – Using the chem-collective virtual lab system, students will design experiments to calculate Ksp for four different ionic solids. (SP 1, 2, 5, 6)

  • Cobalt Chloride and Le Chatelier’s Principle: Students will use a chem-collective virtual lab to explore the equilibrium of the cobalt chloride reaction. (SP 1, 2, 5, 6)

Chapter 15 Acids and Bases

Big Idea 6: Any bond or intermolecular attraction that can be formed can be broken. These two processes are in a dynamic competition, sensitive to initial conditions and external perturbations.


  • Properties of acids and bases

  • pH

  • Concentration

  • Neutralization reactions

  • Titrations

  • Buffers


  • Acid-Base Chemistry: Students will use a SAS Curriculum Pathways virtual lab to develop an understanding of acid-base titrations, titration curves, and associated calculations. (SP 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)

  • Quantitative Analysis of Vitamin C by Acid-Base Titration – From Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments, students will use a titration to determine the amount of acid in a Vitamin C tablet. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7)

Chapter 16: Energy that Drives Chemical Reactions

  • Big Idea 3: Changes in matter involve the rearrangement and/or reorganization of atoms and/or the transfer of electrons.

  • Big Idea 5: The laws of thermodynamics describe the essential role of energy and explain and predict the direction of changes in matter.


  • Energy changes that occur during a reaction

  • Activation energy

  • Endothermic and exothermic reactions

  • Spontaneity

  • Electrochemistry


  • Cold Volcano: Students will use a coffee-cup calorimeter to calculate the change in enthalpy for the reaction between baking soda and vinegar. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 5, 6)

  • Camping Problem-III: Students will use a chem-collective virtual lab to measure the enthalpy of a reaction. The effect of changing the concentration of the reactants on the enthalpy will be measured and students will create solutions to produce a specific temperature. (SP 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7)

  • Build a voltaic cell: Students will build a voltaic cell at home to show how wet batteries work. Students will be able to perform this hands-on experiment at home. (SP 1, 2, 3, 5, 6)

Honors Physics:

Course Overview:

This advanced course surveys all key areas: physical systems, measurement, kinematics, dynamics, momentum, energy, thermodynamics, waves, electricity, and magnetism, and introduces students to modern physics topics such as quantum theory and the atomic nucleus. Additional honors assignments include debates, research papers, extended collaborative laboratories, and virtual laboratories. The course gives a solid basis for moving on to more advanced college physics courses. The program consists of online instruction, virtual laboratories, and related assessments, plus an associated problem-solving book.

Course Outline:


Unit 1: Introduction to Physics

Students explore physics and it place among the sciences and confront concepts of the role in society of physics in now and in the past. Students examine the relationships of energy and the physical systems scientists and model systems use to study energy.

  • Semester Introduction

  • The History of Physics

  • Physics and Society

  • Physics and Science

  • Physical Systems and Models

Unit 2: Physical Units and Measurement

To prepare students for solving chemistry problems throughout the course, students learn about the metric system, significant figures, and conversion techniques. They learn the use of both base and derived metric unit. In a laboratory they take measurements and understand them within the context of solving problems in physics.

  • The Metric System: History and Use

  • The Metric System: Base Units

  • The Metric System: Derived Units

  • Measurement and Scientific Notation

  • Conversion Techniques

  • Significant Figures

  • Laboratory: Measurement and Significant Figures 1

  • Laboratory: Measurement and Significant Figures 2

Unit 3: Graphing and Problem Solving

To prepare for solving physics problems throughout the course, students learn about collecting and graphing data obtained from research. They create and interpret graphs and learn how to properly construct and label graphs. Students are also giving an overview of the strategies needed to solve physics problems, including keeping units straight and estimating answers to apply to physics problems.

  • Graphing Physical Data

  • Graphs and Data Relationships

  • Laboratory: Creating and Interpreting Graphs 1

  • Laboratory: Creating and Interpreting Graphs 2

  • Problem Solving Strategies: Units

  • Problem Solving Strategies: Estimation

  • Honors Project 1

Unit 4: Kinematics

Students begin their direct study of physics with an examination of kinematic motion. They compare and contrast speed and velocity, employing a frame of reference. They construct velocity-time graphs. They then move to the concept of acceleration. Students perform two laboratories during this fundamental examination of moving bodies.

  • Rotation and Translation

  • Frame of Reference

  • Speed and Velocity

  • Position-Time and Velocity-Time Graphs

  • Laboratory: Kinematics 1

  • Laboratory: Kinematics 2

  • Acceleration

  • Acceleration and Displacement

  • Laboratory: Acceleration 1

  • Laboratory: Acceleration 2

Unit 5: Forces

Dynamics is the study of how forces affect the motion of a body. Students define and give examples of the various kinds of force that act upon objects to change their motion. Students confront the physical realities of Newton's three laws of motion. A laboratory gives students first-hand experience in applying Newton's laws.

  • Forces

  • Inertia and Newton's First Law

  • Newton's Second Law

  • Mass and Weight

  • Laboratory: Newton's Laws of Motion 1

  • Laboratory: Newton's Laws of Motion 2

  • Newton's Third Law

Unit 6: Net Forces and Vectors

Physicists are often confronted with determining the net force applied to a stationary or moving object. What will be the effect of the force or forces applied? To solve to problems, students learn how to calculate net forces both graphically and using trigonometry. This unit gives students a primer on the application of trigonometry to solve net force problems. There are two laboratories in this lesson so students can determine net forces and apply the proper mathematics to issues of the change in a body's motion.

  • The Net Forces Problem

  • Resolving Vectors

  • Adding Vectors

  • Laboratory: Working with Vectors

  • Net Forces at Equilibrium

  • Free Fall and Equilibrium

  • Calculating Net Force I

  • Calculating Net Force II

  • Friction

  • Laboratory: Net Force 1

  • Laboratory: Net Force 2

Unit 7: Motion in Two Dimensions

All students are familiar with certain kinds of moving objects—a cannonball shot through the air, a baseball thrown in from center field, the swinging arm of a grandfather clock, a spring bouncing up and down. These are all examples of motion in two directions—the subject of this unit. Students conduct experiments in spring motion and other forms of harmonic motion. Students apply the knowledge gained in their studies of kinematics and dynamics to a new type of motion of a physical body.

  • Projectile Motion

  • Uniform Circular Motion

  • Laboratory: Motion in Two Dimensions 1

  • Laboratory: Motion in Two Dimensions 2

  • Laboratory: Motion in Two Dimensions 3

  • Angular Displacement and Torque

  • Simple Harmonic Motion: Springs

  • Simple Harmonic Motion: Pendulum

  • Laboratory: Harmonic Motion 1

  • Laboratory: Harmonic Motion 2

  • Honors Project 2

Unit 8: Gravitation

This course in physics builds students' knowledge step by step. Their understanding of motion gives them a basis for understanding both Newton's and Einstein's views of gravity. They will work with some of the data that Kepler worked with. Students work problems with the inverse square law as applied to the gravitational attraction between two bodies. With a firm basis in acceleration, students see how Einstein explained gravity to the world.

  • History of Gravitation

  • Laboratory: Kepler’s Laws

  • Universal Gravitation

  • Einstein and the Gravitational Field

Unit 9: Physics and Scientific Inquiry

It is traditional in science classes to start a course with a discussion of the scientific methods. In this course, however, students are engaged in the scientific method later in the semester, allowing students to work with scientific processes after they have a solid basis in the physics of motion. Students spend detailed time on questioning, forming hypotheses, and other science processes.

  • Physics Inquiry: Inductive Reasoning

  • Physics Inquiry: Questions and Hypotheses

  • Physics Inquiry: Experimentation

  • Physics Inquiry: Data Collection and Analysis

  • Physics Inquiry: Conclusions and Communicating

Unit 10: Semester Review and Test

Students prepare for and take the semester test.

Unit 11: Honors Project 1: Astronomical Distances

Students research and report on distances between stars and planets in linear and logarithmic scale; plot in scientific notation the distance from the Sun of the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft; calculate and graph other distances; and research and describe two proposed methods for interstellar rocket propulsion.

  • Astronomical Distances

Units 12: Honors Project 2: Spacecraft Landing

Students research and report on velocity and acceleration of a spacecraft; then design and test an apparatus that protects a raw egg when dropped. Then they describe how the design might be implemented in a spacecraft.

  • Biomechanics


Unit 1: Momentum

In his studies of motion Newton spoke of the "quality of motion." All three of Newton's laws were written about momentum—the subject of this unit. As a basis for understanding momentum, students first define it and apply the mathematics of momentum to an object, and then learn the law of conservation of momentum and its importance. The importance of the law of angular momentum is then discussed. Students do a laboratory that gives them data to which they can apply their understanding of momentum.

  • Linear Momentum and Impulse

  • Law of Conservation of Momentum

  • Momentum in Collisions 1

  • Momentum in Collisions 2

  • Laboratory: Momentum 1

  • Laboratory: Momentum 2

  • Conservation of Angular Momentum

Unit 2: Work

In this unit students take another step in understanding energy as it applies to physical systems by examining the concept of work. Using their knowledge of free-body diagrams, students work though problems involving direction of work problems, using simple and compound machines as a template by understanding work and power.

  • Work and Power

  • Direction of Force and Work

  • Laboratory: Work and Power

  • Machines and Mechanical Advantage

  • Laboratory: Simple and Compound Machines 1

  • Laboratory: Simple and Compound Machines 2

  • Honors Project 3

Unit 3: Energy

The conservation of energy is one of the fundamental laws of physics and forms the basis for this unit. Students learn about the forms of energy and how one form can be transformed into another—realizing that energy is always conserved in the process. A laboratory gives students real experience with energy conservation in the sense of physics.

  • Types of Energy and Their Conversions

  • Kinetic and Potential Energy

  • Conservations of Energy 1

  • Conservations of Energy 2

  • Laboratory: Conservation of Energy 1

  • Laboratory: Conservation of Energy 2

  • Energy During Collisions

Unit 4: Thermal Energy

Thermal energy is a form of energy with a unique basis in atomic theory. Heat and thermal energy are discussed as resulting from the movement of particles and the motion in a many-particle system. Students come to know both the first and second laws of thermodynamics and get first-hand experience with heat engines. In addition, students calculate the heating of an object from solid to gas, including calculation of heat changes during change of state.

  • Kinetic-Molecular Theory

  • Specific Heat

  • Laboratory: Specific Heat 1

  • Laboratory: Specific Heat 2

  • States of Matter

  • Heat During Change of State

  • First Law of Thermodynamics

  • Second Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy

Unit 5: Waves

Heat is one way that energy moves from one place to another, and now students examine another way—through waves. Young physicists learn the characteristics of waves by examining them and then by studying sound as an example of one type of wave. This unit provides the fundamentals that students apply to the study of light.

  • Characteristics of Waves 1

  • Characteristics of Waves 2

  • Sound: Vibration and Waves

  • Qualities of Sound

  • Laboratory: Sound 1

  • Laboratory: Sound 2

Unit 6: Light

The electromagnetic spectrum contains radiation of various wavelengths, including X-rays, gamma rays, and visible light. Students study the properties light by exploring diffraction and the resulting interference. Reflection and refraction form the basis for students' understanding of the optics of mirrors and lenses. A laboratory on optics gives students the opportunity to create and interpret ray diagrams based on hands-on learning.

  • The Electromagnetic Spectrum

  • Diffraction and Interference

  • Reflection

  • Refraction

  • Mirrors

  • Lenses

  • Laboratory: Optics 1

  • Laboratory: Optics 2

  • Laboratory: Optics 3

Unit 7: Electric Forces

Students have explored the energy of motion and waves, as well as thermal energy. With this sound basis of what energy is and how it is conserved, students' attention is turned to electricity, another form of energy. This unit explores the electric charge and its behavior in electric fields. Students are introduced to the concept of an electrical field and apply various equations that define the behavior of a test charge in electric fields.

  • Static Electricity

  • Electric Force

  • Electric Fields

  • Laboratory: Electrostatics 1

  • Laboratory: Electrostatics 2

  • Electric Potential

  • Honors Project 4

Unit 8: Currents and Circuits

With a basis in understanding a force field and how to calculate and monitor electric potentials, students will diagram, construct, and interpret electric circuits. They will understand how a current is generated and how it flows through series and parallel circuits. In addition, they will construct and interpret combined circuits, following the electric flow.

  • Current and Circuits

  • Current Electric Forces

  • Series Circuits

  • Parallel Circuits

  • Combined Circuits

  • Laboratory: Circuits 1

  • Laboratory: Circuits 2

Unit 9: Magnetism

Electricity and magnetism are both phenomena that students have a lot of experience with. In this unit the goal is to explore magnetism and then unite electricity and magnetism, introducing the phenomenon of electromagnetism. Students conduct experiments in electromagnetism to gain knowledge of energy relationships involved in the interplay of electricity and magnetism.

  • Magnets and Magnetic Fields

  • Forces in Magnetic Fields

  • Electromagnetic Induction

  • Laboratory: Magnetic Fields 1

  • Laboratory: Magnetic Fields 2

Unit 10: Modern Physics

When you read news or see it over electronic media you can understand the importance of some of the area of physics traditionally called modern physics. Solar panels, for example, work because light, striking certain surfaces, can cause the generation of electricity. Why this happens was explained by Einstein. This and other modern physics topics connect students to the importance of physics in the modern world.

  • Atomic Spectra and Quantum Theory

  • The Nature of Light and the Photoelectric Effect

  • Relativity

  • Structure of the Nucleus

  • Radioactivity

Unit 11: Semester Review and Test

Students prepare for and take the semester test.

Units 12: Honors Project 1: Mechanically Powered Toy

Students research, design, build, and test a mechanically powered toy.

  • TBD

Unit 13: Honors Project 2: Solar Power

Students research and report on electrical power needs of four major U.S. metropolitan areas; the amount of solar energy received at the Earth's surface at the latitudes and longitudes of these cities and how it varies monthly and annually; the types of solar concentrating power plants including their technology and the physics principles involved; the technology and physics principles involved in photovoltaic cells; and the amount of power that could be supplied by a solar concentrating power plant vs. photovoltaic cells for each metropolitan area.


AP Physics 1:

Course Overview:

AP Physics 1 is based on six “Big Ideas” that form the basis of the course (and classical physics in general) as well as seven scientific practices. Specific learning objectives are derived from these big ideas and practices. These objectives can be found in the official course description and will be shared in detail as they are covered/discussed in class.

· Big Idea 1 – Objects and systems have properties such as mass and charge. Systems may have internal structure.

· Big Idea 2 – Fields existing in space can be used to explain interactions.

· Big Idea 3 – The interactions of an object with other objects can be described by forces

· Big Idea 4 – Interactions between systems can result in changes in those systems.

· Big Idea 5 – Changes that occur as a result of interactions are constrained by conservation laws.

· Big Idea 6 – Waves can transfer energy and momentum from one location to another without the permanent transfer of mass and serve as a mathematical model for the description of other phenomena.

In addition to the six big ideas listed above, students are to also be given the opportunity to master seven vital science practices within the context of learning physics. These practices will be mastered and strengthened over course of the entire year – mainly in the laboratory setting. The seven practices require that students:

· Use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems {SP1}.

· Use mathematics appropriate {SP2}.

· Engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course {SP3}.

· Plan and implement data collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question {SP4}.

· Perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence {SP5}.

· Work with scientific explanations and theories {SP6}; and

· Connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains {SP7}.

Access to inquiry-based lab experiences is crucial for students to truly master the seven science practices listed above. Varying levels of inquiry will be used. The ultimate goal is for students to be able to carry out open-inquiry investigations to solidify their knowledge of physics. In such investigations students are (usually) presented with a question or problem. Students must choose applicable models for the situation, what variables to investigate/measure, the needed equipment, an appropriate data collection and analysis process, and how to draw/defend appropriate/accurate conclusions that are well supported by the methodology and data. Such open-inquiry labs are marked by {OI} after the title. While desirable, open-inquiry labs cannot realistically be conducted for every single lab. Guidance will be offered in many inquiry labs. Such guided inquiries are marked by {GI} after the tittle.

Course Outline:

1. Kinematics {Big Idea 3}

a. One-dimensional motion

i. Constant velocity

ii. Uniformly accelerated motion

  • Free-fall motion

iii. Equation, graphical, and verbal models

b. Two-dimensional motion

i. Introduction to vector components and resultants

ii. Simple projectile motion

iii. Preview of uniform circular motion

c. Labs

i. “Bouncy Ball Lab” – While not fostering course content, this lab is used to introduce graphing skills, data analysis skills, and error analysis skills. {SP1,2}

ii. “Tin Foil Lab” – Students determine the thickness of a piece of aluminum foil without directly measuring the thickness. Students are posed with the problem and left to design, explain, and execute the process. The purpose of the lab is to introduce measurement uncertainty in a quantitative manner. {SP2,4,5}

iii. “Walker Lab” – Students design an experiment, collect and plot data to lay a foundation for understanding various graphs in kinematics. Constant and uniformly accelerated motion are explored. {SP1,2,4,5}

iv. “Carts and Ramps Lab” {GI} – Students will use motion sensors to develop an understanding and draw conclusions about the relationships between displacement, velocity, and acceleration graphs. Students will make predictions and verify them with data collection and analysis. {SP1,3}

v. “Free-fall Lab” – Students will collect data on various objects falling from various heights using a stopwatch and using video analysis software. Students will determine the free-fall acceleration of an object near the Earth’s surface. Students will also investigate how different data collection processes affect the reliability of the data. Students will also investigate which assumptions are applied in their calculations and which objects best met those assumptions and under which conditions those assumptions can be counted as “valid.” {SP1,2,5,6}

2. Dynamics {Big Ideas 1,2, 3, 4}

a. Types of forces and their scales of significant impact

b. Newton’s Laws of Motion

i. Newton’s First Law

ii. Newton’s Second Law

iii. Newton’s Third Law

iv. Extensive application and problem solving

c. Sources of forces – tension, friction, etc. (Including springs and Hooke’s Law)

d. Labs

i. “Resolving Forces” – Students use string, suction cups, masses, and protractors to investigate the effects that magnitude and direction of forces have on maintaining equilibrium in a system. {SP1,2,5,6}

ii. “Newton’s Second Law” {OI} – Students must design execute an experiment to validate Newton’s Second Law (or at least establish a relationship between force, mass, and acceleration), explain how their data collection and analysis process validates Newton’s Second Law, and explain sources of error and uncertainty in their measurements. {SP 1,2,4,5,6}

iii. “Atwood Marble Machine” {GI} – Students investigate how changing the properties of coupled masses used to launch a marble effect the marble’s trajectory. {SP1,2,3,5,6}

iv. “Terminal Velocity” {OI} – Students will design and execute an experiment that investigates the effects that mass and shape of an object have on its terminal velocity. {SP1,2,3,4,5,6}

v. “Friction” {GI} – Students will design and execute an experiment that allows them to investigate the relationship 𝑓𝑛 = 𝜇𝑁 and to calculate 𝜇 for various situations. Students will also investigate if changing various parameters effects 𝜇 at all. {SP1,2,3,4,5,6}

vi. “Inclined Plane and 𝑔⃗” – Students will design and execute an experiment that measures the motion of an object down an inclined plane. Data analysis should allow for a reliable calculation of 𝑔⃗. Students will explain and justify (or invalidate) assumptions made throughout the data collection and analysis procedures. {SP1,2,3,4,5,6}

3. Circular Motion and Universal Law of Gravitation {Big Ideas 1, 2, 3, 4}

a. Uniform circular motion

i. Introduction to the idea of work

b. Universal Law of Gravitation

i. Kepler’s Laws

c. Labs

i. “Circular Motion” {GI} – Students will use video-analysis software to investigate the dynamics of circular motion. {SP1,2,3,5}

ii. “Kepler’s Laws Simulation” – Students will use real-life data on planetary motion to investigate whether or not Kepler’s Laws are valid. {SP1,2,3,6,7}

4. Impulse, Linear Momentum, Conservation of Linear Momentum: Collisions {Big Ideas 3, 4, 5}

a. Linear Momentum

b. Impulse

i. Relating, 𝐹⃗,𝑡, 𝑣⃗, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑝⃗

c. Conservation of Linear Momentum

i. Inelastic collisions

ii. Elastic collisions

d. Labs

i. “Ftmv” {OI} – An open-inquiry lab used to introduce the unit. Students will try to determine the relationship(s) between Force, time, mass, and velocity. {SP1,2,3,4,5,6,7} ii. “Conservation of Momentum” {GI} – Students will use dynamic carts/tracks and motion sensors to investigate the conservation of momentum of various collisions as well as investigate assumptions made in the lab. Students will also draw predictions of velocity vs. time graphs for various collisions and verify (or discredit) their predictions with real-time data. {SP1,2,3,5,6}

5. Work, Energy, and Conservation of Energy {Big Ideas 3, 4, 5}

a. Definition of Work

i. Relating forces and energy

ii. Revisiting uniform circular motion

iii. Positive and negative work

b. Energy

i. Mechanical Energy

ii. Discussing other types of energy in the world

iii. Objects, systems; open & isolated

iv. Revisiting various scenarios from the first four units examining them through the “eyes of energy.”

v. Conservation of energy

1. Criteria for mechanical energy to be conserved

c. Power

d. Labs

i. “Where Will It Land?” – Students investigate the work done by friction and drag to design a track meeting certain criterion. Careful measurements must be made to make a car go down the track, off a ramp, and land into a small cup on the first (and only) attempt. Emphasis is placed on estimation and error analysis. {SP1,2,3,4,5}

ii. “Where Will It Land 2?” – A similar lab, to above, using more open inquiry and a swinging mass, attached to a string – which is eventually cut by a razor, sending the swinging mass into projectile motion. {SP1,2,3,4,5,6}

iii. “Popper Toy” {OI} – An inquiry lab investigating a spring-loaded “popper toy” that ‘jumps’ into the air once the spring is compressed. The transformation of mechanical energy and the loss of mechanical energy are investigated. {SP1,2,3,4,5,6}

iv. Research – Students are to research real-life applications of the conservation of energy and write how this vital conservation law is applied in meaningful ways in the “real world.” {SP7}

 6. Simple Harmonic Motion: Simple Pendulums and Mass-Spring Systems {Big Ideas 3, 5}

a. Review of Hooke’s Law

b. Restoring Forces and Equilibrium.

i. Simple Pendulums

ii. Mass-spring systems

c. Graphical, conceptual, and algebraic studies of simple harmonic motion.

d. Labs

i. “What matters?” {OI} – Before learning formally about SHM, students use a spring-mass system, and a simple pendulum system and vary parameters of the system. Students then measure various aspects of the system – namely period and amplitude {students are not told what to measure} and try to come up with a mathematical relationship between the changing parameters and the measured properties of the system. {SP1,2,3,4,5}

ii. “SHM Lab Challenge” – Students are to build a simple pendulum and oscillator that meet certain time requirements (perhaps having a period of ¾ of a second). Students must determine how to calculate a reliable k-value for their spring. Students will finally use their oscillator to determine an unknown mass. All procedures and calculations must be of the students’ own originality. {SP1,2,5,6}

7. Rotational Motion: Torque, Rotational Kinematics, Rotational Energy, Rotational Dynamics, and Conservation of Angular Momentum {Big Ideas 3, 4, 5}

a. Point-mass versus a physical object

b. Concept of center of mass

c. Torque and its effects on the rotation of an object.

d. Rotational Energy and Kinematics

i. Relating rotational quantities to their linear analogues.

e. Moments of Inertia

f. Angular Momentum and its conservation.

i. Relating angular momentum to Kepler’s Second Law

g. Labs

i. “The Effects of Mass Distribution” {OI} – Students will investigate how mass distribution effects the rotational motion of an object/system. {SP3,4,5,6}

ii. “Rotational Motion Video Analysis” {GI} – Students will use video analysis software to investigate and calculate the angular position, velocity, acceleration, and momentum of an object as well as the applied torque in various real-life situations. {SP 1,2,3,5,6}

iii. Research – Students will write a brief paper on how the conservation of angular momentum effects the world around them and how it is applied in meaningful ways. {SP7}

8. Electrostatics and DC Circuits {Big Ideas 1, 3, 5}

a. Coulomb’s Law

b. DC Circuits

c. Ohm’s Law

d. Kirchhoff’s Rules

e. Conservation of Charge

f. Lab

i. “Charge Inquiry” {OI} – Students experiment on and predict the behavior of various systems of charged objects including objects charged by conduction and induction as well as polarized charges. Students must use physics to clearly explain their observations. {SP1,3,4,6}

ii. “Circuit Inquiry” {OI} – Students will investigate the effects of connecting light bulbs in series and parallel as an introduction to the unit. Students must use prior physics knowledge to try and explain their observations. {SP1,3,6}

iii. “Unknown Resistors” {GI} – Students will apply their knowledge of parallel and series circuits to determine unknown resistance values. Various scenarios of differing difficulty are presented. Students are responsible for designing all data collection and analysis techniques and justifying how their methods provide a reliable answer. {SP1,2,3,4,5,6}

9. Mechanical Waves and Sound {Big Idea 6}

a. Types of Waves

b. Interference and Superposition

c. Properties of Waves

d. Models of Waves

e. Sound Waves

i. Conceptual treatment of the Doppler effect.

f. Labs

i. “Mechanical Waves Inquiry” {OI} – This lab serves as an introduction to the unit. Students will use various lab equipment to investigate properties and behavior of mechanical waves. {SP1,3,6}

ii. “Speed of Sound in Air” {OI} – Students will use self-made resonance tubes to determine the speed of sound via graphical methods. Students will also attempt to use echoes to determine the speed of sound. Data collection and analysis are all student-directed. Students will then investigate if the density of the medium affects the speed of sound (air versus a predominantly carbon dioxide environment). {SP1,2,3,4,5,6}

iii. “Standing Waves” {GI} – Students will experiment by varying the parameters of a string-mass-oscillator system in attempt of producing differing harmonics of standing waves. {SP1,2,6}

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