• Physics


    Bassett High School

    Darren Holleman

    E-Mail:  dhollema@henry.k12.va.us


    The Physics standards emphasize a more complex understanding of experimentation, the analysis of data, and the use of reasoning and logic to evaluate evidence. The use of mathematics, including algebra and trigonometry, is important, but conceptual understanding of physical systems remains a primary concern.  Students build on basic physical science principles by exploring in depth the nature and characteristics of energy and its dynamic interaction with matter. Key areas covered by the standards include force and motion, energy transformations, wave phenomena and the electromagnetic spectrum, light, electricity, fields, and non-Newtonian physics. The standards stress the practical application of physics in other areas of science and technology and how physics affects our world.


    The Physics standards continue to focus on student growth in understanding the nature of science. This scientific view defines the idea that explanations of nature are developed and tested using observation, experimentation, models, evidence, and systematic processes. The nature of science includes the concepts that scientific explanations are based on logical thinking; are subject to rules of evidence; are consistent with observational, inferential, and experimental evidence; are open to rational critique; and are subject to refinement and change with the addition of new scientific evidence. The nature of science includes the concept that science can provide explanations about nature, can predict potential consequences of actions, but cannot be used to answer all questions.


    Text and Resource Materials:


                Zitzewitz, Paul W., Glencoe Physics:  Principles and Problems.  Glencoe/McGraw Hill, Columbus, OH, 2008.


    *Other texts or resources as needed.


    Evaluation and Grades:  Students will be evaluated based on several criteria.  These items include, but are not limited to:  classroom participation, homework, quizzes, lab reports, projects, tests and exams.  Classroom participation is a daily grade based on student participation in discussion/lecture as well as lab or other activities.  Homework will be given on a daily basis on average.  Quizzes will be both announced and unannounced assessments of recent lectures, labs, activities, etc.  Tests will be given after every 1 or 2 chapters covered.  There will also be several projects throughout the course.  Some will be short assignments that will count as quiz or homework grades, while others are long term projects and will count as a test or exam grade.  The methods and weight for the grading of each project will be announced when the assignment is given.  The final grade for this class will be based on the following (next page):



    ·        Tests/Exams:  40% 

    ·        Lab Reports/Quizzes:  20%

    ·        Classwork/Homework:  30%

    ·        Participation:  10%


    Materials needed for the class: 


    ·        Blue or black pens/pencils

    ·        Red pen or colored pencil (for peer grading and other applications)

    ·        2” 3-ring binder with dividers (optional)

    ·        Loose leaf paper

    ·        Colored pencils (optional)

    ·        Scientific calculator (optional, but highly recommended)   

    ·        Others TBA


    Warm-Up Assignments:  Every day, as you enter the classroom, you will find a warm-up activity either on the board or otherwise projected within the classroom.  This assignment is a short 2-4 question quiz reviewing the material learned in the previous class and/or the previous night’s homework assignment.  You are expected to neatly copy the questions into your notebooks, date the assignment, and answer the questions to the best of your ability.  For future study needs, once all students have finished, we will review the answers to the questions and you are expected to correct your peers’ or your own responses with your red pen/pencil.  These quizzes will be graded randomly, without prior notice, for validity and will count as a quiz grade.  Other times, the warm-ups will be graded at a participation level only.  The decision of how each particular warm-up will be graded is at the teacher’s discretion.  Students are expected to begin the assignment immediately after entering the classroom, and are expected to have this completed within 5-10 minutes (depending on length of warm-up) after the beginning the class session.


    Policy for Make-Up Work:  Students are expected to be in class every day unless they are involved in a school activity or other excused absence or if they are ill.  Any assignment that is given while the student is present, but the student is absent on the day it is due, the assignment will be due on the day he/she returns to class, no exceptions.  In the event that the student is absent the day the assignment is given, it will be due the day following the student’s return OR at the teacher’s discretion (example:  if the assignment is a project or lab that is designed to take more than 1 day to complete, the assignment will be made up according to the time frame assigned to the rest of the class.  Please see the teacher for timelines and due-dates for these assignments).  Late work will NOT be accepted.  Please make sure to complete the assignments in the time allotted.  A grade of zero (0) will be given for all missing assignments.  Tests and quizzes must be made up in the same manner as described above.  Tests and exams will be announced at least two (2) school days in advance, if not more.  Chapter tests and quizzes should be expected at the end of each chapter, regardless of advanced notice.  *PLEASE NOTE:  I DO NOT GIVE EXTRA CREDIT!  Don’t ask!  Missing assignments, tests, labs, etc. due to absences are the responsibility of the student to make up as described above.  I will not be able to constantly remind you to make up work; it is your responsibility as the student to make sure all work is accounted for and completed.  If you have any questions concerning make-up work or missing assignments, please consult the teacher for an explanation of your options.


    Course Outline


    The Science of Matter and Energy

    1 – What is Physics?

    2 – A Mathematical Toolkit



    3 – Describing Motion

    4 – Vector Addition

    5 – A Mathematical Model of Motion

    6 – Forces

    7 – Forces and Motion in Two Dimensions

    8 – Universal Gravitation

    9 – Momentum and its Conservation

    10-Energy, Work, and Simple Machines



    States of Matter

    12-Thermal Energy

    13-States of Matter


    Waves and Light

    14-Waves and Energy Transfer



    17-Reflection and Refraction

    18-Mirrors and Lenses

    19-Diffraction and Interference of Light



    20-Static Electricity

    21-Electric Fields

    22-Current Electricity

    23-Series and Parallel Circuits

    24-Magnetic Fields

    25-Electromagnetic Induction



    Modern Physics (if time permits)

    27-Quantum Theory

    28-The Atom

    29-Solid State Electronics

    30-The Nucleus

    31-Nuclear Applications




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    I/We have read the course description and the outline with my/our student.  I/We understand what is expected for this class and how to contact the teacher for questions/concerns regarding assignments and grading.  Please sign and date this with your student.


    Student name (please print): ________________________________________________



    Student’s signature: _______________________________________________________



    Parent/Guardian signature:  _________________________________________________



    Date:  __________________________________________________________________