Course Syllabus

Back to School Night

What will we be learning this year?

We will be learning about physics! Physics is all about how things move and work. It explains really big things like the sun, small things like you or me, and really really small things that you can’t even see with a microscope. Physics is about baseball and buses, cell phones and swimming, muscles and motors, the sun and the moon, fire and rain. When we understand physics, we understand how our world works, and then we can change it. You – yes, you! – will be solving problems, testing your ideas, designing things that work better, and connecting what you already know about the world to your new and growing understanding of physics. It’s pretty exciting!

We will improve our understanding of physics through hands on activities, demonstrations, labs, notes, and readings. We will also develop our critical thinking, our experimental skills, and our science literacy skills.

The main physics concepts we will explore are:

  1. Light
  2. Waves and sound
  3. Electromagnetic waves
  4. Static electricity
  5. Circuits
  6. Describing motion
  7. Explaining motion
  8. Momentum
  9. Energy, work, and power
  10. Heat


Why do we care?

Some of you may become scientists. Some of you may become teachers. Some of you may do something else entirely. But whatever you do after high school, physics is important. Physics helps us learn about how the world works, and it lets us understand how and why we can change it. Scientists are researching big questions like how to slow climate change and what the universe is made of. It is important to understand these questions and the discussions about them because it will be up to you and your community to make decisions about how we live in the world and about how to use our knowledge in the best way possible. As citizens and future leaders, understanding physics will help you make informed and educated choices that affect the entire global community. Plus, physics is awesome!

Physics, at its core, is all about recognizing and using patterns. It is about finding simple, powerful explanations for how the world behaves. Physics also relies on using evidence to describe and predict the behaviors of things that are too small to be seen directly. Like history, philosophy, math, and writing, physics teaches us how to make thoughtful predictions and how to support claims with evidence. When scientific and historical claims are being questioned and sources are derided as untrustworthy and fake, it is critically important to build truth using argument and evidence. Studying physics develops those skills.


Grading system explanation

A score of ...

means that...


Your demonstration of learning is EXEMPLARY!



Your learning is ACCOMPLISHING the standard (You got it!)


Your learning is APPROACHING the standard

(You’re on your way, but not there yet)



Your learning is BEGINNING to demonstrate the standard

(this does not show much learning yet)



The assignment is MISSING

Course Summary:

Date Details Due