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Physics 2010-2011

Instructor Mr. Scheibe

Room 158


Voice Mail: 612-668-8637


Course Description

This course follows the Minneapolis Public Schools Physics course outline which can be found on the Minneapolis Public Schools web site. Physics is the study of the relationship between matter and energy Although much of the course is based upon understanding concepts, the ability to apply mathematics in order to describe these concepts is important. This course is designed to meet Minnesota State Standards in Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, and History and Nature of Science. This Course helps meet graduation requirements in that it meets the district requirement for 1 years credit in science and provides the Physics Component of the Physical Science District graduation requirement.  When colleges are choosing to accept or reject applicants, the fact that a student has had success in a high school physics course provides evidence that the student is willing to take on challenges above and beyond the required course work.


Course Objectives

Students will

Investigate the concepts of speed, velocity, acceleration, vectors, displacement, and projectile


Explore and describe Newton’s laws

Investigate and demonstrate that energy exists in different forms, can be transformed, and is


Explore potential and kinetic energy

Describe how changes in energy can result in physical changes in matter, including density, volume,

and pressure

Investigate and describe the relationship between electric currents and magnetic fields

Explore and describe the characteristics of the electromagnetic spectrum

Study the structure and composition of the universe


What you should bring to class

Textbook: Conceptual Physics by Hewitt
Spiral bound physics notebook

lab book non spiral
Writing utensil



?Unit Tests

?Lab Activities

?Lab Reports

?Semester Final Exams

?Research Paper-1st semester

?Student designed physics investigation-2nd semester



?Classwork varies from day to day examples of classwork include: note-taking, class discussion, group work, reading, reading comprehension questions, modeling and diagraming physical situations, problem solving, application of mathematics, graphing skills, hands on activities, computer probe use, observing, recording observation, data collection, data analysis.

?Homework is usually assigned when the classroom time period is insufficient for students to finish the activity assigned. In general this happens twice a week. In addition larger projects such as the research paper and the student designed experiment will be accomplished outside of the classroom.




Grading Policies

93-100 A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C-
67-69 D+
63-66 D
60-62 D-
59 or below F


Late Work- At my discretion, will be accepted depending upon circumstances (excused absences, family emergencies) however most late work will receive only 60% of the possible points

Extra Credit- Extra credit opportunities will be made available throughout the quarter for classroom participation.

Attendance-  good attendance is expected, if you are absent from class you will be expected to stay after school to make up any missed assignments.


Classroom Expectations

1. Follow teacher instructions
2. Be respectful of fellow classmates and their personal property, school property, and the learning environment.
3. Sit in your assigned seat.
4. Remain in your assigned seats until the final bell rings.
5. Come prepared with writing utensil, physics textbook, and physics notebook.
6. Refrain from making any unnecessary noises that would tend to disturb the learning environment; tapping, knocking, banging on anything, humming, loud noises or useless noises.
7. You can use the classroom phone before class starts and after class is finished, but not during class.
8. Food and drinks are not allowed in the classroom with the exception of bottled water.
9. No toys, hats, phones, purses, backpacks, make-up, or anything that is distracting to the learning environment.
10. Keep your hands to yourself.
11. Do not steal things.
12. Finish your physics work before working on other class assignments.
13. Do not sit on the tables or lab counters.
14. Inappropriate language will not be tolerated.
15. You will be given no more than three passes per quarter. Whether or not you receive a pass is the teacher’s decision.                                                           


Student Behavior Interventions

The school wide behavior policy will be used and enforced in this classroom.


Scholastic Honesty

Any scholastic dishonesty will result in a "0" for the assignment and parents will be notified.



1. I can best be reached via email, voice mail is the next best option.

2. Grade reports are usually sent home every 2-3 weeks throughout the school year.


Academic support

I am available most afternoons (except Fridays) between 3:15 and 4:00


Course Calendar


Semester 1

UNIT I - History and Nature of Science

Investigation/activities- research essay due in December

UNIT II -Overview of Content, Skills and Processes of Science, and

Introduction to Physics

Review of skills, math concepts

Measurement- fundamental SI units, presision vs accuracy, systematic vs random error Sig Figs, unit conversion factors, scientific notation

Investigation/activities -Measurement lab-Density determination

Intro to Physics- Realm of physics max and min magnitudes of commonly measured quantities, define matter and energy, overview of main topics

UNIT III – Kinematics – distance, displacement, speed, velocity, acceleration, vectors,

Projectile motion

Investigation/activities- constant speed graph of d vst t w/slope determination, matching vernier probe graphs of xvst and vvs t, constant acceleration of ball down ramp graph of xvst and vvst w/slope of vvst, determination of g using golf ball, On target projectile motion activity, projectile lab

Unit IV Solar System –Nebular theory of the formation of the solar system, major characteristics of solar system, Keplers Laws

Investigation/activities- solar system poster-elliptical illustration of Kepler's laws

UNIT V – Forces

Newton’s Laws, Centripetal Force, Universal gravitation, satellite motion, weight vs mass, Momentum

Investigation/activities- newtons first law investigation, const force w/changing mass vs acc, const mass changing force vs acc, friction investigation changing surfaces and masses, Hookes law, cnetrioeatl force on an orbiting tennis ball, collisions on vernier track

Unit VI-Work, Power, and Energy

define work as W=Fxd define power as work/time, define energy as ability to do work Conservation of energy,   energy sources, transformations, and production.

Investigation/activities- muscle up, stair power, work on a spring (area under xvsf), conservation of KE and PE for a ball on a ramp,


Sememster 2  

Unit VII – Electricity and Magnetism

Structure of the atom, Static Electricity, Coulomb’s Law,  current electricity, AC/DC circuits, ohm's law, series and parallel circuits, magnetic fields (bar magnet, earth's magnetic field, solenoid), electromagnets, E-m induction, motors, generators, transformers, electric power production

Investigation/activities- balloon, rubber and glass rod, electrophoresis, electroscope, batteries and bulbs, resistance in a wire,  bread board series & parallel circuits, bar magnet electric field, compass and current carrying wire, motor, (fan generator)


Sound, Light, Wave Characteristics,Electromagnetic Spectrum

Investigation/activities- pendulum, waves on a spring, tuning fork frequency lab, color mixing, atomic spectra, flat mirrors, curved mirrors, water lens, optics bench

Unit IX The Universe

Stellar Astronomy, History and Theories of the Origin of the Universe

Investigation/activities- H-R diagrams computer simulations, nuclear fusion computer simulation, Exploradome

UNIT X-Valleyfair

UNIT XI – Design and Conduct an Original Experiment

UNIT XII-Einstein

Investigation/activities - Einstein's big idea