College Physics Curriculum
Unit A: Scientific Investigation Skills and Careers 12 days.
- Hovercraft: controlling variables, friction, pressure, mass, distance, momentum, air flow, drag, weight, real hovercraft
- Density: volume, measuring, calculating. graphing by hand, slope, graphing using Excel, equation of a line
- Barge Competition: buoyancy, surface tension, errors, using calculations, optimization, calculating using Excel
Unit B: Motion 12 days
- Terminal Velocity: Parachute Challenge, Experiment: terminal velocity and balloons/coffee filters, size. force diagrams, speed = distance/time, linearizing graphs with Excel, real parachutes
- Wheeled Motion: measuring position and time, d-t graph, slope, speed gun value, instantaneous and average speeds, Police radar, converting km/h to m/s, speedometers, reaction time.
- Freefall: ticker timer, graph v-t, acceleration, area under graph, nuts on a 5.0 m string, d = vt, average speed and area under the graph, Freefall on the Moon.
- F = ma: small carts attached to falling masses, cart slowing down under friction, cart speeding up
- Projectile Motion: Water flow, strobe image of falling balls, video analysis, springs launched horizontally, tossed ball.
Unit C: Mechanical Systems 12 days
- Friction: phone book friction, coefficient of friction, tilted board, kinetic and static friction, affect of area, Real race car tires, normal force, heat from hand drill, metre stick tricks, tug of war, baseball slide, rock climbing, curling, moving heavy objects, car stuck in snow, hovercraft contest
- Levers: mobiles, torque = r X F, fulcrum, load, effort, mechanical advantage, analysing levers in tools, Lego model of elbow and ankle,: mini-trebuchets
- Pulleys: fixed, moveable, combined, block and tackle, force vs. distance, Atwood machine and acceleration
- Project: Make a grabber
- Gears: Lego simple/compound/worm gear, trade-off, Real bicycle measurements and calculations, Lego car contest
Unit D: Energy Transformations 12 days
- Pendulum; work, kinetic, gravitational, thermal, Joule, conservation, PhET, Real wrecking ball, mgh, ½ mv2, efficiency, Excel analysis, giant swing video, pendulum clock, spring pendulum
- Boards and Coasters: Boards (PhET, Physics girl), Coasters (models and concepts, Real coasters and calculations)
- Bouncing Ball; strobe photo, graphical analysis, stacked balls, supernovas.
- Elastic Energy: springs fired at 30 degrees, poppers, bungee calculations, Real Bungee jump
- Elastic car competition: Storing and transferring energy, Reducing transfer of energy to heat, Trading force for distance.
- Thermal, chemical and light energy: lots of demos and applications
- Energy transfer: convection, conduction and radiation, lots of demos, Solar Heating Contest
Unit E: Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems 12 days
- Pressure: P = F/A, bed of nails, Pascal’s Law, flow, leaky bottle, small and large syringe, hydraulic vs. pneumatic, circulatory system, hydraulic press/jack, free/scuba diving, Cartesian diver, beer bottle bashing
- Hydraulic Project:: hydraulic press, grabber. front-end loader, or lung or heart model.
- Air Pressure: air mattress, atmospheric pressure, balloon in bottle, ruler and paper, cup of water, suction cups, lungs and ears, demos of pressure changes using physical and chemical changes, vacuum pump demos
- Hot Air Balloons: PhET simulation, model and Real hot air balloons, helium balloons
- Flow and Flight: dynamic/static pressure, Bernoulli, demos: paper strips, ping pong ball, funnel, curve ball, wings, Venturi effect, laminar/turbulent flow, mixing fluids, shape, angle of attack, center of gravity, paper rectangle wing contest
Unit F: Electricity and Magnetism 12 days
- Circuits and Loads: light a single bulb, PhET, batteries, motors, LEDs, buzzers, meters, capacitors, current vs. voltage, nervous system, batteries in series, types of batteries, potato batteries, lemon battery video
- Resistance: series, parallel with real and simulated bulbs, Ohm’s Law experiment, Kirchoff’s laws
- Electromagnetism; permanent magnets, iron, filings, electromagnet contest, speakers, motors, magnet through coil then tube, jumping ring, inductive heating and braking, transformers, generators
- Electric Car Contest: Lego car that goes 20--m fastest, powered by capacitor.
- Generating Electricity: hand-cranked flashlight, solar cells, problems /trends with fossil fuels, hydroelectric, solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, tidal and biofuels, interactive graphs
- Consuming Electricity: power, watts, calculating cost for light, appliances, heat and cooling, transportation.
Culminating Unit 12 days
- Final project 15 % Speed Boats: This involves Investigation Skills (controlling variables, making measurements, graphing), Motion (average speed, acceleration), Mechanical Systems (balance, boat with forces and torques, blade trade-off of speed and force), Energy Transformations (chemical, electrical, kinetic), Hydraulics and Pneumatics (density, turbulent and laminar flow, pressure), Electricity and Magnetism (motors, number of batteries)
- Review for exam 15%