PHYSICS C (Mechanics and E&M combined) 

Gardner Friedlander
gfriedlander@mac.com
Gardner Friedlander earned a BA at Princeton, majoring in Physics and Philosophy. He introduced AP* Physics C to his school and taught it for almost 30 years (as well as teaching physics at four other levels.) He was an AP* Physics reader for most years from 1998 to 2016 and served on the AP* Physics Development Committee for two years and on the AP* Physics C Development Committee when the B and C courses were split off. He has taught physics in three different states, finishing with 33 years at University School of Milwaukee, an independent coed day school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
AP* Physics C—Mechanics and E&M (combined)
Summer, 2020
 
Overview: AP* Physics C is a year-long calculus-based physics course equivalent to a typical introductory university course for scientists or engineers. The College Board* recommends that this course not be a first-year course in physics, but in recognition of differing demands at different schools, the exam is broken into two 90 minute parts—Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism.  Thus if students have had no physics prior to this course, they can take a full year covering just Mechanics.  If they have had a good prior exposure to physics, then both halves can be taken in a single year.

This institute is designed to assist teachers using either model.  It will be done entirely online. Participants will meet with each other and the presenter online in a synchronous format as well as working individually or with a smaller group asynchronously.  Participants will have the chance to engage with other teachers who teach courses similar to their own, work on pacing and syllabus development (including the AP* Audit, as necessary) and design and execute laboratory and demonstration activities for use in their own classrooms, with participants encouraged to share their own ideas for demonstrations and best practices.  The presenter will familiarize participants with the curriculum framework and exam model for the AP* Physics C course(s), introduce College Board* online resources, and help them prepare to teach in the coming year. With a vision to uncertainties in instructional modes for next academic year, we will share and examine a number of online resources, both from College Board* (i.e., AP Classroom*) and from other sources. 

Participants will leave the institute with access to 50 years of past exams and solutions.  Emphasis will be placed on teaching problem solving techniques and approaches to teaching AP* Physics C with an emphasis on encouraging higher order thinking skills and remediating student misconceptions.  Participants will often work in small groups to allow them to choose the activities and portions of the course that best fit their needs.  For each course (Mechanics and E&M) as appropriate, the presenter will familiarize participants with the whole framework for the curriculum, with emphasis on the portions that have proved most difficult for students in the past.  The following is a preliminary outline of the week, although it may easily change based on participants’ wishes.
Day 1
•       Introductions of presenter, participants, supplied materials, and the course(s)
•       Particular challenges in teaching AP Physics C
•       Small group examinations of the Course Objectives and Curriculum Framework (Mech.)
•       First lab (Cart on a Ramp)—what makes C different from other HS Physics courses.
•       Lab 2--Introduction to video analysis for a projectile on two different platforms
•       Whole group work with some sample Free Response items (Mech.)
•       Individual preparation of 2019 Free Response answers (Mech. and/or E&M)
•       Preparation of individual scheduled plans for the 2020-21 School Year
 
Day 2
•       Presentation of solutions and scoring of the 2019 FR questions
•       Whole group discussion of the process of scoring AP Exams with the 2019 Mech. exam as a model
•       Lab #3: Circular motion (Intro and Conical pendulum--Pivot Interactives, with an upload)
•       Choice of
o   Small group work on some of the Mech. problems student have found most difficult in this millennium
o   Recognition of the different approach of the E&M course.  Small group examination of the E&M Course Objectives and the 2019 E&M exam.
•       Preparation of individual course syllabi and the Audit (as necessary)
 
Day 3
•       When and how calculus should be introduced in different school situations
•       SHM and velocity dependent forces
•       Lab #4: Coffee Filters
•       “Best Practice” presentations by participants
•       Individual and small group examination of MC questions
•       Choice of Mech. or E&M small group work on some of the problems student have found most difficult in this millennium
•       Individual exploration of online resources and preparing a presentation
•       Continued Preparation of course syllabi (individuals and small groups)
 
Day 4
•       Online resources: presentations and examination
•       “Best Practice” presentations by participants
•       Presenting Rotation (Kinematics, Dynamics, and Energy), historically the hardest area in Mech. for students to understand
•       Rotation Demos via Interactive Physics
•       Lab #5—Rotation in an “Atwood Machine”
•       Develop a summary of ideas for implementation of a laboratory plan that includes both classic equipment and adding new technology, all while laddering different levels of student inquiry
•       Continued Preparation of course syllabi (individuals and small groups)
 
Day 5
•       Presenting Rotation (Rolling with and without slipping, Angular momentum)
•       Rotation Collision Demos via Interactive Physics
•       Lab #6—Rotation in collision I – two disks  OR Electromagnetic Induction
•       Lab #7—Rotation in collision II—projectile hitting an extended object
•       Workshop conclusion and evaluation