The Physics curriculum provides schools with a rigorous program that showcases a systems-level understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that STEM professionals use every day. By using a project-driven approach, students become engaged early and maintain a high degree of interest and curiosity throughout the course. The course uses the Parallax® Boe-Bot® microcontroller platform, along with other hands-on activities that drive physics fundamentals in the five units: Electricity and Magnetism, Work and Mechanics, Light and Optics, Waves and Sound, and Thermal Fluids and Heat Transfer. Within each unit, the lessons are modularized to allow for maximum flexibility in the classroom. Additionally, for the convenience of schools, an approved Advanced Placement (AP) syllabus is included, and the lessons are mapped to the AP curriculum.

Physics Units

Electricity & Magnetism allows students to develop an intuitive understanding of electrical voltage, resistance, and current by building electric circuits and using a multimeter. This unit also illustrates the coupling of electric and magnetic fields by building an electric motor and an acoustic speaker. Modules within this unit include Introduction to the Microcontroller; Electricity Fundamentals; Electricity & Circuitry; Magnets & Electromagnetism; and Capacitance.

Work & Mechanics focuses on the more classical high school physics concepts related to gravity and motion of objects. Modules within this unit include Gravity, Velocity, & Acceleration; Particle Motion; Forces & Simple Machines; Energy Conversion; Elastic Energy & Projectile Motion; Universal Gravitation; and Trusses.

Light & Optics contains the fundamentals of electromagnetic radiation, reflection, refraction, and optics. Projects in this section include optically counting Bot-Bot® wheel rotations and using a QTI sensor to keep a Boe-Bot® from running off a table. This unit consists of one module called Light & Optics.

Waves & Sound explores the properties of waves, sound, and music. A main project within this unit requires students to build their own working guitar. The two modules that comprise this unit are titled Sound and Music.

Thermal Fluids & Heat Transfer illustrates conversion of energy and energy transport through temperature measurement and the design of an air-powered paper rocket. The two modules that comprise this unit are titled Thermal Fluids and Heat Transfer.

Physics Curriculum Professional Development Workshop
Physics Curriculum Access