NAME OF COURSE:           

AP Physics 1, 454, 5.5 credits                                               



Mr. Keller, Room 222,


COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course is designed to be the equivalent to a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits. Additional topics may be covered as time permits. The course is designed primarily for students with a strong background in math and science who wish to pursue careers in science, engineering, or medicine. Because the material from a single semester is taught over the entire year, students will have time to engage in inquiry-based learning, learn fundamental physical principles, and develop important scientific practices and reasoning skills. The course will prepare students for the Advanced Placement Physics 1 exam which awards credit for 1 semester of a college level course. Students are strongly encouraged to take the AP Physics 1 exam.


The AP Physics 1 test is very difficult, so I make the year’s curriculum very difficult.  You are going to get questions wrong, maybe a lot of questions wrong.  If you take these instances as opportunities to learn, you will be all right.  If you take them as unjust affronts to your intellectual self-esteem, it could be a long year.


As hard as the class will be, though, you may reasonably expect an A or B if you:

1. complete all homework on time

2. complete all labs thoroughly and on time

3. study thoroughly for exams using the exam reviews

4. complete test corrections thoroughly using the guidelines provided


COURSE WEBSITE:  Course information beyond what is within this syllabus, along with Core Values and Expectations is posted on this site.



College Physics, Serway and Faughn

Although the textbook is available, I do not rely upon one in the class, so I will not distribute them.  If you would still like to sign one out, let me know and you will be free to do so.



1) A scientific calculator

2) Pens or pencils and paper



The grades are based upon an unweighted point system, but each quarter grade will follow these approximate percentages:

Tests – 50%

In-class questions - 20%

Experiments – 15%

Webassign homework – 10%

Video homework – 5%


Nearly every evening, there will be homework, usually consisting of a short Webassign problem set and a video.  Sign-up for a Webassign account here, using the class code “ 1850 3514”.  Videos and the related questions are posted on the class website.  Occasionally, reading a set of notes on a physics topic will replace a Webassign assignment.  In general, I will try to keep the homework around thirty minutes nightly, as I know students have other classes and often many other commitments.  The Webassign sets should be relatively straight-forward and are simply intended to review past material, the nightly videos should give you a sense of some of the interesting aspects of the subject and its applications, and the occasional set of notes will save us from wasting class time with me writing something on the board and then you writing that same something in your notebooks.  Beyond all of that, expect to spend one to three hours each weekend preparing for an upcoming exam or correcting a previous one.  If you miss an exam, you are expected to take it the next time the class meets.


Turn assignments in the stacked trays on the side of the room (or in email) by 2:30 on the due date posted.  Graded papers can be collected from the outgoing stack of trays.  Due dates for assignments will be posted on the website.  Partial credit may be given for assignments submitted late.  If you need an extension for an assignment, you must make the request before the day it is due.  Lastly, even though labs will be conducted in groups, students must complete the related assignments individually.



A student who misses more than 7 classes of a subject during one marking period may fail the course that quarter.  At the teacher's discretion, the student may receive the lesser of a grade of 59 or the actual grade earned.



Keep phones and MP3 players off and stored.  Ask if you need to use them for some reason. 

Don’t eat or drink in class.  I will throw out whatever you are attempting.

Return equipment and supplies to their original positions before leaving.

Don’t leave for the day until the bell rings.

Don’t treat the classroom like a lounge where you sit on whatever you want.  There are chairs; use them.

Be civil.


If you have questions or concerns, the best idea is to schedule a time to meet after school.  Also, feel free to send an email to the above address.