Welcome to AP Physics
The AP Physics 1 course is conducted using inquiry-based instructional strategies that focus on experimentation to develop students’ conceptual understanding of physics principles. The students begin studying a topic by making observations and discovering patterns of natural phenomena. The next steps involve developing, testing, and applying models. Throughout the course, the students construct and use multiple representations of physical processes, solve multi-step problems, design investigations, and reflect on knowledge construction through self-assessment rubrics.
The AP Physics 1 course devotes over 25% of the time to laboratory investigations. The laboratory component of the course allows the students to demonstrate the seven science practices through a variety of investigations in all of the foundational principles.
The students use guided–inquiry (GI) or open–inquiry (OI) in the design of their laboratory investigations. Some labs focus on investigating a physical phenomenon without having expectations of its outcomes. In other experiments, the student has an expectation of its outcome based on concepts constructed from prior experiences. In application experiments, the students use acquired physics principles to address practical problems. Students also investigate topic-related questions that are formulated through student designed/selected procedures.
All investigations are reported in a laboratory journal. Students are expected to record their observations, data, and data analyses. Data analyses include identification of the sources and effects of experimental uncertainty, calculations, results and conclusions, and suggestions for further refinement of the experiment as appropriate.