AP Physics 1 is a new course for the 2014-2015 school year and the emphasis on inquiry-based laboratory experience will be new for our students, primarily juniors. Historically, our juniors have taken PreAP physics where they learn to use mathematics and graphs to model data and then learn a method to communicate their findings in a lab report format. Inquiry labs have been introduced primarily in AP Physics B, or senior level classes. Feedback from our AP Physics B classes indicates a need for more guidance on writing procedures, developing analysis methods, and ultimately posing questions that can be tested in the lab. Thus, we plan to begin the year in AP Physics 1 with two weeks dedicated to helping students develop procedure writing and data analysis skills that we will build throughout the year. By the end of the unit, we expect students to author procedures that can be followed by peers within the same class, and we expect them to increase their facility with the use of multiple modes for communicating and analyzing motion including observations, diagrams, verbal descriptions, graphs, and mathematical models.
Sanders, Stephanie D. and Perez, Noe, "An Introduction to Inquiry Labs in Physics" (2014). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. Paper 274.
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