Welcome to “Fun”damental Physics, a 9th grade science program where students study physics before chemistry and biology. In re-sequencing the traditional high school science courses, Bnos Yaakov has adopted the Physics First approach advocated by leading national science educators. Exposing students to the concrete concepts of physics builds a stronger foundation for understanding the more abstract concepts introduced later in chemistry and biology.
- To arouse students’ feelings of wonder and appreciation at the beautiful world Hashem created.
- To establish a solid intellectual understanding of physical principles underlying the workings of the world.
- To build on the natural curiosity of students; to empower students to discover by doing rather than by being told and to become independent thinkers.
- To encourage students to work cooperatively to find solutions to problems.
- To improve students’ skills in reading and analyzing non-fiction; to develop students’ thinking, writing, and problem-solving skills.
In our “Fun”damental Physics course, all our students are scientists! Inquiry-based classes build on students’ eagerness to explore and to learn. Students investigate their own ideas about common everyday phenomena, discuss their observations with their peers and draw conclusions that can be tested. While the emphasis in a physics-first sequence is on physical principles rather than on problem-solving ability, the course also parallels the goals of basic algebra: reinforcing skills such as solving equations, interpreting graphs, and reasoning proportionately.
AREAS OF STUDY
- Vibration and waves
- Sound and music
- Properties of matter
- Electricity and magnetism
To ensure comprehension of course material, students are required to complete all assigned readings and written homework. Additionally, each unit of study may include an independent research report or group project. There will be a written test each semester along with the occasional quiz. Another valuable tool for assessment of students’ progress is the Science Notebook discussed below.
THE SCIENCE NOTEBOOK
An important feature of our “fun”damental physics course is the use of science notebooks as part of the classroom science instruction. Writing in a science notebook allows students to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of science. Like that of professional scientists, the science notebook kept by the students is a place for them to record their thoughts and observations, make predictions, practice data collection and graphing techniques, apply mathematical skills to real situations and start making sense of their observations.