My Physics Course

From time-to-time, I am called upon to teach a very conceptual (non-mathematical) physics course to support overflow in our science department. What it lacks in math, it makes up for in writing, drawing, and discussing.

 I have taught this course twice. The last time was during the 2011-2012 school year. I mention this because my Geometry Course has been run through (give-or-take) a dozen times by at least three different teachers. There’s been a lot more debugging, quirk-finding, and strategic additions and eliminations.

This course is a little raw, but I encourage you to offer any feedback. Improve anything. Update where you see fit. Please send me back anything you make better. If you need .doc files, let me know. I can shoot those at you, too. is the way to get ahold of me.

Keep in mind, this course runs without any textbook support. You may notice reference to some standards. At the time, we were using the Michigan High School Content Expectations. Michigan (along with other states) has since moved to the Next Generation Science Standards. So, this offering is really starting to show it’s age. Do what you can with it and let me know if there’s anything else I can do to be helpful.


Unit 1 – Motion (Position, Speed, Acceleration in one dimension)

Intro: I would try to find a way to use the video from Physics, a Helicopter, and Cameras as soon as it makes sense to. I, personally, found the perplexity level quite high.

Handout 1 – The Look of Fast

Handout 2 – Position-Time Graphs

Handout 3 – The Look of Fast, Part II

Handout 4 – Pers Like A Kitten

Handout 5 – Strobe Pictures

Handout 6 – Velocity-Time Graphs

Handout 7 – Acceleration Math

Handout 8 – V-T and P-T Graphs

Collaborative Project – Tennis Ball Graphs

Handout 9 – Motion Diagrams

Handout 10 – Graph Matching

Handout 11 – Unit 1 Study Guide

Collaborative Project – Egg Drop


Unit 2 – Intro to Forces

Handout 12 – Force Focus Questions

Handout 13 – Net Force Focus Questions

Handout 14 – Newton’s Second Law of Motion

Handout 15 – Seatbelts and Bungees

Handout 16 – Net Force Problems

Handout 17 – Gravity Focus Questions

Handout 18 – Net Force Problems II

Handout 19 – Newton’s Third Law Focus Questions

Handout 20 – Unit 2 Review I

Handout 21 – Unit 2 Review II

Demo Handout  – Broken Strings

Collaborative Project – Mass in Motion


Unit 3 – 2-D Motion

Handout 22 – Classifying Motion

Handout 23 – Simple Harmonic Motion

Handout 24 – Centripetal Force Focus Questions

Handout No # – Earth’s Rotation and Revolution

Handout 25 – Unit 5 Recap


Unit 4 – Kinetic and Potential Energy

Handout 26 – Centrifugal Force? – (references article from

Handout 27 – Work Focus Questions

Handout 28 – Roller Coaster Physics

Handout 29 – Calculating Work

Handout 30 – Energy of a Pendulum

Handout 31 – Centripetal Student Errors

Handout 32 – Rube Goldberg Energy – (Might be a good time for OK Go – This Too Shall Pass)

Spring-Pendulum demo uses of Handout 33a – Spring-Pendulum and Handout 33b – Spring-Wave Demo Questions

Handout 34 – Energy Exploration

Handout 35 – Unit 6 Review

Handout 36 – 6 Questions from Unit 4

Collaborative Project – Catapult


Unit 5 – Mechanical Waves

Handout 37 – Waves Focus Questions

Handout 38a – Waves Exploration (a bit of number-crunching)

Handout 38b – Mechanical Waves Exploration

Sound Waves with The Blue Man Group

Handout 39 – Sound Focus Questions I

Handout 40 – Sound Focus Questions II

FiveThirtyEight Article – The Loudest Sound in the World Would Kill You on the Spot

Handout 41 – Real Life Sound Math

Handout 42 – Sound Intensity Focus Questions

Handout 43 – Welcome Back Warm-Up (Christmas Break landed here the last time I taught this course)

Handout 44 – Slinky Focus Questions

Handout 45 – The Fishing Bobber Problem

handout 46 – 7 Questions from Unit 5


Unit 6 – Electromagnetic Waves

Handout 47 – Light Focus Questions

Handout 48 – Sounds vs. Sights

Handout 49 – Visible Light Webquest

Handout 50 – Reflection and Refraction Focus Questions

Handout 51 – Reflection Practice Sketches

Handout 52 – Gamma Rays Webquest

Handout 53 – Radio and Microwaves

Handout 54 – UV Webquest

Handout 55 – X Rays Webquest

Handout 56 – 8 Questions from Unit 6


Unit 7 – Electricity

Handout 57 – Electricity Word Splash

Handout 58 – Static Electricity Focus Questions

Handout 59 – Current Electricity Focus Questions

Handout 60 – Circuit Exploration (done with a current generator and a circuit board)

Lab Exploration – Electric Circuits

Handout 61 – Mid-Unit Review

Handout 62 – Energy Conversions

Handout 63 – Electric Cars Webquest

Handout 64 – 9 Questions from Unit 7



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