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Science News - AP Physics

posted Nov 10, 2015, 5:34 AM by DeAna Irving   [ updated Nov 18, 2015, 8:52 AM ]
Students in AP Physics are exploring friction by testing many different varieties of the experimental set-up pictured above.  They are varying the surface type an object slides on, varying the mass of the object, and the surface area of the object, all in an attempt to quantitatively describe kinetic and static friction.  Almost all of the class time in AP Physics is devoted to experiments and class discussions.  Prior to coming to class students are responsible for watching online lectures and completing practice problems on Canvas.  The Canvas platform allows the teacher to provide individualized feedback to the students to guide their learning.  Another interesting experiment completed was a projectile motion lab where the students use various types of equipment to launch a projectile and calculate it's trajectory.  Students also had the opportunity to create their own method for testing Newton's Second Law.  Approaches to that problem included a straightforward method of measuring the weight of an object and a more creative method of using a track, photogate, and a sensor to detect the acceleration of the objects when a certain force was applied.