Ferris High School Physics

Course Syllabus

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First Year Physics
First Quarter


  • Unit 1: Scientific Thinking in Experimental Settings
  • Unit 2: Constant Velocity Particle Model
  • Unit 3: Particle Undergoing Uniform Acceleration
  • Unit 4: Free Particle Model
Second Quarter
  • Unit 5: Constant Force Particle Model
  • Unit 6: Particle Models in Two Dimensions
  • Unit 7: Energy Considerations
Third Quarter
  • Unit 8: Central Force Particle Model
  • Unit 9: Impulsive Force Particle Model

    Mechanical Waves and Sound

  • Oscillating Particles and Simple Harmonic Motion

Fourth Quarter

    Mechanical Waves and Sound

  • Linked Oscillating Particles and Wave Mechanics
  • The Production and Propagation of Sound


Homework will be assigned and graded on a regular basis. When an assignment is given, I will generally give you the due date as well. It will be due at the beginning of class on the due date. You will normally be given a chance to ask questions and get help on an assignment before it is due.

Downloadable assignments, due dates and solutions are also posted on the internet on the class calendar page.

Late assignments will not be accepted. Homework will account for 10% of you grade.

lab work

Each unit will include lab work as an integral part. Lab activities are essential in developing the models used. For major paradigm labs, a write up will be required in the style presented in class. For other activities a lab abstract may be required. Write ups and abstracts must be presented in a lab notebook. Lab activities will account for 30% of your grade.

Guidelines for writing physics lab reports.

engagement & reflection

We will have many discussions as a part of this class. You are expected to constructively participate in these during class and/or through your personal journal. Your journal may be used as evidence of personal engagement and reflection.

quizzes and tests

You should expect a few quizzes, both announced and unannounced, throughout the semester. They will focus on recent class and lab work.

There will be periodic exams over all material covered in class, readings, labs and homework. You may be allowed to use your book and/or class notes on these tests. Tests will be announced well in advance of the test day. Tests and quizzes will make up 45% of your grade.

A comprehensive final exam will be given at the end of the semester and will be counted as a regular exam.

Make up work

No make up work will be allowed, including quizzes and exams, for work completed or due on days of unexcused absence. In the case of excused absences, all make up work must be completed and turned in according to school policy (see student handbook). Exams will be completed on the first day you return unless other arrangements are made in advance.

Lab sessions that are missed for any reason must be made up outside of regular class time.

Optional assignments will be made available on a periodic basis. These can not adversely affect your grade, whether you do them or not. More details concerning optional assignments will be provided during class.


Grades will be assigned based on successful completion of the above mentioned areas. They will be weighted as follows:

Lab writeups.................................30%
Exams and quizzes........................45%

90%-100%: A
80%-89%: B
70%-79%: C
60%-69%: D
below 60%: F
I will round to the nearest percent.

This course uses the modeling method for instruction and class activities. For more information on modeling visit the modeling workshop website.


when you need help

I will be available most days in room G107 from 7:30-8:00 and 2:30-3:00 and from 7:30-9:00 on student access days to answer any questions or help you in any way. Arrangements can be made for other times as needed. Please come see me if you are having any troubles at all, or even if you just want to visit! You may leave me a voice mail message at (509) 354-6120, I will try and return your call promptly. I may also be reached by email at: PatrickD@spokaneschools.org.
I am looking forward to working with each of you and expect that we will have a great semester. Remember, physics is fun, so lets work together to make it a rewarding experience for everyone.

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