PHYS 635

Curriculum Enhancement I

July 9 - August 1, 2007

PHYS 635 is a laboratory course for those desiring to be high school physics teachers, increase their teaching content knowledge, or work towards our Master of Arts in Physics Education degree. It is a summer residence course at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. It also includes some teaching pedagogy. The course is held in the afternoon, and the companion lecture course, PHYS 631, is in the mornings. PHYS 635 has both homework and quizzes for each laboratory. An inservice project is required for the course which can be done in your local school, school system, or any regional, state, or national teachers meeting.


Professor Stephen T. Thornton
Christopher Hahn
Fred Hoffman


The course will consist of laboratory-type hands-on activities, physics curricula discussions, pedagogical content knowledge, and inservice activities. During the 3 1/2-week summer component, teachers (students) will complete several different kinds of activities including experiments using probes with both graphing calculators and computers, table-based labs, and video-based labs. Technology will be emphasized. During the following fall, teachers will have inservice presentations to complete.


    PDF versions of lab manual: Click on appropriate highlighted activity in schedule below.

    Motion Analysis Video Tape Manual

    Students will be provided with a copy of the video tape and manual during the course. The electronic version is available in case an extra copy is needed.

    Adobe Acrobat reader is required to view this file.

See Participant Photos

Daily Workshop/Lab Schedule:

Activity - click on highlited activity to obtain pdf file
July 9, 2007

1a. Discussion, WebAssign, MAPE, Inservice Project, Linear regression equation (calculator), Excel tutorial, grading.
1b. Physical Measurement (computer)

July 10, 2007 2a. One Dimenional Motion (computer)
2b. Newton's 2nd Law (graphing calculator and CBL)
July 11, 2007

3a. Velocity and Acceleration (Data Studio)
3b. Free fall: uniform gravitational acceleration (video)

July 12, 2007 4. Projectile Motion and Error Analysis (UVa equipment and computer)
July 13, 2007 Software, Internet Resources, Show and Tell
July 16, 2007 5. Force and Motion (computer)
July 17, 2007 6a. Work and Energy
6b. Air Resistance (graphing calculator and CBL)
July 18, 2007 7. Collisions and Momentum - Newton's 3rd Law
July 19, 2007 8. Rotational Dynamics
Inservice Project Proposals due.
July 20, 2007 Science Olympiad
July 23, 2007 9a. Equilibrium of Non-parallel Forces (UVa equipment)
9b. Buoyant Force (Pasco computer experiment)
July 24, 2007 10. Harmonic Motion and the Pendulum
July 25, 2007 11. Free, Damped, and Forced Oscillations (computer)
July 26, 2007 12. Sound
July 27, 2007 13. Fluids
July 30, 2007

14a. The Ideal Gas Law and the Absolute Zero of Temperature
14b. Heat and Temperature Worksheet
14c. Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

July 31, 2007 15a. Heat Engines and the First Law of Thermodynamics (computer)
15b. Newton's Law of Cooling (calculator)
August 1, 2007 Evaluation, final exam.
Appendices A. Selected Constants and Definitions
B. Graphical Analysis
D. Accuracy of Measurements and Treatment of Experimental Uncertainty
E. Vectors


Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Recipe

Inservice Report Form

Inservice Attendee Report Form

Updated July 8, 2007