Modeling the AP-2 Course

As this year draws to a conclusion, and I look ahead to the coming changes in physics education (yes I’m looking at you college board and NGSS), I’m beginning to look ahead to how I might change what I’ve done to meet these new standards. Please note, I’ve only taught with Modeling Instruction for one year now, but maybe my fresh eyes will be beneficial in bridging the between the traditional modeling curriculum and what will be needed in the future courses.

Over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to add more posts to fill in more details, but here’s what I’m thinking so far the AP-2 Course:

Unit I: Computer Modeling

Students will be introduce to the vPython programing language, and will work through a series of situations as they try to build a computer model that matches the given situation. The situations will review most of the major concepts from mechanics as they build up a computer model. The end product will be a program that models multiple equal-mass balls moving inside a box that show elastic collisions with the boundary and each other. They will use this program to predict the results of the gas law experiments.

Unit II: Thermodynamics/Ideal Gas Particle Model

Paradigm Lab: Gas Laws labs

Objective: to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between pressure, volume, number of particles and temperature

Unit III: Fluids

Paradigm Lab: Pipe Lab

Objective: to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship height of fluid above opening, pipe radius, hole radius, flow rate, and exit velocity

Unit IV: Electric Charge/Field

Paradigm Lab: Balloon Lab

Objective: to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between charge, distance, and electric force

Unit V: Electric Potential

Paradigm Lab: Mapping the electric field and equipotential lines

Objective: to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between position and potential between two charged plates

Unit VI: Electric Circuits

Paradigm Lab: RC Circuit

Objective: to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between potential and time for the charging and discharging of an RC circuit.

Unit VII: Magnetism

Paradigm Lab: Field cause by a current carrying wire

Objective: to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between current, distance from the wire, and magnetic field for a wire carrying a direct current

Activities: Mapping the magnetic field of a bar magnet, Force on a current carrying wire in a magnetic field

Unit VIII: Particle of Light Model

Activities: Image in a flat mirror, image in a curved mirror

Paradigm Lab: Intensity of Light

Objective: to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between distance to the screen and area of shadow

Unit IX: Wave Model of Light

Activities: Diffraction Grating

Paradigm Lab: Lens Lab

Objectives:

  • to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between object distance and image distance.
  • to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between the ratio of image distance to object distance with the ratio of image height to object height.

Unit X: “Quantum” Model

Paradigm Lab: Photoelectric Effect Simulation

Objective: to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between intensity of light, color of light, incident metal, and stopping voltage

Activities: Determining the Rydberg Constant for Hydrogen Emission

Unit XI: “Standard” Model

Paradigm Lab: Compton Scattering Simulation

Objective: to determine the graphical and mathematical relationship between incident wavelength, reflected wavelength, angle, and momentum of scattered electron

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