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Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 segments / 36 weeks

Overview

This two-segment course is designed as an interactive introduction to basic physics and chemistry. Topics include forces and motion, energy through waves, electricity and magnetism, the matter around us, chemical bonding and reactions. This course is designed to serve as a foundation for the study of the physical sciences. Students use scientific inquiry and higher-order problem solving as they explore these topics through interactive simulations, and both virtual and hands-on experiences. In addition, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts are integrated throughout the course. Collaborative projects and real world aid the student in ultimately demonstrating an understanding of the importance of the physical and chemical properties of the world around them.

 

Note: content varies depending on the course version. For currently enrolled students, please refer to the syllabus located in the course information area for curriculum specifics.

 

Major Topics and Concepts

Module 1

  • Motion Pretest
  • The Study of Science
  • Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration
  • Honors: Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration
  • The Laws of Motion
  • Honors: The Laws of Motion
  • Forces in Action
  • Energy
  • Work and Power
  • Motion Discussion-Based Assessment
  • Motion Exam

Module 2

  • Waves Pretest
  • Waves
  • Sound
  • Honors: Sound
  • The Electromagnetic Spectrum — The Visible
  • The Electromagnetic Spectrum — The Non–Visible
  • Science and You
  • Waves Discussion-Based Assessment
  • Waves Exam

Module 3

  • Electricity Pretest
  • Electrical Charges
  • Electric Current
  • Circuits
  • Electromagnetism
  • Energy Resources
  • Human Impacts on the Environment
  • Electricity Discussion-Based Assessment
  • Electricity Exam
  • Segment One Exam

Module 4

  • Classifying Matter Pretest
  • States of Matter
  • Classifying Matter
  • Properties of Matter
  • Atomic Theory
  • Honors: Atomic Theory
  • Properties of Atoms
  • The Periodic Table of Elements
  • Classifying Matter Discussion-Based Assessment
  • Classifying Matter Exam

Module 5

  • Chemical Properties Pretest
  • Electrons and Bonding
  • Ionic and Covalent Bonds
  • Chemical Formulas
  • Hydrogen Hydroxide
  • Acids and Bases
  • Lab Time: Acid and Base Indicators
  • Chemical Properties Discussion-Based Assessment
  • Chemical Properties Exam

Module 6

  • Reactions Pretest
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Classifying Chemical Reactions
  • Chemical Reactions and Energy
  • Honors: Chemical Reactions and Energy
  • Reaction Rates and Temperature Laboratory
  • Radioactivity
  • Nuclear Reactions
  • Honors: Regulating Nuclear Power
  • Impact of Biotechnology
  • Reactions Discussion-Based Assessment
  • Reactions Exam

*Collaborative project: Students are required to submit one collaborative project in segment 2. There will be three different options throughout the segment to choose from.

 

Career

Wildland Firefighter

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 Weeks

Competency

Motion – Students will demonstrate an understanding of Newton’s Laws of motion by explaining and applying each of Newton’s Laws to real-life situations.

Project

You are a wildland firefighter of the U.S Forest Service, and you fight forest fires in hard to reach areas by skydiving to that area. You are responsible for creating a skydiving presentation for your boss and other firefighters on the specifications of parachutes that you use to reach fires.  Your presentation will include information about the parachute’s capabilities for speed, velocity, motion, forces, momentum, and energy requirements. Your presentation will also provide precautions and limitations on a firefighter’s personal mass, acceleration, and friction.

Career

Reporter for the Weather Channel

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 Weeks

Competency

Students will demonstrate an understanding of waves by summarizing the properties of waves, describing characteristics of mechanical waves, and explaining components of electromagnetic waves.

Project

You are a reporter for the Weather Channel. You are developing a storyboard for a special TV program. A storyboard is a graphic organizer that shows the sequence of events in a television show or movie. The storyboard will show how the weather is predicted using various forms of remote sensing. It will reveal how satellites and radar use different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to provide data to weather scientists. You will incorporate images and text to create a storyboard to present to the producers at the Weather Channel.

Career

Electromechanical Engineer

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 Weeks

Competency

Students will demonstrate an understanding of electricity by describing electrical charges, describing electrical current and circuits, explaining electromagnetism, and comparing energy resources.

Project

You are an electromechanical engineer that designs electric toys for a toy company. You will be planning the features and design of a toy and demonstrating how the toy works to your company’s marketing team. In the demonstration, you will use descriptions and visual images to describe the use of materials, batteries, electromagnets, and simple circuits that allow the toy to move, make noise, or light up. You will explain the potential environmental impacts that manufacture of the toy might have that can be avoided.

Career

Science Editor

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 Weeks

Competency

Students will demonstrate an understanding of classifying matter by explaining the states of matter, describing properties of matter, and describing the properties of atoms.

Project

You are a science editor for the chemical standard company, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and you will create a presentation to enrich the understanding for new members on the advisory. You will prepare a research presentation for new members on the advisory board to understand the organization of the periodic table and atomic theory. The presentation will also show the properties and states of matter, and properties of atoms so that the advisory board gains an understanding about them.

Career

Soil Scientist

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 Weeks

Competency

Students will demonstrate an understanding of chemical properties by relating electrons and bonding, explaining chemical formulas, and describing properties of acids and bases.

Project

You are a soil scientist working for a master gardener program. You are an expert in understanding which compounds, elements, or acids and bases need to be added to your soil to allow plants to grow. You will write a soil adjustment pamphlet for master gardeners to describe the properties, bonding, and chemical structure to explain the substances used to make adjustments to the soil. The checklist will show the names of each substance, chemical formulas, and how each functions to enrich the soil for plant growth.

Career

Environmental Health and Safety Specialist

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 Weeks

Competency

Students will demonstrate an understanding of chemical reactions by describing chemical reaction classification, explaining energy and reaction rates, and describing radioactivity.

Project

You are an occupational health and safety specialist at a company that does medical research. You are preparing a radiation safety poster and a chemical storage plan for hazardous materials that medical researchers use at your company. The plan will need to provide a general understanding of chemical reactions, reaction rates, and radioactivity. The plan will explain safe storage and handling considerations needed to avoid reactions and to prevent energy release. You will provide the chemical storage plan to the research staff and technicians who are working with these materials at the company. Your radiation safety poster will show the cause and impact of radioactivity for the medical technicians who work with radioactive materials to create life saving medicines.

Status

Open

Experiences allow students to demonstrate mastery of competencies through various real-world or hands-on learning opportunities, such as travel, service learning, independent study, internships or entrepreneurship. During an experience, students elect to meet all or some of the competencies in a particular competency group (ie. English 1, Economics, Biology, …), as an alternative to taking the course. Each experience is customized to the student’s opportunity. The student works with a VLACS instructor to determine deliverables that demonstrate mastery of the competencies and secures an outside expert to enrich the experience.

In Experiences students will:

  1. Meet weekly with their instructor.
  2. Secure an outside expert.
  3. Plan the experience prior to completing it. Credit is not awarded for experiences completed prior to enrollment and completion of the planning process.
  4. For many experiences, spend time at a business or other location.

Types of Experiences:

Independent Study

By signing up for an independent study, you will be able to direct your own learning, identifying what you want to learn and how you will demonstrate that you have mastered your learning objectives.

Internship

Internships allow you to gain professional experience, make connections, and become familiar with a career while working on site with mentors and professionals in a career of your interest.

Travel

While travel can be a great experience for learning life lessons, it is also an excellent way to acquire the knowledge and skills that allow you to demonstrate mastery in a variety of competencies. The world is a classroom and travel experiences will connect your real-world experiences to the learning that you seek.

Service Learning

In-Service Learning, you collaborate with members of your community to address issues to improve your community. You will connect your service with discipline-specific content so that learning can take place through problem solving and collaboration.

Entrepreneurship

Starting your own business is a great way to learn. This type of experience allows you to engage in an entrepreneurial experience and receive credit for competencies you master through this experience.

Credits 1

Meets physical science graduation requirement. Only Physical Science Experience earns a badge.

Competencies

  • Motion
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of motion by describing elements of motion, explaining forces and friction, describing momentum, and differentiating forms of energy.
  • Waves
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of waves by summarizing the properties of waves, describing characteristics of mechanical waves, and explaining components of electromagnetic waves.
  • Electricity
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of electricity by describing electrical charges, describing electrical current and circuits, explaining electromagnetism, and comparing energy resources.
  • Classifying Matter
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of classifying matter by explaining the states of matter, describing properties of matter, and describing the properties of atoms.
  • Chemical Properties
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of chemical properties by relating electrons and bonding, explaining chemical formulas, and describing properties of acids and bases.
  • Chemical Reactions
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of chemical reactions by describing chemical reaction classification, explaining energy and reaction rates, and describing radioactivity.

Pre-Requisites

Recommended for grades 9-12.

Honors

Course: To complete the honors version of this offering, you must discuss this with your instructor during your welcome call.

Project/Experience: Honors is awarded by earning "Exceeds" on all rubric assessments.

Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.