Learning Catalog

Physical Science (lab)/Physical Science Honors (lab)

Physical Science (lab)/Physical Science Honors (lab)

Credits 1

Competency Group Overview

Meets physical science graduation requirement

Competencies

  • Motion 1
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of motion, force and energy by using data to differentiate among the various forms of energy, demonstrating an understanding of how energy is transformed from one form to another, and describing the relationship between work and power.
  • Motion 2
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of Newton’s Laws of Motion by explaining and applying each of Newton’s Laws to real-life situations.
  • Waves
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of mechanical and electromagnetic waves by explaining the properties of waves, analyzing wave characteristics including change based on location or motion of an object, and researching the practical applications of various types of electromagnetic waves.
  • Electricity
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of electricity by analyzing and explaining the behavior of various types of circuits and electromagnetics and designing circuits for various purposes.
  • Matter
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the connection between the atomic structure and elements by analyzing patterns found in the periodic table and investigating the characteristics of various elements.
  • Chemical Properties
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of chemical compounds by analyzing the chemical properties of various acids and bases through experiments and/or interactive activities.
  • Nuclear Reactions and Radioactivity
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of nuclear reactions and radioactivity by researching natural sources of radioactivity and investigating the process by which nuclear energy is used as a resource.
  • Chemical Reactions
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of chemical reactions by classifying types of reactions, describing the energy change that occurs during a reaction, and determining how variables such as temperature affect the rate of reactions.

Pre-Requisites

Recommended for grades 9-12.

Honors

Course: To take the Honors version, please select the course from the"Advance/Honors/AP" drop down during registration.

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

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 segments / 32-36 weeks

Overview

This course is designed as an interactive, 21st century course focusing on 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. The utilization of scientific inquiry, web 2.0 tools, interactive experiences, higher order thinking, collaborative projects, real world application through labs and a variety of assessments all aid the student in ultimately demonstrating a vast understanding of the importance of the physical and chemical properties of the world around them; enabling them to apply these properties to their everyday lives.

 

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

 

Major Topics and Concepts

 

Segment 1:

  • Speed, Velocity and Acceleration
  • The Laws of Motion
  • Forces in Action
  • Energy
  • Work and Power
  • Energy Transfer
  • Introduction to waves
  • Mechanical waves
  • Electromagnetic waves
  • Reflection and Refraction
  • Electrical Charges
  • Electrical Current
  • Electrical Circuits
  • Magnetism
  • Relationship between Electricity and magnetism
  • Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources

*Collaborative project: Students are required to submit one collaborative project in segment 1. There will be two different options in the segment to choose from.

 

Segment 2:

  • Classifying Matter
  • States of Matter
  • Properties of Matter
  • Atomic Theory
  • Atomic Mass
  • Periodic Table of Elements
  • Chemical Bonding
  • Chemical Formulas
  • Hydrogen hydroxide
  • Solubility and Concentration
  • Acids and Bases
  • Chemical reactions
  • Classifying Chemical Reactions
  • Reaction Rates and Energy
  • Radioactivity
  • Nuclear Reactions
  • Better Living through Chemistry

*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

Mechanical Engineer

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Motion 1: Students will demonstrate an understanding of motion, force, and energy by using data to differentiate among the various forms of energy, demonstrating an understanding of how energy is transformed from one form to another, and describing the relationship between work and power.

Project

You are a Mechanical Engineer working with a design team to create a new roller coaster for an amusement park. Your job is to create the initial design for the roller coaster.

As a mechanical engineer you will need to find the important balance between keeping the riders safe, but also entertained. In order to do this you will analyze and consider the physical forces that the riders will experience while on the roller coaster.

Career

Research Assistant

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Motion 2: 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 Research Assistant in a materials lab. You are to create a checklist to help build the best sports helmet to limit a force of impact. Your checklist will be used to make sure that new designs will protect athletes. You will present your final checklist to the lab director. In your presentation, you will explain how your checklist, based on your research, takes into account all of Newton’s Laws.

 

Career

Meteorologist

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Waves: Students will demonstrate an understanding of mechanical and electromagnetic waves by explaining the properties of waves, analyzing wave characteristics including change based on location or motion of an object, and researching the practical applications of various types of electromagnetic waves.

Project

You are a Meteorologist, reporting for the Weather Channel. You are tasked to develop a special TV program to explain to viewers how you predict weather using various forms of remote sensing. Your program will show 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 Weather Channel.

Career

Toy Designer

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Electricity: Students will demonstrate an understanding of electricity by analyzing and explaining the behavior of various types of circuits and electromagnetics and designing circuits for various purposes.

Project

You are a Toy Designer for a marketing company. Your role is to develop initial concepts and sketches for new toys. Your toy needs to use electromagnets and simple circuits in order to do work, cause movement, make noise, or light up. You will need to develop a presentation to show how this toy is able to do this task. You will present your toy design to the marketing agency director.

Career

Science Editor

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Matter: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the connection between the atomic structure and elements by analyzing patterns found in the periodic table and investigating the characteristics of various elements.

Project

You are a Science Editor of the Advisory Board at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. You are are in charge of reviewing and editing the chemists’ work on the six unknown elements of the periodic table. You will prepare a slideshow of one of the six unknown elements, and then present this to the advisory board.

Career

Master Gardener

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Chemical Properties: Students will demonstrate an understanding of chemical compounds by analyzing the chemical properties of various acids and bases through experiments and/or interactive activities.

Project

You are a Master Gardener on a planning committee for a community garden. Gardeners rely on soil sample analysis to prepare the soil for gardening. You will use real soil profile data to determine the chemicals needed to prepare your proposed garden site. Your job is to write a checklist for the town council explaining how the soil at the site will have to be prepared. You will need to include a list of the necessary fertilizers and soil amendments, with a description of how each one works.

Career

Public Relations Manager

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Nuclear Reactions and Radioactivity: Students will demonstrate an understanding of nuclear reactions and radioactivity by researching natural sources of radioactivity and investigating the process by which nuclear energy is used as a resource.

Project

You are a Public Relations Manager at a nuclear energy company that currently performs nuclear waste recycling. Your job is to prepare information for your company web site about nuclear waste recycling.

In this project, you will explore some of the potential benefits and drawbacks to recycling nuclear waste. You will need to explain basic nuclear reactions and radioactivity concepts, discuss environmental and safety considerations, and provide alternative options for nuclear waste disposal.

Career

Health and Safety Technician

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

Chemical Reactions: Students will demonstrate an understanding of chemical reactions by classifying types of reactions, describing the energy change that occurs during a reaction, and determining how variables such as temperature affect the rate of reactions.

Project

You are an Environmental Health and Safety Technician working for a chemistry laboratory. Your job is to design and present a safe storage plan for the lab to follow that properly stores chemicals. Some chemicals cannot be stored in hot temperatures or near other substances because they may cause explosions or hazards. Some chemicals are dangerous for people to touch without proper protective equipment. You will research chemical reactions and temperature variables for these and other types of chemical storage and handling situations for your presentation.

Status:

Open

The Experiences Pathway allows students to demonstrate mastery of competencies and earn credit through experiences, such as internships, travel, service learning, entrepreneurship, or independent study. Students may elect to meet all competencies in a particular competency group (i.e., English 1 or Economics) or they can master  competencies in multiple discipline areas. Once a student enrolls, a VLACS instructor will work with the student to refine the Experience, identify the competencies that will be met, and determine products that will demonstrate mastery of each competency.

In Experiences students will:

  1. Use google drive.
  2. Meet weekly or every two weeks with their instructor.
  3. Secure an outside expert.
  4. Plan the experience prior to completing it. (Credit is not awarded for experiences completed prior to enrollment and completion of the planning process.)

Here is how to enroll in an Experience.

  1. Identify the course(s) that matches most closely with your Experience.
  2. Click “Enroll Now” from www.vlacs.org or from our learning catalog.
  3. From the enrollment page, navigate to the course that matches your Experience.
  4. Select all competencies that you hope to meet through your Experience. Do not worry if you are unsure of the exact competencies, they can be adjusted.
  5. Select the Experience bubble.
  6. If there are additional competencies from other discipline areas you hope to meet, enroll in these in the same manner.
  7. Your parent/guardian will receive an email asking for approval of your enrollment. This must be completed before we can assign you an instructor.
  8. You will receive a welcome email from your instructor within five days, given that space is available.

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 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 takes 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.

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