As is the case with many AP classes, there isn't enough time in the regular school year to cover all the material—content and skills—in the AP Physics course. You're already familiar with the idea of a "summer reading assignment" for your English classes. In the same way, spending 6-8 hours this summer preparing for your study of physics will
- give us a head start on the course material,
- provide us with a little more time to spend on the more difficult material later on in the year, and
- slow the pace of the course during the school year,
- reduce some of the time-related stress that tends to build up during the regular school year.
To complete the AP Physics Summer Assignment, go through each of the items in the list below, in order. If you have any questions at any point, don't hesitate to reach out to your instructor (contact info here).
List of Items for AP Physics Summer Assignment
- Dig around this website a little (5 minutes)
You'll be interacting with this site fairly often, so take a look and see what's here. Pay special attention to the Course Schedule which outlines our schedule for the first quarter.
Our first test is Friday, September 1!
This will be a great chance for you to jump in and get a bit of a feel for what the course is like.
- Watch this video introducing your instructors. (5 minutes)
Bonus feature: outtakes at the end... :)
- Read the Course Policies (10 minutes)
It's a bit long, but there is important information that you need to know here. Settle in and read it all.
- Watch the Video Podcast, part 1 (15 minutes)
This short lecture is intended to prepare you for the first homework assignment.
- Download & print the AP Physics C Equation Sheet (5 minutes)
A sheet very similar to this is what you'll be using when you take the AP Physics exam next May. In the meantime, you're free to use this one on assignments in this class, including for unit tests—make sure you keep a copy in your notebook at all times!
- Do Kinematics Homework assignment #1 (30 min)
- Even if you already have the textbook for this course, for this summer unit we'll be using an old edition of our text. Read the scanned pages 24-28.
- Read the Homework Guidelines page, which describes and demonstrates what your written homework should look like.
- Watch the six-minute video on How to do Physics Homework. There are some really important points included here, and watching the entire six minutes is well worth your time before you get started.
- Do Problems 1-5 (listed at the end of the scanned chapter). Be sure to do the Problems, not the Questions!
- Not sure if you did the homework problems correctly? Take a look at the Chapter 2 Solutions. If the answer to a problem has a different number of significant figures from what you included, or if it's off a small amount, that's usually no reason to worry—those differences can legitimately arrive when using different strategies to solve the problem.
Turning in homework
Ordinarily you'll turn in your homework assignments each day in class. For this Summer Assignment, however, you should staple them together in order (Assignment #1 on top, #3 on the bottom) and turn them in the day you take the test in class.
- Fill out the secure student info form (10 min)
This will provide some important contact info for me, and allow me to get to know you a little before we get started in August.
- Check out the Course Schedule (5 min)
It's subject to change, of course, but you'll be using the calendar a fair amount, to keep track of assignments, to download lab assignments and practice tests, etc.
- Watch the Video Podcast part 2 (15 minutes)
Some of the finer points in the chapter, explained. NOTE: There is an error in one of the solutions given in a practice problem. "2.5m/s" should be "6.0m/s". Thanks to Austin Yu for catching the error!
- Do Kinematics Homework assignment #2 (25 min).
- Read scanned pages 28-34.
- Do Problems 7, 9, 11, 12, 15.
- Watch the Video Podcast part 3 (25 minutes)
- Do Kinematics Homework assignment #3 (30 min)
- Read scanned pages 36-46
- Do Problems 33, 21, 23, 29, 24, 40, 43, 49
Check out LearnAPphysics.com
Yes, it's my website. I wrote it for you. If you're on Twitter, you should follow the website there. If you're not on Twitter, make use of the website on a semi-regular basis to make sure you're staying on top of things.
- Print out and take the Practice Test (2 hrs)
This test is approximately the same length and difficulty as a typical unit test that we'll be taking throughout the school year, although it will almost certainly feel easier than future tests—you have already learned most of this material during your freshman year, after all! Answers / Solutions are included at the back of the Practice Test. Questions? Don't understand something? Talk to me!
The start of the school year is always an exciting time, and I hope that you'll find that these introductory activities will have given you a good start to the school year.
I'm looking forward to working with you. See you soon!