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    Welcome to Physics!
    Here's your syllabus
    Download file "Physics syllabus 2013_gm.docx"

    Welcome to Physics/Physics Honors


    Jerry Bleckel, Greg McKenna, Dr. Bill Wiecking

    jbleckel@hpa.edu, gmckenna@hpa.edu, bill@hpa.edu, physics.hpa.edu

    The Course

    Physics is an introductory survey course that covers everything in a traditional high school physics course. This year, we will study motion, forces, energy, matter, waves, electricity, magnetism and modern physics.


    Active Physics by Eksenkraft, Third edition. Publisher: It’s About Time, Herff Jones Education Division. The text can be found as a .pdf file at physics.hpa.edu. We will supplement this textbook with the excellent online site Khanacademy.org and other videos that can be found on YouTube.com. We will likely use this often to supplement the lectures in class.

    What you’ll need to bring to class

    scientific calculator other than your phone/tablet

    3-ring binder for taking notes, storing handouts, etc. with lined paper

    straightedge, colored pencils, other tools.

    Classroom Procedures

    1. On the way into class, pick up the daily worksheet at the desk nearest the door.

    2. All cell phones and electronic devices need to be shut off and put away.

    3. When the class begins, students are to be in their seats with their homework on the desk space in front of them. We will go over questions about the homework as well as any questions about the lectures.

    4. During group work, students are expected to talk quietly with members of their own group.

    5. When help is needed during a test, during seatwork, or during group work, students are to raise their hands for teacher assistance. While waiting, students should continue to try to answer the question on their own.

    6. Tardy students must drop their tardy note on the desk as they enter.

    7. When absent, students are expected to do the assignments in the syllabus except in unusual cases. It is expected that you will write or call me in such circumstances.

    8. Questions of a personal nature, such as questions about points given for a particular assignment, should be brought up individually with the instructor before or after class.

    9. If you lose handouts and other papers from class, it is your responsibility to make copies from other students. Papers from recent classes can usually be found in a folder by the door.


    On Engrade.com, you can find your grades, assignments, and quizzes. We will register for this the first day of school. Your parents will have the opportunity to access Engrade as well.

    Grades and Exams

    There will be “evening quizzes” each day there is homework. You can find the quizzes in your Engrade account. Check the calendar each day. They will be short, usually 3 multiple-choice questions.

    We will have daily quizzes, usually at the end of each class period. These daily quizzes will be short and review the work done during the class period. The daily quizzes will first be scored using the following table:



    C Complete

    J Justified

    E Small errors

    P partially justified

    I Incorrect

    N Not justified

    Once the daily quizzes are returned, you will have the task of correcting and explaining your mistakes for each problem. (If you receive a score of C/J no correction will be necessary). You will then give yourself a grade for the quiz and return it. I will either agree or disagree with your grade, and enter it in the Engrade grade book. Note: Daily quizzes may also be on the lab investigations. Students may NOT re-take quizzes. Be ready each day.

    Formal Labs

    You will most likely do one formal lab write-up each quarter, possibly two. They will be graded in the Correctness/Process format above.


    Tests will be given at the end of each unit. Our tests will be based on practice problems that you will already have had a chance to master.

    Grading Percentages

    Evening quizzes 10%

    Daily quizzes (including lab investigations) 10%

    Labs (investigations) 10%

    Lab formal write-ups 20%

    TESTS 50%

    Homework/Class Work

    We’ll be trying something new this year. Your homework will mostly consist of watching short videos on khanacademy.org and doing a few “easy” questions as well as a complex question or two (once we are able). In class, we will review these videos, practice solving problems and/or do lab investigations. The Engrade homework/quizzes will be CLOSED by 8:30 a.m. the day of class to enable the instructor to view the results prior to class.


    As you may have noticed, our class is called “Physics/Physics Honors.” All five sections of the course will be treated the same. If you desire to take the challenge of Physics Honors, you will be required to design, create, and execute a science fair project in the fall and winter. In the spring, once the science fair is complete, we will move to another project, most likely astronomy. We will be meeting every Tuesday from 8 – 8:30 a.m. in room 41a. Our first meeting is August 28 in room 41a.

    Emergency Procedures

    In the event of an emergency, exit the room via either door and gather as a class at the bottom of the hill. Remain quiet and await further instructions.

    Final Note

    Messrs. Bleckel, McKenna, and Wiecking are all available to help any student, even if they are not your primary teacher.