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Honors Physical Science
Fall 2002


Physical Science 91A is an honors level course which covers some of the basics of the study of motion and its causes including Newton's Laws of motion and the concept of energy. The development of higher order thinking skills is begun in the 91A course is stressed and continued throughout the Walton Science program. It is also stressed that science is an experiential subject and must also be experienced first hand to truly be understood. With this in mind most of the class time is spent with hands on activities as well as minds on discussions based on student experiences.
Each Unit provides a list of objectives, text references, vocabulary, and real world applications designed to help the student appreciate the importance of the content in her/his life.
For more information on how the couse is conducted please refer to the Philosophy of The Teters Zone.


    1. Linear Motion - Distance, time, and direction are required to completely describe the motion of an object. Concepts of speed, velocity, and acceleration are explored. Problem solving and graphing are introduced here.
    2. Newton's Laws of Motion - Sir Isaac Newton developed three laws of motion which explain why objects move as they do. Inertia, mass, force, and momentum are the main focus here. Also discussed are freefall and terminal velocity.
    3. Work, Energy, Simple machines - The root of all the motion is energy. Using machines to make work easier. Conservation of energy.
    4. Thermal Energy - A look at energy at the molecular level and what we call heat. The Amazing Flaming cheezePuff, need I say more?

The grading for this course will be done with a points system with a tentative maximum of 1224 points possible. The following are the tentative letter grade point requirements:

Letter Grade Desired
Minimum # of points
A (90+)
B (80+)
C (74+)
D (70+)
F (69-)
845 and less

Although little stress is put on rigid deadlines, some limitations must be put on the amount of time some students will allow to transpire before turning in assignments. It simply is not beneficial educationally or scientifically to allow your work to become stale in your mind. The following rule may be invoked for Explorations, Laboratories, and STS Articles.

The grade for any work turned in late can receive no more than 100% of your grade on that Unit's test. No work will be accepted after the next Unit test has been given. Example: you turn in the Wave Lab late, you did well - 75 points. On the Wave test you earned 80 points. Your final recorded late lab grade would be 80% of 75 points which is 60 points.
Brief descriptions of the different assignments are listed below, more detailed descriptions can be found at
How do I do that?

DAILY ( 1 of each per Unit)

Daily classwork and homework assignments are used as part of the learning process. These consist of in class activities as well as practice worksheets. Although many of these items are not graded, each student is expected to work through these assignments on time and be able to discuss and ask questions about the material in class. Your effort in this area will determine how much you get out of this course, which most students measure as a "grade". There are two assignments that must be completed each Unit.

LABORATORY (4 @75 points each *L)

These labs are meant to be done the the first week of the Unit to guide you in "discovering" the concepts that will be detailed during the unit. These are almost exclusively performed in groups of two or more, while your final product will also have individual requirements for you to turn in as well. The lab must be turned in by the test for that Unit for full credit.

NOTEBOOK (3 @20 points each)

Your teacher will randomly check your notebook each six weeks. The notebook will need to have a Table of contents, a gradesheet, course syllabus materials, course materials and work, all in a three ring binder.

STS Article (2 @20 points each *L)

Each 9 weeks you must turn in a Science, Technology, and Society article accompanied by a summary and response. It must come from the Units covered during that 9 weeks and may be turned in at any time during theat 9 week period.

workQUIZ (4 @16 points each)

The workQuiz is a check of your class participation as well as your content knowledge before the test.

TEST (4 @100 points each) - you will receive a Unit guide after the previous Unit test.

Final Project (1) FINAL EXAM (1* @200 points) MISCELLANEOUS/TIPS