Introductory Physics

As we move into Forms 4-5, which we know as the first 3 years of high school, it is like the beautiful blooming of a flower. Our students have hopefully, joyously and consistently built a maturing relationship with the natural world that now broadens and deepens further to include studies of the disciplines of at least physics, biology, and chemistry. These are a means of gaining an introductory understanding of the principle laws that govern the universe while continuing to go deeper in their “seeing” of what is all around them. This broadening and deepening is happening in their math studies as well. Their growing fluency in the language of math will now be used especially in physics and chemistry to see and communicate the complex relationships present. Their maturing reading ability allows them to enter into more nuanced discussions of how our knowledge of God, knowledge of man, and knowledge of the universe intersect in the stewardship of creation and spill over into the areas of citizenship, ecology, and technology, to name a few.

Read Section 3.1 (pp. 64-66) in the selection from Introductory Physics by John Mays found in the Appendix. Narrate silently to yourself. Then read section 3.2. Find someone to whom you can explain Newton’s three laws of motion. Now slowly work through the example problems on pp. 69-71. Choose one of them to copy into your notebook. You can see that if you had worked your way through the first three chapters of the book in this fashion, you would be ready to apply your understanding to the problems on p. 80-81. Read through the problems. Note the computational questions as well as the conceptual questions. Many parents and some teachers if they haven’t been trained in secondary school level sciences can be intimidated by disciplinary studies especially if their relationship with nature was not strong prior to the course. If this is you, one option would be to work through the physics text yourself to become familiar with the ideas in the science, history, and math realms. John Mays, the author of the physics text, has also written a series of books that starts with Science for Every Teacher -Volume 1: Physics. He is hoping to add to the series in the spring of 2021.  This would be a helpful overview as well and is geared toward teachers with elementary-aged students. The same familiarity will be essential for biology and chemistry to provide upper level students with camaraderie and support.