AP Physics 1 Course Description

AP Physics 1   Student Syllabus

Scott Kindt

Email:  scott.kindt@thompsonschools.org              Room 212

Web Page   www.rockymountainstars.com

Textbook    Giancoli Physics: Principles with Applications (5th ed.)

The AP Physics 1 course has been designed by the College Board as a course equivalent to an algebra-based college-level physics class.  The course focuses on the interconnections between the various strands and units contained in the course syllabus and how each contributes to the “Big Ideas” that provide a core foundation for this science course.  Problem solving techniques and strategies are fined tuned throughout the year, and students are continually tasked with connecting physics applications learned in different units in order to synthesize solutions to complex problems.  The emphasis on theoretical topics, critical thinking and problem solving makes this class challenging.  Mathematics is used to illuminate physical situations.  Students must be strong in both math and science to be successful in this course.  Conceptual understanding of the material is a requirement for success.  Students will be expected to write justifications and explanations of physics concepts.

The content for the course is based on six big ideas:

Big Idea 1  Objects and systems have properties such as mass and charge.

Big Idea 2  Fields existing in space can be used to explain interactions.

Big Idea 3  The interactions of an object with other objects can be described by forces.

Big Idea 4  Interactions between systems can result in changes in those systems.

Big Idea 5  Changes that occurs as a result of interactions are constrained by conservation laws.

Big Idea 6  Waves can transfer energy and momentum from one location to another without the permanent transfer of mass and serve as a mathematical model for the description of other phenomenon.



Dedicated lab notebook for Physics labs only (composition or graph paper)

Calculator, ruler for labs & ray tracing



Grading / Evaluation

100%-90% A,      89%-80% B,     79%-70% C,     69%-60% D,      59%-0 F

There is a 10% deduction in points for each day an assignment is late.

AP Physics 1 is a weighted course for grades C or higher.

Total Grade comes from: 75% Exams & Quizzes, 5% Homework, 20% Lab Reports

AP Physics 1 Course Outline

Ch. 1 Measurement, Significant figures, Conversion Factors

Ch.2 Kinematics, Motion in one dimension

Ch. 3 Projectiles, Motion in two dimensions, Vectors

Ch. 4 Newton’s Laws, Force and acceleration

Ch. 5 Circular Motion & Universal Gravity Kepler’s Laws

Ch. 6 Work, Energy & Power

Comprehensive Semester Exam



2nd Semester


Ch. 7 Linear Momentum, Impulse & Collision

Ch. 8 Rotational Kinematics & Rotational Energy

Ch. 9 Rotational Dynamics, Torques & Static Equilibrium

Ch. 11 & 12 Vibrations, Waves & Sound

Ch. 16 Electrostatics, Electric Forces & Fields

Ch. 18 & 19 Electric Currents & Simple DC Circuits


Final Exam & Review for AP Exam

Classroom Rules

  1. Students are to be respectful of all people, including themselves, their peers, and teachers.  Hurtful comments or disrupting anyone at any time is not allowed.
  2. Students are to be respectful of their surroundings.  This includes proper use of the materials and lab equipment.
  3. Because this is a chemistry lab food and drinks are prohibited from the lab environment.
  4. Students will refrain from usage of electronic devices, including cell phones and personal music players.  Usage of these devices will be handled according to school policy.
  5. Students are expected to follow all rules printed in the school handbook.


General Policies & Late Work

  1. All supplies should be brought to class.  Students will not be allowed to leave class to retrieve materials from their locker.
  2. Students are not allowed to regularly leave class.
  3. In the event as student has an excused absence, a time period proportional to the length of absence is allowed to make up any missed work.  Make-up tests must be completed within a week of returning to school.  Responsibility lies with the STUDENT to find out what assignments were missed, and to schedule a quiz or test if necessary. 
  4. Projects, homework assignments, lab reports etc. lose 10% per school day, up to 5 days late.  After 5 days, the work is not accepted.