Physics I


Instructor:  Ms. Deb Jensen

Office:  A101


Phone:  650-330-2001 ext 2272


Physics is the most basic of all the sciences.  It explains everything – why planes fly, boats float, or why only that perfect line drive turns into a home run.  Physics is what holds together the atoms that compose all matter, and itÕs what drives the stars to shine and the planets to remain in their orbits.  ItÕs how you can do tricks on your skateboards, why roller coasters are so exciting, and how the space shuttle makes it into orbit. 


YouÕve heard over and over about how we are now living in a global society, a global economy.  As technology improves, it gives us both freedom and new burdens to use that technology appropriately.  It is therefore no longer acceptable to claim ignorance of the consequences – every citizen must be able to make informed decisions about things like water use, where we get our food, how we get our energy, and how, as a society, we can get from place to place. 


Physics gives us the rules that the universe obeys – it tells us how the world works.  Knowing the rules allows manipulations of materials into things that make our lives better - from the car you came to school in to the aspirin you take when you have a headache, to the potential for using green algae as a power source. The fundamental knowledge that you gain in this class will be expanded upon in chemistry and biology, to help you become an informed, global citizen.  Who knows, YOU may be the one to make the discovery that changes the world!


This class will be tough, but weÕll have fun, and learn a lot along the way!


Required Materials:

á       Textbooks: 

o   Conceptual Physics.  (Hewitt)

o   PeopleÕs Physics Book; available in the bookstore

á       Notebook:

o   A small binder for any handouts, labs, etc

á       Calculator:

o   Trig function (sin, cos, tan) and scientific notation capable.  A graphing calculator is fine, but not necessary.



Grading Policy:

Your grade in this class will be determined as follows:


Semester Progress – together this accounts for 85% of the semester grade

á       Tests:  55%

This includes all unit tests and major projects, as announced in advance.

á       Labs:  25%

This includes all labs and lab activities, both formal and informal

á       Homework:  15%

This includes all quizzes, homework quizzes, and daily homework

á       Misc:  5%

This includes being on time to class, asking questions, helping others, and generally taking ownership of your own learning.


      Final exam or project – 10-15% of semester grade


Course Policies and Procedures:

Extra Credit:  There is no extra credit.  Please do not ask.  Spend your time completing the course work to the best of your ability and the rest will take care of itself.

Late Work:  Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date.   Late work loses 10% per school day (not class day).  After three days, the missing work can be turned in for a maximum of 50% credit until the end of the unit.  After the unit ends it will no longer be accepted.

Homework: Homework will be checked daily for completeness, and turned in on test days along with your PPB.  We assign homework to reinforce what we do in class, and give you extra practice with challenging concepts.  It is to your benefit to stay current with the homework and other material.  You will not be able to catch up the day before the test if you fall behind!  You should expect to spend 30-45 minutes a night on physics.

Classroom Comportment: You are expected to conduct yourself in class and in other physics work in a manner which shows your respect for the right of each of your classmates to learn without interference.  There is a line you do not want to cross between good-natured fun and disrespectful, hurtful actions.  Be on time to class, ready to begin at the appointed time. 

Missing class: Check Moodle before you come see me.  Have times to suggest if you need to meet. Tell me about sports conflicts as soon as you know about them.  If you miss a day unexpectedly, you need to see me the first day you are back to check in, even if we donÕt have class on that day.


Office Hours:

Physics is a challenging subject, one with which you will struggle at times.  It is crucial that you seek extra help immediately when you realize youÕre falling behind – you will not be able to learn it all the night before the test!  To help facilitate this, I will typically be available for extra help during the following times:


á       Tutorial periods (Day 1, 5 – IÕll be in A111)

á       During D and E blocks ( IÕll be in/around the science office – A101 if not in our classroom)

á       After school until 4 pm


You don't HAVE to have an appointment, but making one will assure that that time is reserved for you.


To encourage you to remain current with the material, extra help will NOT be given on test days.  Cramming right before the test will not help – youÕre much better off getting something to eat and relaxing your brain before exams. 


IÕm excited for the year to come in physics, and I hope you are too!  Stay on top of the material, and take advantage of opportunities to get your questions answered, get plenty of sleep, and IÕm sure this year will be both fun and successful.  Good Luck!



Please sign below, indicating that both you and your parents have read and understand the course expectations for Physics I.  Return this page to me by 8/26/13.




Student Name: ___________________________________________________





Student Signature: __________________________________________    Date: ____________





ParentÕs Signature: __________________________________________   Date: ____________