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Course Syllabus

Course: PHYS 1015

Division: Natural Science and Math
Department: Physics
Title: Elementary Physics Laboratory

Semester Approved: Summer 2016
Five-Year Review Semester: Summer 2021
End Semester: Summer 2022

Catalog Description: PHYS 1015 is a laboratory course to accompany PHYS 1010. Students will learn techniques of measurement and data analysis. Principles from the lecture course will be demonstrated and tested. (Lab fee required)

General Education Requirements: Physical Science Lab (LB)
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 1; Lecture: 0; Lab: 2

Prerequisites: N/A

Corequisites: Elementary Physics (PHYS 1010)


Justification: This course is the companion to the lecture course, PHYS 1010. Students explore the scientific method to test proposed theories in a laboratory setting. Hypothesis testing in a laboratory setting is an essential experience in understanding the scientific method.For the natural sciences, science is the systematic inquiry into natural phenomena, organizing and condensing those observations into testable models and hypotheses, theories or laws. The success and credibility of science is anchored in the willingness of scientists to: 1) expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by other scientists which requires the complete and open exchange of data, procedures, and materials; 2) abandon or modify accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental evidence. Adherence to these principles provides a mechanism for self-correction that is the foundation of the credibility of science. (Adapted from a statement by the Panel on Public Affairs of the American Physical Society which was endorsed by the Executive Board of the American Association of Physics Teachers in 1999.)

General Education Outcomes:
1: A student who completes the GE curriculum will have a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, with particular emphasis on American institutions, the social and behavioral sciences, the physical and life sciences, the humanities, the fine arts and personal wellness.  A primary purpose of this course is to give students a practical understanding of physics, and to show how physical scientists apply scientific methods to increase their knowledge about the natural world. Students concept mastery will be assessed on lab reports, quizzes, or final exam.

2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information using a variety of traditional and electronic media. In lab students are required to gather and analyze their data then present a conclusion or summary of their experiment. Occasionally they are also required to present their findings in graphical form. Students ability to read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information will be evaluated on lab reports, quizzes, or final exam.

6: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy. During each lab students are required to gather and analyze data. Their ability to reason analytically, critically, and creatively will be assessed using lab reports, quizzes, or final exam.


Student Learning Outcomes:
Apply scientific reasoning in a variety of contexts.

Students will be able to solve various problems using the laws of nature. For example they will be able to apply Newton’s Laws as they explore acceleration of a freely falling body, or use Ohm’s law as they explore electrical circuits. A student’s ability to apply scientific reasoning will be assessed using lab reports, quizzes, or final exam. 

Use the concepts of physical science to solve daily problems.

Topics learned, such as Ohm’s Law, Newton’s Laws of motion, gravity and planetary motion, energy and the conversation laws, etc., are the laws that govern the world around us. Students will be able to apply these topics to daily problems such as predicting how fast an object will fall, or the force exerted on an object. A student’s ability to use these concepts to solve daily problems will be assessed using lab reports, quizzes, or final exam. 

Understand how physical scientists think and form judgments about the physical world.

Students will learn about the various laws physical scientists use to analyze and form judgements about the physical world. Labs will allow students the opportunity to take data in experiments and then analyze that data using mathematical models. Labs will also give students the opportunity to verify their calculated theoretical values through their observational data just as physical scientists do. Students will be assessed using lab reports, quizzes, or final exam. 

Assess the credibility of scientific information.

Will be assessed in accompanying lecture course PHYS 1010. 

Recognize the manifestations of physical science in phenomena of the everyday world.

Labs will provide students with the opportunity to observe the manifestations of physical science. For example in the forces as vector lab students are able to apply forces to an object and determine the resulting vector. In the lenses and image formation lab students are able to observe the science behind how eyeglasses work. Students will be assessed using lab reports, quizzes, or final exam. 

Acquire the tools necessary for life-long learning in physical science.

In lab students are provided opportunities to make careful observations, collect and analyze data, and draw conclusions. These are some of the most vital tools necessary for life-long learning in physical science. A students ability to use these tools will be demonstrated using lab reports, quizzes, or a final exam. 

Identify something acquired in the course about which he/she has become passionate.

This outcome will be assessed on the final exam. Students will be asked to identify which lab was their favorite. 


Content:
Students will do hands-on laboratory exercises for nearly all of the following topics:
• simple measurements to determine density
• forces as vectors
• acceleration of a freely falling body
• torques and equilibrium
• centripetal force
• velocity measurement using a ballistic pendulum
• specific heat and latent heat
• buoyancy
• simple harmonic motion
• standing waves in pipes
• lenses and image formation
• electrical heating
• electrical circuits
• absorption of gamma rays.

Key Performance Indicators:
Student Learning will be assessed using:

Lab Reports (50% - 100%) 

Quizzes (0% - 30%) 

Final Exam (0 - 30%) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Representative Text and/or Supplies:
A packet of lab exercises compiled by Snow College instructors.


Pedagogy Statement:


Maximum Class Size: 30
Optimum Class Size: 24