High School Physics Objectives

Physics classes provide practical experiences for students to understand scientific forces.
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High school physics objectives, for most high schools across the nation, are virtually identical. This means that even though classes may be taught using a variety of instructional methods the content is the same. Though there are many concepts taught in high school physics, virtually all objectives focus on measuring, calculating and describing motion; understanding force, mass and acceleration; understanding electric and gravitational forces; understanding energy transfer and conservation; and understanding wave properties and application.

1 How to Measure, Calculate and Describe Motion

Students are exposed to the relationship between concepts of time, velocity, acceleration, speed and displacement. Students will learn and be able to demonstrate Newton's first law. Lessons are designed to provide students with the opportunity for practical experience relative to the concepts covered. They are expected to demonstrate understanding and the relationship of these concepts through the collection, prediction, interpretation, and analysis of data.

2 The Relationship Between Force, Mass and Acceleration

Students will observe, describe and gain an understanding of the natural forces on earth. In accordance with the common theme in high school physics courses, students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of these concepts via practical application. They will use vector diagrams and tools for measuring force to demonstrate and explain Newton's second and third laws.

3 The Factors of Electric and Gravitational Force

Students will understand and be able to explain the factors of electric and gravitational force. Students will use Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation to explain the impact of distance on the strength of the gravitational force. Students will use concepts previously covered in physics to explain how mass and height contribute to the gravitational potential energy of an object.

4 Energy Transfer and Conservation

Student will learn concepts of kinetic and potential energy through the use of incline planes, static objects and pendulums. Students will also be able to identify and understand the various types of potential energy. Additionally, students will be able to use velocity and mass to calculate kinetic energy. Students will use lab experiences to demonstrate understanding of the transfer of heat energy via convection, radiation and conduction.

5 Understand Wave Properties and Applications

Students will learn terminology and concepts that relate to wave properties and applications. Students will understand the concepts of speed, wavelength and frequency via practical lab experience. Also, through the use of lenses and mirrors, students will gain an understanding of reflection, refraction and diffraction of waves. They will also be able to describe the nature of electromagnetic radiation and visible light.

Katherine Bradley began writing in 2006. Her education and leadership articles have been published on Education.com, Montessori Leadership Online and the Georgia Educational Researcher. Bradley completed a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Mercer University in 2009.