Charlie Cardinal PHYSICS 101
Physical Science Concepts for Teachers

Summer I - 2014

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Meeting Times/Location:

Lecture and Laboratory:

  CP 102, Monday - Friday: 9:30 AM – 11:50 PM


Course Instructor:

Joel A. Bryan, Ph.D.

  CP 101G; office hours daily by appointment


  Phone: office (765) 285-4718        E-mail:

Graduate Teaching Assistant:

Ben Hook, B.S.



  Conceptual Physics, 11th ed., Paul G. Hewitt (Addison-Wesley)
    Physics Classroom Tutorial (free web resource)
Useful Links:

Course Objectives:

This course is designed and recommended for preservice elementary teachers, but is appropriate for teachers of all grade levels.  Credit in this course may not satisfy your science requirement if you are not in a teacher certification program.  Please consult your advisor if you have questions regarding if or how this course may apply toward your degree.

My goals are that by completing this course, you will obtain:

  • an awareness and a conceptual understanding of the physics concepts that are included in state and national standards for young students

  • confidence in your ability to teach/explain these concepts to young students using a variety of instructional methods (e.g., lecture, demonstration, discovery, computer simulations, etc…)

  • an awareness of “hands-on” laboratory activities - including those classified as "inquiry" - that could be used to teach/explain these concepts to young students

  • an awareness of how computer technology may be used in teaching/explaining these physics concepts to young students

  • a better understanding of how instructional materials are used by students when learning physics concepts

  • a basic understanding of commonly accepted attributes of the “nature of science” and the limitations of science

These goals reflect the desire that you gain experience in investigating physics topics that you may encounter when you become a classroom teacher.  As such, it is understandable that you may not obtain a "deep understanding" of these topics in just one semester of study.  As a result, the major portion of your course grade is dependent upon your active participation in these experiences, rather than performance on assessment instruments (i.e., quizzes and major exams).


You are expected to attend ALL 24 summer class sessions and arrive ON TIME.  Points may be subtracted from group or individual laboratory reports if you arrive late and/or leave early.  You should bring a calculator to all class and laboratory sessions.  Your laptop computer may be required in some class sessions.  Be sure to regularly check the schedule below and check your Ball State email account for instructor messages.

The majority of the work counting toward your point total and final grade will be performed during class sessions.  Much of it will be “group work” that would be inconvenient, if not impossible, to make up as an individual.                  

** Perfect or near perfect attendance is the best way to ensure success in this course **

PLEASE RESPECT YOUR CLASSMATES AND INSTRUCTOR BY SILENCING ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES DURING CLASS SESSIONS, and limit computer use to class-related activities.  No Electronic devices are permitted during quizzes, or at other times as directed by the instructor.



Your grade in this course will be based on the total points you obtain in relation to the total points available on all work.  

Category Description
  • A mixture of “hands-on” and computer simulated data collection and exploration group and individual activities serving to aid in the development and/or understanding of physics concepts

  • Worksheets and other group and individual activities

  • Laboratory activities and investigations will also take place during most, if not all, of our daily sessions.

  • These daily quizzes serve as a review of class/laboratory activities and concepts. Quizzes may consist of multiple choice, short answer, fill-in-the-blank, free response questions, etc...  No notes or class materials may be used on these quizzes.

Your average score (total points earned/total points available) on all class and laboratory work will count 70% of your course grade and your daily quiz average score (total points earned/total points available) will count 30%.  The table below gives points percentages needed for each letter grade.  These values may be “relaxed” at the discretion of the instructor after careful examination of the final distribution of student grades. 
Course Grade %
A 90.5% - 100%
A- 88.5% - 90.5%
B+ 86.5% - 88.5%
B 79.5% - 86.5%
B- 77.5% - 79.5%
C+ 75.5% - 77.5%
C 68.5% - 75.5%
C- 66.5% - 68.5%
D+ 64.5% - 66.5%
D 57.5% - 64.5%
D- 55.5% - 57.5%
F < 55.5%

Make-up Policy: 

Rather than dropping any specified number of quizzes, homework, class work, and/or laboratory grades, the grading scale described above has been "relaxed" from the customary values for letter grades.  Quizzes may also contain "bonus" points.

Because this grading system is designed to encourage you to attend as many class sessions as possible, and reward those with excellent attendance without penalizing those who have a modest number of absences, there will be NO MAKE UP WORK ALLOWED, except for rare special circumstances determined solely at the discretion of the instructor. 

Schedule/Topics of Study:

Physics topics chosen for this course reflect content areas that are included in state and national standards for k-6 grades.  You are responsible for downloading and printing your own copies of laboratory instructions, class notes, homework assignments, and any other documents linked to this chart.  Please check this table regularly for updates/changes. 

             Date Topic & Objectives Physics Classroom Tutorial  Links Activities & Downloads Points Available
Week 1 - Nature of Science & Mechanics
M 5/12 Nature of Science   Intro to Physics; Nature of Science; NSTA_NOS; VARK 30  
Tu 5/13 Measurement   Measurement; Metric Olympics; Precision of Lab Measurements; Daily Quiz #1: Nature of Science 30 20
W 5/14 Constant Speed Link 1D Motion; Constant Speed Inquiry; Inquiry Article; NSTA Elem Science; NSTA Early Childhood SciNSTA Inquiry; Daily Quiz #2: Measurement  30 20
Tr 5/15 Accelerated Motion Link Increasing Speed InquiryAcceleration Down an Incline; Excel Graphing; Daily Quiz #3: Constant Velocity 30 20
F 5/16 Motion Representations Link Pull-Back Car Inquiry; Modeling Motion; Daily Quiz #4: Acceleration 30 20
Week 2 - Mechanics
M 5/19 Gravity and Freefall Link LoggerPro Freefall; Freefall Worksheet; Daily Quiz #5: Motion Representations 30 20
Tu 5/20 Periodic Motion   Mass on Spring Inquiry; Pendulum Inquiry; Daily Quiz #6: Freefall 30 20
W 5/21 Newton's Laws of Motion Link Newton's Laws; Newton's Laws of Motion; Inertia, Mass, & Weight; Daily Quiz #7: Periodic Motion 30 20
Tr 5/22 Newton's Laws of Motion Link Newton's Laws of Motion (continued); Friction Inquiry; Daily Quiz #8: Inertia, Mass, and Weight 30 20
F 5/23 Work, Power, and Energy Link Work, Energy, & Power; LoggerPro Energy; Power Lab; Daily Quiz #9: Newton's Laws 30 20
Week 3 - Waves, Sound, and Light
Monday  5/26  Memorial Day - No BSU Classes Meet
Tu 5/27 Wave Characteristics and Properties Link Waves; Wave Modeling; Slinky Waves; Daily Quiz #10: Work, Power, and Energy 30 20
W 5/28 Wave Characteristics and Properties Link Standing Waves; Ripple Tank; Daily Quiz #11: Wave Characteristics 30 20
Tr 5/29 Sound and Music Link Sound; Sound and Music; Daily Quiz #12: Wave Properties 30 20
F 5/30 Sound Waves Link Resonance: Speed of Sound; Palm Pipes; Daily Quiz #13: Sound Waves 30 20
Week 4 - Complete Waves, Sound, and Light; Begin Electricity and Magnetism
M 6/2 Reflection and Mirrors Link Reflection; Reflection Investigations; Full Length Mirror Inquiry; Curved Mirrors; Daily Quiz #14: Sound Resonance 30 20
Tu 6/3 Refraction and Lenses Link Refraction, Refraction Investigations; Lens Images; Daily Quiz #15: Reflection 30 20
W 6/4 Light and Color Mixing Link Color; Color Mixing; Spectroscopes; Daily Quiz #16: Refraction 30 20
Tr 6/5 Static Electricity Link Static Electricity; Periodic Table; Triboelectric Series; Static Electricity; Daily Quiz #17: Color 30 20
F 6/6 Static Electricity Devices Link Electroscope; Leyden Jar; Electrophorus; Daily Quiz #18: Static Electricity 30 20
Week 5 - Complete Electricity and Magnetism
M 6/9 Electrochemical Cells Link Galvani & Volta; Electrochemical Cells; Batteries; Closer Look at Batteries; Daily Quiz #19: Static Devices 30 20
Tu 6/10 Resistor Circuits Link Current Electricity; Resistor Circuits; Resistor Circuits Worksheet; Kirchhoff's Laws; Daily Quiz #20: Batteries 30 20
W 6/11 Resistor Circuits Link Light Bulb Circuits Activity; Light Bulb Circuits Worksheet; Daily Quiz #21: Resistor Circuits 30 20
Tr 6/12 Electromagnetism   Electromagnetism; Electromagnetism; DC Motors; Daily Quiz #22: Light Bulb Circuits 30 20
F 6/13 Electromagnetic Induction   Making Electricity; Daily Quiz #23: Electromagnetism 30 20

Total Points Available

720 460

University Policies: 

Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty: Students who violate university rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from The University.  Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of The University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.  Please refer the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities at for more information.

Americans With Disabilities Act: The American With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities.  Among other things, this legislation requires that all class members with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities.  If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible. If you request an accommodation, you need to provide me with a letter from Richard Harris whose office is located in the Student Center #307, (phone): 285-5293.

Diversity Statement: Ball State University is committed to fostering and promoting a healthy learning community.  All students will be treated with respect, tolerance, and equality regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender, age, or economic status.  If, for any reason, a student feels discriminated against in the classroom based on these differences, he/she should contact his/her professor or the department chair.  The Office of University Compliance or the Office of Student Rights and Community Standards may be contacted if the student is not satisfied with the results of meeting with his/her professor or department chair.  The Ball State University community believes in the strength of diversity and recognizes the importance of appreciating equality.