PRISMS PLUS

Developed by: Lawrence Escalada, Roy Unruh, Timothy Cooney, and master high school physics teachers

Level

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other

alg based

conceptual

Topics
Setting

What? A high school physics curriculum and professional development program that uses a learning cycle pedagogy. High-interest activities integrate inexpensive and easily accessible materials with instructional technologies. Students explore physical phenomena before learning the underlying physics ideas.

### Curriculum outline

PRISMS PLUS Units and Learning Cycles:

Unit 1 FORCE AND MOTION
1 Kinematics
2 Making tracks
3 Accelerating Tracks
4 Vector Vector, What’s My Vector?
5 Relative Motion 6 Static Equilibrium
7 Inertia
8 Newton’s Second Law
9 Using Graphs to Understand Newton’s Second Law
10 Weight
11 Newton’s Third Law
12 Impulse and Change in Linear Momentum
13 Conservation of Linear Momentum
14 Projectile Motion

UNIT 2 WORK AND ENERGY
1 Work
2 Power
3 Conservation of Energy
4 Heat and Temperature
5 Change of Phase
6 Mechanical Equivalent of Heat
7 Ideal Gas Laws
8 Solar Energy

UNIT 3 WAVES AND OPTICS
1 Incandescence or Luminescence?
2 Inverse Square
3 Velocity, Frequency and Wavelength
4 Speed of Sound
5 Factors Affecting Frequency
6 Reflection
7 Refraction
8 Lenses
9 Image Size and Location
10 Diffraction and Interference
11 Color
12 Polarized Light

UNIT 4 ELECTRICITY, MAGNETISM, AND MODERN PHYSICS
1 Electrostatics
2 Electric Fields
3 Magnetic Fields
4 Electric Circuits
5 Ohm’s Law
6 Capacitors
7 Motors
8 Generator
10 Spectra and Energy

### Student skills developed

Designed for:
• Conceptual understanding
• Problem-solving skills
• Making real-world connections
• Using multiple representations
• Designing experiments
• Lab skills
• Metacognition

• Medium

### Resources required

• Computers for students
• Simple lab equipment

Developer's website: PRISMS PLUS

See the PRISMS Plus Website for details about how to order the Student & Teacher Materials CD (\$100) and the CPU Activities CD (\$60).

RESEARCH VALIDATION
Bronze Validation
This is the third highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
• at least 1 of the "based on" categories
• at least 1 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
• at least 1 of the "studied using" categories
(Categories shown below)

### Research Validation Summary

#### Based on Research Into:

• theories of how students learn
• student ideas about specific topics

#### Demonstrated to Improve:

• conceptual understanding
• problem-solving skills
• lab skills
• beliefs and attitudes
• attendance
• retention of students
• success of underrepresented groups
• performance in subsequent classes

#### Studied using:

• cycle of research and redevelopment
• student interviews
• classroom observations
• analysis of written work
• research at multiple institutions
• research by multiple groups
• peer-reviewed publication