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**

### Overview

**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

9 Radioactive Decay

10 Spectra and Energy

### Student skills developed

**Designed for:**

- Conceptual understanding
- Problem-solving skills
- Making real-world connections
- Using multiple representations
- Designing experiments

**Can be adapted for:**

- Lab skills
- Metacognition

### Instructor effort required

- Medium

### Resources required

- Computers for students
- Simple lab equipment
- Advanced lab equipment

### Resources

**Developer's website:**PRISMS PLUS

### Teaching Materials

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

### Research

**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

### 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