Foundations of Physics
Prepared by: Jerrid Johansen
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Science Teaching and Learning Solutions
Foundations of Physics is a true hands-on, inquiry-based program that combines the best
attributes of "conceptual" and "mathematical" approaches to teaching physics. Every new
concept is introduced through a connection to real experience, either in the lab or the real
world. Because students learn in different ways, nearly every concept is presented in
words and through more than 1,000 content-rich illustrations.
Because these are true inquiry-based learning systems, the
student investigations (lab)
manual and equipment are the heart of our programs. Rather
than reading, memorizing
reciting scientific facts, students
learning with CPO Science explore science
through hands-on activities.
The readings from the student textbook reinforce what the
students learn through their experiences.
Science Through Discovery
CPO Science textbook programs offer educators with true inquiry -based teaching
and learning systems that integrate all of the necessary components (student text,
lab equipment, student lab manual, and teacher support materials). These textbook
programs also provide added value by including the equipment kits at no
CPO Science supplemental curriculum comes with student activity guides,
detailed teacher's reference materials and assessment tools.
All CPO Science teaching and learning systems have been carefully designed and
developed to meet state and federal standards in science and mathematics.
CPO Science equipment modules are designed for inquiry-based learning.
Publisher: CPO Science
Year of latest edition: 2005
Number of pages: 688 (30 Chapters)
Mission Statement or Publishers Statement:
Founded by teachers and scientists with a passion for learning: CPO Science develops,
publishes, manufactures, and sells high quality inquiry-based teaching and learning
systems for science in grades 6-12. We bring concepts to life for students through a wide
range of materials including basal textbook programs, supplemental curriculum, and
hands-on lab equipment for teaching physical science, physics, earth science, and
Reading Level: High School
Grade Level Recommendation: High School Level
Student profile recommendation by publisher:
CPO's three level structure is effective when teaching students of different ability levels.
Science and math learning can be vertically integrated with common basic equipment
modules. Students can investigate a science concept using a particular equipment module
in the middle school at level A, and use the same piece of equipment in high school at
level B or C.
Success First - Level A investigations are introductory in nature and
intended for late elementary or middle school students.
Foundations - Level B are intended for intermediate students - those
students who are in advanced middle school or introductory high school level
Mastery - Level C investigations are for high school, AP students, or students
with advanced math skills and prior science knowledge.
Student Textbook $64.95
Investigations Manual $18.50
Teacher’s Guide $99.00
Physics Equipment Kit $1965.00
Teacher’s Tool Kit $399.95
Full Price List available at: http://www.cpo.com/pdf/price_fp.pdf
Describe chapter layout order:
Chapter and Title
Chapter Objectives/ Vocabulary- The objective and vocabulary are found on
the chapter’s title page. There are generally 5-10 objectives and 10-20 vocabulary
terms for each chapter
Section Headings- Each chapter is generally broken into three different sections.
Section heading is followed by brief introductory paragraph about the section
Content- The main body of the content is presented with nested paragraphs with
a large margin on the left side of the page. The focus of each individual
paragraph is placed in the left margin and is typed in blue ink.
Illustrations- The right hand margin of each page generally has a clean and
simple illustration explaining the content on that page.
Sample Problems- There is a sample problem on at least every other page. Each
problem has an accompanying illustration and has step by step instructions on
how to go about solving the problem.
Application- Each chapter has an application section that applies the content of
the chapter to everyday situations. The application for forces and motion, for
example, is biomechanics.
Vocabulary Review- Simple matching of vocabulary words with definition.
Concept review- Important concepts simplified into one sentence and an
Samples of textbook, investigation manual and teacher’s guide
Instruction Sheets on how to assemble and use all of the supplementary lab
State Correlations for the CPO Science program to the individual state standards
(every state has its own pdf file)
Fun Web Labs are simple “labs” that are extensions of concepts covered in the
Power Points on selected chapters and lab work
Description of accompanying resources:
The teacher’s resource binder comes with the Exam View Test Bank, skill and practice
worksheets, and an electronic copy of the book on CD-Rom. There is also a CD-Rom
with “color teaching tools,” which are basically more colorful and detailed illustrations
covering the content of the textbook.
The Teacher’s Guide is an excellent resource and includes a reading synopsis of each
section, and an outline of how to present the lab investigation found in the accompanying
investigation manual. The teacher is given an outline that recommends how the
investigation should be taught, complete with leading questions, and potential
misconceptions that students might encounter. This guide I feel is very well done and
An example can be found at: http://www.cpo.com/pdf/TPTG_FP%2013-1.pdf
Web connections to this product:
CPO Science Homepage
Perception of layout: (use of color, photos, print, graphics, white space, etc.)
This textbook is incredibly streamlined and very simple to work through. Some
people may think that it is a little boring because the text essentially uses only two colors
of ink—black and various shades of blue for everything. With that being said, the
important material is still very easy to find and all the drawings and illustrations are very
easy to decipher. I think the layout is very effective and not overwhelming and the
content is excellent.
Quotes from interviews with users:
I was not able to find anybody who has used this textbook in his or her
classroom, nor was I able to find any reviews of this textbook on any online source. In
light of this lack of information, I will simply give you my opinion on the textbook
highlight a press release issued by CPO Science when it introduced this learning system.
I think very highly of this book and would strongly consider using it if I was able
to purchase the books/learning system for a physics class sometime in the future. I like it
so much right now because it is a great review of the content for me, and it provides
excellent real-life applications that I can discuss when I’m standing up in front of the
class. I’ve taken this book home countless times over the weekend or the night before
I’m supposed to lead the class through the next day’s content. My cooperating teacher
echoed many of the same sentiments and said that they very nearly purchased this as their
text when they bought new physics books last year. Ultimately they didn’t because they
have a lot of time and effort invested in designing a curriculum with the help of their
original textbook, and so they opted for the newer edition of that one instead. The one
concern I have with this book is that it lacks, pretty severely, a good question bank at the
end of each chapter. There are very few conceptual questions, even fewer that require
From the Publisher:
Foundations of Physics, a new grade 10-12 program authored by M.I.T. graduate and
CPO Science founder, Tom Hsu, Ph.D., combines a science textbook with specially
designed investigative equipment. The result is a true inquiry-based science curriculum
that meets the requirements of today's standards-based system while maintaining in-depth
learning - the hallmark of inquiry-based science.
Hsu, a resident of North Andover, notes that Foundations of Physics offers some
important advantages over the other textbook programs. "The most effective method of
teaching science is inquiry-based. Foundations of Physics provides the textbook and the
investigative equipment to complete in-class experiments. Most importantly, the program
is designed to provide a scaffold experience for students. For instance, students build
circuits and then discuss the theories behind electricity," he added. "Once students get
their hands-on the equipment, they have a much easier time grasping the theory."
Many other educational publishers rely on a team of editors to produce their science
textbooks. In the case of CPO Science, Hsu is the writer, from start to finish. "Tom's
involvement in the project is critical. It can be very easy for the author's intention to be
altered during the editorial process," notes Lynda Pennell, Vice President of Educational
Products. "The author-controlled editorial process at CPO Science ensures accurate text
and content-rich graphics that work together to strengthen understanding."
With the purchase 25 book sets (student texts and investigation manuals) Foundations of
Physics provides a free Physics Equipment Kit, containing twelve modules - the materials
needed to conduct investigations. Yet pricing, at just over $2,000.00, is comparable to
traditional textbook-only programs. The Physics Equipment Kit is priced individually at
Many of the twelve modules, plus various science accessories are built at the CPO
Science plant in Peabody, MA, which provides another benefit to the Foundations of
Physics program. "Since we design the equipment, the drawings in the textbook match
the equipment we build," notes Hsu, "making it very easy for teachers and students to
A recent Gallup survey, sponsored by Bayer, cites that 86 percent of Americans favor
replacing textbook-based education with hands-on science learning. CPO Science is
working hard to meet that demand.
CPO Science (formerly known as Cambridge Physics Outlet) based in Peabody, MA, is a
division of Delta Education, LLC, and has been bringing science to life for students for
ten years by providing high-quality, inquiry-based teaching and learning systems for
science in grades 6-12.
Founded in 1994 by Dr. Tom Hsu, a graduate of M.I.T., CPO Science offers a wide range
of materials and services including innovative basal textbook programs (that integrate the
student text, teacher support material, and hands-on equipment), supplemental
curriculum, high-quality lab equipment, and nationally recognized professional
Test Bank Information: There is very little in terms of test bank information available to
the students. As I stated above, the review sections for each chapter, section, and unit are
relatively sparse, and are not as in depth as I feel they should be.
Conversely, the Teacher’s Toolkit comes with a test bank CD Rom. On it there are test
banks organized by chapter, that allow you to customize assessment. A variety of test
formats such as multiple choice, essay, short answer, and problem solving are included.
Alignment with National Science Education Standards: Each of the standards is listed
along with their chapter correlation(s). The teacher can reference these pages and find
exactly where each standard is met throughout each of the books.
Table of Contents for CPO Science’s Foundations of Physics:
Unit 1 Measurement and Motion
Chapter 1 Measurements of Units
Chapter 2 Models of Motion
Chapter 3 Accelerated Motion
Unit 2 Motion and Force
Chapter 4 Newton’s Laws: Force and Motion
Chapter 5 Forces and Equilibrium
Unit 3 Motion and Force in 2 and 3 Dimension
Chapter 6 Using Vectors: Motion and Force
Chapter 7 Motion in Circles
Chapter 8 Torque and Rotation
Unit 4 Energy and Momentum
Chapter 9 Work and Energy
Chapter 10 Energy Flow and Power
Unit 5 Waves and Sound
Chapter 12 Harmonic Motion
Chapter 13 Waves
Chapter 14 Sound
Unit 6 Light and Optics
Chapter 15 Light and Color
Chapter 16 Optics
Chapter 17 Wave Properties of Light
Unit 7 Electricity and Magnetism
Chapter 18 Electricity
Chapter 19 Electric Circuits and Power
Chapter 20 Electric Charges and Forces
Chapter 21 Magnetism
Chapter 22 Electricity and Magnetism
Chapter 23 Electronics
Unit 8 Matter and Energy
Chapter 24 Energy, Matter, and Atoms
Chapter 25 Heat Transfer
Chapter 26 The Physical Properties of Matter
Unit 9 The Atom
Chapter 27 Inside the Atom
Chapter 28 Chemical Reactions
Chapter 29 Nuclear Reactions and Radiation
Frontiers in Physics
Chapter 30 The Edge of What We Know