Bearsden Academy Physics Department The Course Standard Grade Physics is an „applications led‟ course; that is it examines practical applications of Physics and aims to reveal some of the underlying scientific principles behind these applications. The course can be seen both as providing a basis for further study of Physics and contributing to your general education by helping to make sense of the physical environment around you. The course aims to develop the skills necessary to find solutions to scientific problems and, through success and enjoyment, to develop positive attitudes towards Physics There are seven units in the standard Grade Physics course: Telecommunication This unit examines the physical principles which underlie the rapidly developing area of information technology. Among the aspects studied are radio and television reception, communication satellites and the use of fibre optics for transmitting information. Using Electricity This unit provides the opportunity to gain a knowledge and understanding of the principles behind the electrical and electronic devices encountered in everyday life. Since these principles are developed further in later units, the emphasis in this unit is on providing a sound foundation of electrical circuit theory. Health Physics This unit provides an insight as to how physics plays a vital role in modern medicine: both in diagnosing illness and in providing effective treatment. Aspects studied include measuring temperature, ultrasonics, optics and the use of radioactivity in medical care. Electronics Developments in the field of microelectronics have revolutionised the both our homes and the world of work. This unit examines the developments in both digital and analogue electronics and provides further applications of the circuit theory developed in the Using Electricity unit. The associated practical activities investigate the function of simple electronic devices and how they can be linked together in electronic systems. Transport This unit introduces fundamental concepts of motion, forces and energy which are developed further in later units. The main aim of this unit is to provide a grounding in key concepts of mechanics and to relate these to everyday aspects of travel such as the use of seat belts and the stopping distances of vehicles. Energy Matters The provision of an adequate supply of energy, and the related environmental impact of doing so, is one of the most important problems facing a modern, highly-industrialised society. This unit studies energy supply and demand, the generation of electricity and the principles involved in energy conservation, especially in the home. Space Physics This final Unit endeavours to instil in pupils a sense of wonder about the vastness of the Universe and to develop an appreciation of the ways in which knowledge has been obtained about the constitution of stars. Our trips into near space provide a context in which to consider the physical basis of space travel. Standard Grade Physics is a two year course and therefore the aim will be to complete four units in S3 with the remaining three units to be covered in S4, leaving some time at the end of the course for revision purposes. This equates to an average of 8-9 school weeks per unit (allowing time for assessments), although the time allocated may vary from unit to unit. It may be that you do not cover the units in the order stated above. Each of these units has equal weighting in the final exam so it is vital that you retain all the materials issued for each unit for the duration of the course and revise each unit on a regular basis. If you miss any aspects of the course it is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any materials that were issued and catch up on any work missed. Assessment You will be assessed in three different elements in Standard Grade Physics: Knowledge & Problem Solving Practical Abilities Understanding This element examines your abiltity to This element examines your ability This element examines your undertake simple practical techniques in to retain knowledge and display an abiltity to solve problems using Physics and to carry out practical understanding of key principles of the principles of Physics you scientific investigations relating to the Physics have studied during the course. Standard Grade course. These two elements are assessed by means of end of unit tests, an This element is internally assessed by S3 exam, a prelim exam in S4 and a final SQA exam. Each of these your class teacher and contributes to 20% elements contributes 40% to your overall award in Physics . to your overall award grade Grades Available Credit level – grades 1and 2 General level – grades 3 and 4 (there is also a „near miss‟ grade 5) Foundation level – there is no Foundation level course for Physics At each level the grade boundaries for each element are usually taken to be 50% for the lower grade and 70% for the upper grade (i.e. anything above 70% at Credit level gets a grade 1, anything between 50% and 70% at General gets a grade 4 etc). A „near miss‟ grade 5 can be obtained in a General level paper for a mark within about 5% of the grade 4 boundary (i.e. usually 45-50%). The grade you achieve at Credit level supersedes any that you achieve at General level Calculating Your Overall Grade Your overall grade for Physics can be calculated using the following equation then rounding to the nearest whole number: ((KU grade x 2) + (PS grade x 2) + PA grade) ÷ 5 e.g. KU 4, PS 3, PA 2 gives ((2x4)+(2x3)+2)÷ 5 = (8+6+2) ÷ 5 = 16÷ 5 = 3.2 = grade 3 Homework Homework forms a vital part of the Standard Grade Physics course. There is a great deal of content to be covered in the course and is very important that you keep up to date with your homework. Homework in Physics may take a variety of forms: These will be issued by your class teacher. Completion dates for these will be Formal written homeworks set by your teacher. Please ensure that these are completed on time. Classwork that is not completed in class should, where possible, be completed Completion of classwork at home (there is only about 20 hours of class time available for each unit). Since the Standard Grade course is a two year course there is a great deal of information to be retained for a prolonged period of time. It is therefore vital that Revision you spend regular time revising your work at home. In particular you will have to revise your work thoroughly for end of unit tests and exams. Past paper question practice is excellent preparation for exams. Through experience you will learn to recognise the different types of questions that are asked and improve your Problem Solving skills as well as testing out your Past paper questions Knowledge and Understanding. Make sure you have access to past paper questions, either from your teacher or your own, when preparing for tests and exams. Occasionally your teacher may ask you to research a particular area of work in Research your own time, either using textbooks, the internet or library facilities. Frequency One teacher, self or peer assessed exercise will be set roughly every 2 weeks. You should undertake at least 30 minutes per week personal revision and/or completion of work set in class. This amount should increase as you progress into in S4. Completing Homework Your teacher will try to ensure that the homework is of an appropriate level of difficulty and try to avoid overload in relation to other subjects. Ensure the details of any homework that you are set is entered correctly into your homework planner. Remember that homework is not a test of your ability, but an opportunity to improve. Use your notes, the internet, or any other resources, to help you if you get stuck If you have a particular difficulty with any homework please speak to your class teacher in advance, do not leave it until the day it is due. Failure to complete homework will be logged on pupil monitoring sheets. After a verbal warning, and any appropriate support, you will be given the opportunity to resubmit your homework. If you fail to submit homework with no apparent justification it may be referred to the Principal Teacher as a disciplinary matter. Repeated failure to complete homework (at least three occasions) will be reported to your Guidance teacher, who may get in contact with your parents Resources There are a variety of resources available to you to support your learning in Standard Grade Physics. Some of these will be provided to you by your class teacher, some are available through the school network or internet and some you may have to purchase for yourself Learning Outcomes You will be provided with a detailed list of the learning outcomes for each unit, as specified by the SQA. These clearly indicate which aspects of the course are General level and which are Credit level. Pay particular attention to the verb used for each outcome („state‟, „explain‟, ‟describe‟, „identify‟, „carry out calculations‟ etc). Summary Notes A summary note booklet will be provided to you for each unit of the course. These provide all the details of the course content you are required to know. Credit level items appear in shaded boxes (if in doubt cross-reference with the learning outcomes. Worksheets Most Standard Grade units are covered using worksheets. These will be issued at the start of each unit and should be returned at the end of each unit (except where otherwise instructed). The worksheets contain details of practical activities, theory and tutorial exercises. These can be used to complete any outstanding classwork at home. Classwork notes and problems Your own notes from class are an important resource. Make sure you look after your classwork; keep it in a folder or jotter and do your best not to loose material during the course of the year (remember: Standard Grade is a two year course. Calculator A scientific calculator is essential for Standard Grade Physics. Make sure you know how to use its scientific notation functions and bring it to class for every period of Physics. Past paper questions A limited number of past papers are available within the department. If you borrow any of these please ensure that they are returned. Alternatively, you may wish to purchase a copy of the official SQA past papers. These need not necessarily be the latest edition. Textbooks Copies of „Standard Grade Physics‟ by D.McCormick and A.Baillie (Hodder Gison) are available in the department, but are not normally lent out to pupils. These are available in bookshops if you wish to purchase a copy for yourself. There are also a number of problem books available in the department, including „Progressive Problems for Standard Grade Physics‟ by Bill Kennedy (Hodder Gibson) and „Numerical Questions for Standard Grade Physics‟ by L.Robinson (Chemcord). Again, these are not normally lent out to pupils, but can be purchased in good bookshops if required. Revision books There are a wide range of revision books available for Standard Grade Physics that can be purchased in any good bookshop, or obtained second hand from pupils who have previously taken Standard Grade Physics. These include: How to Pass Standard Grade Physics, Campbell White (Hodder Gibson) Standard Grade Success Guide in Physics, Brian Arnold (Leckie & Leckie) Standard Grade Physics Revision Notes, N.R.Short (Leckie & Leckie) Revision Notes for Standard Grade Physics, L. Robinson (Chemcord) Standard Grade Study-mate: Physics, K. Andrew McCormick (Hamilton) Internet There are a wide variety of websites available to support your learning in Physics (remember: physicists invented the internet). Try these websites for information specific to Standard Grade Physics: http://www.helpmyphysics.co.uk http://uk.geocities.com/physicsteach2000/start/default.htm http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/education/bitesize/standard/physics http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/Physics_tcm4-477833.pdf For general interest in applications of Physics try: http://www.howstuffworks.com http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/index.pl http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page If you are looking for details on certain aspects of the course try using Google, e.g. „dc electric motor‟. School Network There are a variety of resources on the school ICT Network. These should be accessible from anywhere in the school (e.g. the library and Room 44). Resources include: fun Physics – interactive games covering much of the Standard Grade syllabus (Start menu > All programs > Physics). Virtual Intermediate 1 Physics and Virtual Intermediate 2 Physics – cover much of the same material as Standard Grade (RMShared Documents > Physics). PowerPoint Presentations – many aspects of the course covered (RMShared Documents > Physics > Presentations and RMShared Documents > Physics > Quantum Notes for SG Physics). Movies – lots of movies on Physics topics (RMShared Documents > Physics > Movies) Bookmarks – lots of bookmarks to individual webpages categorised by unit and section (RMShared Documents > Physics > bookmarks file) Top Tips Quantities and Units The numbers we use in Physics are measurements of things in the real world. These are called “quantities” (e.g. current, speed, force). Every quantity has a standard unit in which it is measured. This is known as the SI unit. Make sure you know the SI units for all the quantities you encounter in Standard Grade Physics. (e.g. charge is measured in coulombs). It is a good idea to make a list of these quantities and units at the back of your jotter or on a piece of paper somewhere. Every time you write down a number in Physics you should also make sure you write the correct unit after it. In some exam questions you will get no marks if you miss out the unit. Equations In all Physics tests and exams you will be provided with a Physics Data Booklet which lists all the relationships (equations) required for each particular course. The relationships are stated with symbols representing each of the quantities so make sure you know the meanings of each of the symbols (e.g. I for current), as well as the units for each quantity. It is a good idea to have your own copy of the relevant page(s) of the Physics Data Booklet to which you can add you own notes as you progress through the course (e.g. the meanings of the symbols, units and where each equation should be used). Prefixes Sometimes quantities in questions will be expressed in multiples or sub multiples of a basic unit. This is indicated by a prefix. The following prefixes are commonly used in Standard Grade Physics: 9 giga (G) x 1 000 000 000 = x10 6 mega (M) x 1 000 000 = x10 3 kilo (k) x 1 000 = x10 -2 centi (c) x 0.01 = x 10 -3 milli (m) x 0.001 = x10 -6 micro () x 0.000 001 = x10 Prefixed units should be converted into their basic unit before attempting calculations (e.g. 20 mA should be -3 written as 0.02 A or 20 x10 A). N.B. A list of the prefixes and multiplication factors can be found on the Data Sheets of a Credit level exam paper. Scientific Notation At Credit level you will be expected to work with numbers that are very big or very small. In order to do so it 8 is important to be able to use scientific notation (e.g. 3 x 10 ). You will need a scientific calculator to carry out calculations involving scientific notation. Different models of calculator handle scientific notation in different ways. Make sure you know how to use scientific notation on your particular model. If in doubt ask your teacher (or a Maths teacher!) for advice. How to answer the standard 2-mark question in Physics Many questions in Standard Grade Physics require you to use equations to solve problems. To help you with this you will be provided with a data booklet. The relationships (equations) required for Standard Grade Physics are on page 3 of this booklet. (Note that this list also includes some equations not used in Standard Grade, but required for the Intermediate 2 course). In order to maximise your chances of getting as many marks as possible you should show full working for these calculations. Example David watches a farmer putting up a new fence some distance away. He sees the farmer hit a fence post with a large hammer and 2 seconds later hears the "bang". If the speed of sound is 340 m/s, how far away is David from the farmer? Step 1: Write the most suitable equation - look it up in the blue data booklet to make sure it is correct. You get half a mark just for writing the correct equation. d = vt Step 2: Write down the terms in the equation with the values you know, or a question mark for the one you are to find out. (this can be done at the side of the page) d=? v = 340 m/s t=2s Step 3: Now you can write the equation with the numbers in the correct positions (the “substitution”). This is worth half a mark. d = 340 x 2 Step 4: Use your calculator (brain or electronic) to get the answer for the final mark. Don't forget to write the correct units in. You lose half a mark if you miss them out. d = 680 m Quite often (particularly at Credit level) you will get calculation questions worth three marks. The extra mark may be allocated for obtaining some extra data that is not directly contained in the question (something you should know, something you can look up in a data sheet or something you can work out from a table, graph etc.). It could also be that two calculations are required to obtain a final answer. What do I do? The learning outcomes in Physics always begin with a verb that tells you what you must be able to do. Most questions also use similar verbs. Make sure you understand what the verb means and what you are being asked to do: “State…” a simple statement of fact “Describe…” usually more detail than a simple statement of fact is required “Calculate…” a calculation is required “Explain…” give the reasons why something happens, in detail “Suggest…” make a suggestion, based on your knowledge or the information given “Complete…” information needs to be added to a table, graph, passage etc. “Show…” you must demonstrate how you obtained an answer, by showing your working etc. Revision Revision of classwork should take place on a regular basis throughout the course, “a little and often”, rather than leaving it all until immediately before a test or exam. This is a much more efficient way to learn, will give you a much better understanding of Physics, rather than a surface knowledge of the facts , and will allow you to retain information for a longer period of time. We would recommend at least 15 minutes 3 times a week of pure revision. If you are studying for longer than this make sure you take regular breaks. Research shows that we learn best when we are actively involved in learning. Simply reading your Summary Notes or a textbook is, for most people, not an effective way to learn and can be an inefficient use of your time. Make sure you make good use of your time! Try a variety of revision strategies and find the ones that work for you. Here are some suggestions: produce mind maps or concept diagrams for each of the topics you study in class use the Learning Outcome lists as a checklist of what you know, or “traffic light” them work through banks of questions highlight the key points in your jotter and Summary Notes make your own revision notes; don‟t just copy them from somewhere else make use of revision guides, which may explain things in a more understandable way make your own prompt cards for the key points in each topic work with friends to quiz each other try explaining some of the concepts covered to a friend or relative who doesn‟t study Physics use BBC Bitesize, or similar websites, to test your basics knowledge work through past paper questions For more information on revision strategies try the following websites: http://www.leckieandleckie.co.uk/downloads/student_resources/top_exam_tips.pdf http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/studyskills/15to18/remember/MemoryTheoriesStrategies/resources/index.asp … and finally Physics can be a challenging, but rewarding subject. Through Physics you will gain a deeper understanding of the world around you and gain many important skills. Physicists have been some of the most inventive and insightful people in history – you are the next generation; but, very importantly, please enjoy the subject!