AP Physics




AP PHYSICS 2013-2014

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Zimmer, Room 701, 623-915-8135, lora.zimmer@guhsdaz.org

TEXT: Physics, Principles with Applications, by Giancoli


  1. 3-ring binder for (AP Physics only)

  2. Loose leaf paper

  3. Pencil or pen

  4. Calculator (must be scientific) I strongly urge you to engrave your name on your calculator to make it easier for me to return a lost calculator to you.

  5. Highlighter

  6. Glue Stick

  7. Spiral Ruled 3x5 Index Cards

  8. Laboratory book (composition notebook)

ATTENDANCE AND TARDIES  - It is extremely important to be present in Advanced Placement Physics. Please try to limit absences to a minimum. It is your responsibility to seek make-up work before you are absent when your absence is due to an appointment or for an excused school activity. If the absence was not planned, please complete make-up work within a timely manner. The total responsibility for acquiring and completing make-up work lies with you!

HOMEWORK -The problems assigned as homework in this class are designed to test to see if you really understand the concepts developed in class. It is reasonable to expect that you will often experience difficulty in setting up and solving these types of problems. It is not such a bad thing that you struggle a bit in trying to complete the assignment. It is during the discussion of the homework the following day that you and your classmates really learn the material. To be a meaningful contributor to you group you mush attempt to do the problems. To receive credit for attempting the assignment you must at least write down the starting facts and what you are supposed to find, draw a picture of the scenario and write down relevant formulas. Test and quiz questions will be similar to the problems you encounter in the homework. Writing clear solutions with diagrams (rather than just answers) will help you to prepare for the tests.

    You should expect to complete many assignments on your own time (30 min to 1 hour per day) and be prepared to present problems on white boards. Homework will be due weekly. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to get your homework assignment the day you return. You must include your full name, the date and your class period for full credit.

LABS - You will do a variety of labs during the school year. Those will be carefully written up in the proper format. Remember: caution and common sense must be exercised during any lab activity. Many labs are graded on your accuracy and involve fragile or expensive equipment so it is important to take labs seriously.

GROUP WORK = You will work in the lab and on assignments in 2-4 person groups. Cooperation is a necessity for success in this class. Members of your group will make oral presentations before the whole class in which you present your ideas and answer questions from your classmates. The emphasis is on the general understanding of the principles involved and how you solved the problem rather than on the answer.

TESTS AND QUIZZES = Throughout a unit, quizzes will be given at any time to check for your understanding. Quizzes may be unannounced. Tests are given at the end of major units and generally cover two or three chapters in the text book. If you are absent for a test, you must take the first test before it has been returned to the rest of the class. If you are unable to do this you will be given a parallel, re-take exam.

GRADING SYSTEM - Your grade will be determined from your accumulation of points on quizzes, chapter tests, laboratory exercises, homework and projects.

Your grade will be based on the following percentages:

    90% to 100% = A                           

    80% to 89%   = B                                               Tests and projects = 65% of grade

    70% to 79%   = C                               Homework, Labs & Quizzes = 35% of grade

    60% to 69%   = D

         Less than 60% = F

CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR = I EXPECT that your BEHAVIOR will always be responsible and in consideration of other people as well as the learning process.


  1. Always come to class prepared.

  2. Always have homework completed.

  3. Ask questions in class if you don’t understand.

  4. Make total use of time in the classroom.

  5. Take notes and keep an organized notebook.

  6. Take your turn on the whiteboard presentations.

  7. Review for tests and quizzes.

  8. Come in before school or during EOP for additional help if you should fall behind or not understand.

  9. Maintain regular attendance and promptness.

  10. Establish a study group.

  11. Only use cell phones or other electronic devices when given permission.

  12. Use the computers for school related activities (no streaming videos or music).

EXPECTATIONS - ALL students are expected to take the AP Physics exam on Monday, May 12, 2014 from 12:00 to 4:00pm. It is an afternoon exam that will keep you past 2:35, please plan accordingly.

HELP - If you are having difficulty with anything in this course, please see me as soon as you feel that you have a problem. I will be available for help by appointment most morning and/or afternoons. Also, please take advantage of Wednesday EOP sessions or form a Study Group of students from either AP Physics class to get help. There are online resources you may find helpful for this course. Here are a few of the ones I find helpful: