Morristown high school
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Morristown High School. Re-sequencing Science For Greater Achievement. Freshman Biology. Biology is in the Freshman Year for Historical Reasons. In 1892, The Committee of Ten was charged with standardizing high school sequence, time spent during periods, and topics that should be covered.

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Morristown High School

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Morristown high school

Morristown High School

Re-sequencing Science For Greater Achievement


Freshman biology

Freshman Biology

  • Biology is in the Freshman Year for Historical Reasons.

  • In 1892, The Committee of Ten was charged with standardizing high school sequence, time spent during periods, and topics that should be covered.

  • Their Recommendation for science was

    • Natural History/Botany

    • Chemistry

    • Physics


Why the sequence does not make sense today

Why the Sequence Does Not Make Sense Today

  • In the 1890’s Biology was mainly zoology and botany

  • Modern Cellular Biology requires knowledge of chemistry to have meaning.

  • Chemistry topics require understanding of certain physics concepts such as kinetic energy, electromagnetic waves.


Shift to physics first

Shift To Physics First

  • Spearheaded by Nobel Prize winning Physicist Leon Lederman

  • Movement by districts nationwide has been slow but steady

  • Reasons are disruption to science scheduling and lack of biology classes during change

  • Movement in pockets of the country like in Missouri has been more rapid due to Math Science University Partnerships

  • Movement in NJ has been more rapid due to NJPSI Physics Certification


Benefits of physics first

Benefits of Physics First

  • Gives meaning and context to the Algebra I material that most freshmen study

  • Sequence is logical

  • Greater access to advanced placement courses.

  • Makes Chemistry and Biology more efficient


Will my 8 th grade student be ready

Will my 8th grade student be ready?

  • FMS is finishing with a highly quantitative physics unit in grade 8.

  • Grade 8 math curriculum contains a significant amount of linear relationships.

  • Physics teachers are talented and prepared to collaborate with the Algebra I teachers.

  • Correct and reflect in Algebra I and Physics


8 th grade math fms activity

8th Grade Math—FMS Activity


8 th grade science

8th Grade Science


Will my child be ready for ap physics

Will My Child Be Ready For AP Physics?

  • NJ PSI monitored results of their physics program and found that students in their freshman physics program were 22 times more likely to take AP physics than the remainder of NJ, and 24 times more likely to pass the exam

    Source: http://njctl.org/research-results/psi-results/


What freshman curriculum resouces exist

What Freshman Curriculum Resouces Exist?

  • CPO Physics, A First Course (A physics text with algebra)

  • NJPSI (Robert Goodman’s curriculum. Lectures are on SMART boards and responders are heavily used. All textbooks are free of charge.

  • A TIME for Physics first. Freshman inquiry based curriculum used by NSF funded project at the University of Missouri.

  • PUM. Inquiry based freshman physics curriculum developed by Professor Eugenia Atkina at Rutgers.


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