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A Proposed “Physics First” Pilot Program in Three High Schools in the Baltimore County Public Schools Towson, Maryland. presented by George Newberry Coordinator of Secondary Science and Hays B. (HB) Lantz, Jr., Ed.D. Director of Science PreK-12 February 2004.

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A Proposed “Physics First”

Pilot Program in Three High Schools

in the Baltimore County Public Schools

Towson, Maryland

presented by

George Newberry

Coordinator of Secondary Science

and

Hays B. (HB) Lantz, Jr., Ed.D.

Director of Science PreK-12

February 2004


Biology, Chemistry, and Physics –

Typical Sequence of Science Courses

in High Schools Today

(Recommended by the esteemed Committee of Ten in 1894!)

Now Here’s an Egg of an Idea . . .

Could it Possibly Be Time For A Change ?

Change the Course Sequence to

Physics, Chemistry, and Biology


What Factors Provide the Rationale for this Change?

• Maryland High School Assessments

Existing Biology Assessment and “NCLB” Legislation

Proposed Physics, Chemistry, and/or Earth Science Assessments

• Revisions to Core Learning Goals in Science -- Chemistry, Physics,

and Earth Science

• Initiatives from State and National Science Education Organizations

Maryland State Department of Education

National Science Foundation

American Association for the Advancement of Science

National Science Teachers Association

National Research Council

American Renaissance in Science Education (ARISE)

• Changes in the Nature of the Discipline of Biology

Integration with other areas of science, mathematics, and technology

Emphasis on abstract principles and concepts


A Major Curriculum Recommendation Contained

Within All of These Factors . . .

Teach Physics FIRST

in the high school

course sequence


AAPT Statement

on Physics First

The following statement was adopted by the Executive Board of the American Association of Physics Teachers at its meeting in College Park, MD on April 13, 2002.

Preamble

“The Executive Board of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) recognizes that teaching physics to students early in their high school education is an important and useful way to bring physics to a significantly larger number of students than has been customary. This approach -- which we call “Physics First” -- has the potential to advance more substantially the AAPT’s goal of ‘physics for all,’ as well as to lay the foundation for more advanced high school courses in chemistry, biology, or physics.”


STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FROM THE ENGINEERING SOCIETY OF BALTIMORE

“We are supportive of the proposal for ‘Physics First’ as a part of a grade

nine aligned curricular program with math and technology education, and are looking forward to the participation of our members in the final design of the total curricular experiences.” 

Mr. Michael Dick

President, Engineering Society of Baltimore


Baltimore County Public Schools BALTIMORE

Blueprint for Progress

Performance Goal 1

By 2007, all students will reach high standards, as established by

the Baltimore County Public Schools and State proficiency levels

in reading/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies...

Performance Indicator for Goal 1

1.13 All students successfully completing Algebra I, biology,

English 9, geometry, and government will pass the

Maryland High School Assessment on their first attempt.


THE QUESTION IS BALTIMORE

How would we do if passing the

Biology High School Assessment were required for graduation today ?

Approximately 65% of ninth grade students today are receiving D’s and E’s on the end of year exam in biology.

Data Source –

BCPS Biology End of Year Exam

(Patterned on Biology HSA)


Research/Observations on Physics First BALTIMORE

• Physics is the foundation for chemistry, and

chemistry is the foundation for contemporary

biology.

• More students enroll in upper level physics.

• More females enroll in upper level physics.

• The mathematics required is consistent with math

offered in grade 9 (Algebra I).

• Student achievement in upper level physics is

enhanced.

• Physics topics are of high interest for 9th

grade students.


At least one major textbook publisher has BALTIMOREacknowledged that students need a background in physics and chemistry in order to understand biology.

Holt Biology 2004

by Raven and Johnson

  • Physics Topics include:

  • Speed and Momentum

  • Acceleration

  • Work and Power

  • Machines

  • Newton’s Laws

  • Types of Waves

  • Wave Interactions

  • Energy Transformations

  • Law of Conservation of Energy

  • Electrical Energy and Circuits

  • Chemistry Topics include:

  • Water as Universal Solvent

  • Physical & Chemical Changes\

  • Law of Conservation of Mass

  • Fluids

  • Classes of Matter

  • The Periodic Table of Elements

  • Chemical Behavior

  • Balancing Equations

  • Concentrations of Solutions

  • Solubility

  • Behavior of Electrolytes

Physical Sciences Refresher


“Biology used to be about cutting up critters and looking at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .

Chemistry is the foundation for modern day Biology.”

Richard Taylor, Dallas High School science teacher, in

support of the high school’s new approach to teaching

physics first.

Newsweek, April 22, 2002


“About 1/3 of the Items in the MSDE at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .

Biology High School Assessment are

in the area of Biochemistry.”

Gary Hedges

MSDE Science Specialist for Biology


Sample Items from 2001 Biology HSA at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .


Another Sample Item from 2001 Biology HSA at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .


What’s Required is a at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .Paradigm Shift

Physics

First,

Chemistry

Second,

&BiologyLast


Nationally at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .

Many high schools

have taught physics as the first

course in the sequence, followed

by chemistry, and then biology.


The Principles of Physics course is at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .conceptually-based

as compared to physics taught using a

theoretical/mathematical approach.


T = at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .

2 d

g

Physics Taught at the

Theoretical/Mathematical Level

Response Time


T = at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .

2 d

g

Physics Taught at the Conceptual Level

Response Time


Principles of Physics at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .

Algebra I

New Technology

Education Course

(designed to support the application of physics concepts and Algebra)


Active Physics at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . . is the Text Proposed for

the Principles of Physics/Algebra I/Tech Ed

Curriculum Partnership in Three Pilot Schools

for 2004-2005

Schools

  • Woodlawn High School

  • Milford Mill Academy

  • Dundalk High School


“The content of at their innards. Now it’s all molecular. It’s about DNA and double helixes . . . .Active Physics is very appropriate

for ninth grade students. In fact, I sometimes use

Active Physics with my upper level physics classes

to help them understand the physics concepts

before they use and apply the formulas.

And, yes, this is real physics.”

Bob Lane

National Board Certified Physics Teacher

Active Physics Pilot Teacher at Suitland High School, PG Co


“If you have taught middle school science or are science trained, then teaching the content of “physics first” poses no real problems. I have had no problems understanding and teaching the content.”

Eleanor Smith

Earth Science Teacher, PG Co

Active Physics Pilot Teacher


What Does This Look Like Beyond trained, then teaching the content of “physics first” poses no real problems. I have had no problems understanding and teaching the content.”

Grade 9 ?


Chemistry trained, then teaching the content of “physics first” poses no real problems. I have had no problems understanding and teaching the content.” in Grade 10

• Acids and Bases

• Atoms

• Bond Geometry, Bond Tension

• Chemical Reactivity and Relationship to Structure

• Equilibrium

• Fundamental Reactions

• Kinetics

• Organic Chemistry

• Oxidation - Reduction

• Periodicity

• Radioactivity, Atomic Stability

• Simple Chemical Bonding

• Thermodynamics

Supported by Geometry and ChemTech


Biology trained, then teaching the content of “physics first” poses no real problems. I have had no problems understanding and teaching the content.” in Grade 11

• Atoms (Phosphorus, Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, etc.)

• Behavior of Organisms

• Biological Diversity; Genetics, Species, and Ecosystem

• Cell Structure and Function

• Energy, Flow of Matter and Energy

• Evolution

• Heredity

• Interdependence Among Biota/Abiota

• Levels of Organization: Cells, Tissues, Organs, etc.

• Macromolecules – DNA/RNA, Carbs, Lipids, Proteins

• Photosynthesis

• Reproduction

• Trends and Cycles

• Water Chemistry

Supported by Algebra II and BioTech


Earth and Space Science trained, then teaching the content of “physics first” poses no real problems. I have had no problems understanding and teaching the content.” in Grade 12

• Tools and Techniques of Investigating Earth and

the Universe

• Gravity and Microgravity Environments

• Formation of the Universe and Solar System

• Sun - Earth Connections

• Interactions of Sun - Earth - Moon System

• Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulation

• Climate

• Structure of Rocks and Minerals

• Rock Cycle

• Plate Tectonics

• Geologic Time

Supported by other mathematics, science, and technology electives.


“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world!”

Albert Einstein, 1879-1955


DID YOU KNOW THAT . . . Knowledge is limited.

“In the Baltimore County Public Schools,

we have more teachers certified to teach

physics than to teach earth science.”

Hays B. Lantz, Jr., Ed.D.

Director of Science PreK-12


“Two physics teachers are currently using Knowledge is limited.

Active Physics materials at my high

school with ninth grade students.They like

the materials, particularly the activity based

approach, which is very consistent with

the 5E model.”

Hameed Sharif

Science Teacher Coordinator

PG Co


“All ninth grade students (24 classes) at Bladensburg High School this school year are taking Conceptual Physics using the Active Physics materials. The students are very positive about being involved in an activity- based program. We have seen a decrease in student behavior problems because of this. The students are doing much better than they would have in Earth Science. Teachers are adapting well.”

Earline Richardson

Science Teacher Coordinator

Bladensburg High School, PG Co


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