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2024-2025 School Year

Physics w/Lab CP GVL

Course Description

While the emphasis will be on understanding the concepts and principles of physics, and their application to everyday situations, this is NOT a “no math” version of Physics. Textbook author, Paul Hewitt, explains the study of Physics this way: “Unfortunately, its mathematical language deters the average non-science student. But when the ideas of physics are presented conceptually and when equations are seen to be guides to thinking rather than recipes for algebraic manipulation, our discipline is accessible to all students. …… This book seeks to build that conceptual base. For the non-science student, it is a base from which to view nature more perceptively — to see that surprisingly few relationships make up the rules. For the science student, it is this as well as being a springboard to greater involvement in physics. …… For non-science and science students alike, a conceptual way of looking at physics shapes analytical thinking.”

In this course students will need to apply basic Algebra skills to solve problems as well as interpret the implications of the effects of changing variables. Lab reports will include taking measurements, performing some simple calculations, evaluating percent error and its causes, and graphing data.

Concepts to be covered include: mechanics, waves, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, nuclear physics, and light and optics. The student will be expected to read the text and complete assigned problems at home. About one-third of class time will be spent on demonstrations and lab activities that reinforce the principles in the text. The remainder of class time will be spent working through sample problems and clarifying concepts learned. Lab write-ups will be finalized at home and turned in to be graded. Periodic tests will be taken at home under a parent’s supervision and turned in to the teacher for grading.

Summer homework:  There may be a homework assignment due the first day of class. The details will be sent through a JupiterEd message a few weeks before classes begin. The assignment will involve some reading from the text and answering a few questions. The total time spent on this assignment should be two hours or less for most students.

To be successful in this class:

Students must be willing to spend about an hour to 90 minutes per day in addition to class time reading, viewing videos, solving problems, answering questions, and writing lab reports. Students need to be able to apply the techniques learned in their math classes to solving equations in Physics. Students must “think like a scientist”, continually applying sound reasoning to answer questions and problems. Students will need to be able to make sense of counter-intuitive principles and concepts. Successful students will be making connections between the concepts studied in class and situations they encounter in their out-of-class life.

Grades: 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

Fees: $425 plus $20 lab fee


Biology, Algebra 1, and Geometry completed

Course Credit: 1 lab science

Required Materials


Other Materials:

  • Calculator with trig functions (sin, cos, tan); must be brought to class every day
  • Graded homework is to be completed on unlined paper or engineering pad, or typed in a word processor. Graph paper will be needed occasionally. Work turned in (homework and labs) may not be torn from a spiral notebook.
  • Pencil
  • Straightedge and protractor
  • ESSENTIAL: Computer with Internet access. Several of the labs will be virtual labs. These may be started in class and completed at home, or done completely at home. Students will also have instructional videos to view as part of their homework at times.  It is highly recommended that students use a word processor and spreadsheet application to complete lab reports. In addition, some of the homework assignments will be submitted online through JupiterEd, the UHC grading and communication system.

Meet Ariel Jacala

Education:  Master of Mechanical Engineering, 1981 Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, School of Engineering; Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, 1980 Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, School of Engineering.  Emeritus Licensed Professional Engineer in South Carolina

Experience:  Retired from GE after a 34-year career, having had roles as Module Integration Leader, Principal Engineer, Technical Leader and Design Engineer. Mr. Jacala also has been holder and co-holder of over 28 patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office as well as foreign countries such as Japan and Germany.  Mr. Jacala also holds a Part 107 license from the FAA, and radio amateur licenses from the US FCC call sign (NY4G) and from Canada, VY2AJ

UHC courses taught:

  • Physics w/lab
  • Drone Aviation

Began teaching at UHC in 2022

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