Physics – Curricular Overview

Key Concept Example A Example B Example C
Leverage See Saw, pulley Baseball       Debt
Gravity Aristotle and

Galileo’s Pisa Experiment; three ramps where does each ball end up?

How gravity dictates how to stand, walk, sit,


Galileo’s inclined plane and measuring gravity

And Pressure


The Sea Breeze

Global atmostpheric circulation

Phase Diagrams:

Water, carbon

(sweaty soda can)

Mountains make rain and deserts

The human body: pleasure, pain, deep sea diving,


Angles matter Flight The seasons


Action and Reaction The astronaut cut off from space ship Flight – not just about Bernouilli The balloon
Inertia Why we need seat belts Newton’s Apple and the Moon Why seats in troop transport planes face backwards
Entropy The dorm room The broken egg      Car crash
Free Body Diagram bridge Airplane in flight Gravity defying straw
Fundamental Units length mass time
Shapes matter wheels Triangles Arches


Agenda for Physics Teachers:


Identify the best three museum exhibits from anywhere in the world for each concept worth remembering.

Identify most productive science teacher by subject and three best experiments she uses to demonstrate it.

Identify the minimum number of around the house items needed to illustrate each concept.

How few items can you carry around in a backpack to teach the lion’s share of the physics curriculum?

Identify the physics experiments that usually fail and stop doing them.

Identify the physics experiments that work and make sure each student can teach them.

How much does the earth weigh? How far is the sun? What is the circumference of the earth? Geometry and the power of deductive reasoning.

The miracle of the circle, the miracle of the triangle—the math of the universe.