SMED 729

Physics for Elementary and Middle School Teachers
SMED 729


A comprehensive introduction to basic physics. This course is specifically designed to enhance the science knowledge and experience of elementary and middle school teachers. Lecture topics are selected to cover the broad range of topics covered in physics. Laboratory experiments and demonstrations have been chosen to reinforce the lecture topics and can be directly transferred to the classroom. All laboratory portions will be taught as hands-on experiences integrated into the lecture. Teacher-participants will also be required to critique and adapt available laboratory materials and activities. In addition, participants will be required to develop a classroom unit (lesson plans, materials and activities).

Location: Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
Dates: January 29-May 7
Time: Thursdays 5:00-8:00pm
Instructor: Dr. Phil Astwood

1. To increase teacher participants' content knowledge of the physics.
2. To increase the awareness of the importance of laboratory and field activities in the study of physics.
3. To increase the ability of teacher-participants to critique available laboratory and field activities
4. To increase the ability of teacher-participants to develop original classroom modules

The teacher-participant will be able to:
1. make measurements using the SI(metric) system
2. convert SI to English units and vice-versa
3. explain the difference between velocity and acceleration
4. explain the difference between force and momentum
5. perform experiments and mathematical operations involving velocity, acceleration, force, momentum and energy
6. identify the components of the electromagnetic spectrum, by wavelength and/or frequency
7. explain magnetism and the magnetic field of the earth
8. explain and apply the concepts associated with simple electrical circuits
9. explain and apply the concepts associated with sound

I. Mechanics

A. Kinemetrics
B. Statics and dynamics
C. Momentum and energy
D. Gravity
II. Electromagnetism
A. Waves
B. Electromagnetism and waves
C. Heat and temperature
D. Light and optics
E. Sound
F. Electricity - charge, energy and flow
G. Magnetism

Final grades will be determined on a point accumulation basis. Points will be awarded for:
1. Final exam 25%
2. Lab notebook and activity reports 25%
3. Attendance and participation 15%
4. Term project 35%

Offered for graduate credit.

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Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
Center of Excellence in Educational Technology
University of South Carolina Aiken
471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801