New Approach to Studying Physics in the High School
Over the past year, the MUS science department embarked on a re-envisioning of Physics education in the high school. In its inaugural year, the Physics and Engineering course taught by Mr. Hagerman, is designed with two significant changes; learning experience and the grading system. The learning experience will integrate conceptual physics with the fundamentals of engineering. This means students will engage with the material in a hands-on manner alongside a robust study of the principles of physics. This, coupled with a focus on the professional world of engineering, will expose students to how engineering fundamentals are applied to a wide variety of applications.
The grading system will also be a departure from the traditional process used in the MUS. We will use a “Standards Referenced” grading system. This differs in that students will not receive an overall grade for any project, test, or quiz but rather an array of scores (0-5) on each of the standards that is assessed. The standards fall into two categories, achievement and engagement. Achievement standards are built to assess a student’s mastery of content (like understanding Newton’s laws or executing the Design Process with projects). Engagement standards are built to assess how students participate, work together, keep to deadlines, etc.
Congratulations to Dr. Eisen and Mr. Hagerman for boldly innovating this course and in turn providing an exciting approach to physics education for SDJA students.