Physics C: Mechanics/Electricity & Magnetism

Physics - C: Mechanics/Electricity & Magnetism

This workshop is intended to be especially helpful to new and lightly experienced teachers, helping them identify the skills and resources they need to be successful in their first years. More experienced teachers will learn new tricks, new labs, new resources and find a chance to collaborate. The content sessions will be split approximately 50/50 over both halves of the exam. Due to time restrictions, the instructor will choose topics from the content to focus on the most important points of both exam’s content. The content in Electricity and Magnetism is abstract and presents calculus concepts that students don’t encounter in the typical AP Calculus class. The emphasis will be on introducing the major ideas in ways that incorporate Guided Inquiry methodology, a student-friendly conceptual background, and mathematical formality.

This workshop is ideal if you are teaching both courses, or expect eventually to be teaching both courses. During content sessions the class will address both the conceptual underpinnings of the material and the mathematical complexity of the AP Exam. The pace will be brisk, but as much as possible the workshop structure is intended to be collaborative, flexible, and interactive. Teaching both parts of the course can be done in different ways and presents unique challenges. At times participants will have the flexibility to work individually or in small groups, with a choice of subjects, in order to meet their most immediate needs. The most difficult topics for students will be emphasized, and will include forces, rotation, oscillation, electrostatics, and the laws that distinguish APCE from other physics courses: Gauss’s Law, Biot-Savart Law, and Ampere’s Law.

AP Physics C is expected to model a college-level lab approach. There are lots of ways to accomplish this, and it does not necessarily mean using the same approach used in college. Models will be presented for inquiry lab work, including ways to structure whole-class labs. The class will work on labs that can be taught in a variety of ways: using traditional meter stick and stopwatch tools, computer-based data collection, video resources, or simulations. If you teach Mechanics in a full year, there is time to have students do projects or do extended labs. We will explore options for interesting, open-ended and student-designed labs, as well as experiment problems and challenges.

Instructor: Marc Reif 

Marc Reif teaches physics and is the AP Department Chair at Fayetteville High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has been teaching AP Physics since 1998, a College Board Workshop Consultant since 2005, and has presented more than 50 AP Summer Institutes. Mr. Reif is an AP Physics exam reader and has also created and edited hundreds of AP exam items for the College Board. He co-authored the Teachers Resource Manual for Gay Stewart’s College Physics for the AP Physics 1 and 2 Course, co-authored the AP Physics 2 Curriculum Module on Capacitance, and has contributed to other AP Physics publications. Mr. Reif is the Vice President of Northwest Arkansas STEM, a grassroots professional development effort, and the Treasurer of the Arkansas Science Teachers Association. In recent years he has been an AP Physics Coach for the National Math and Science Initiative, and the AP Physics PLC leader for Rice University’s Project Equip. He is a past chair of the SAT Physics Subject Test Development Committee and a past member of the College Board Science Academic Advisory Committee. Mr. Reif served as PhysTEC Teacher in Residence and later as Visiting Master Teacher at the University of Arkansas. He has presented multiple times at national meetings of the American Association of Physics Teachers. In 2016 he was named the recipient of the College Board Southwest Region AP Award and in 2021 was named a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. He holds an MAT in science from the University of North Carolina and renewed his National Board Certification in Teaching Science in 2015.