Mr. Curtin's Physics

Honors Physics Course Description


A.P. Physics

Problem Solving Cycle

Physics Olympics

Honors Physics


    Welcome to Honors Physics I.  You have enrolled in a course with a reputation for being a little   more difficult than some other courses.  You deserve credit for making that decision.  The material you will be studying this year is not really difficult --- people with all levels of ability and interest have been mastering it for a long time --- but it is demanding.  If you put forth the effort that is required, you will find the course will be valuable to you no matter what your future holds.


    1. To develop a good understanding of the subject matter taught in Physics.
    2. To work successfully in a scientific laboratory.
    3. To be able to use the scientific method for approaching and solving a problem.
    4. To become better thinkers.


    Your grade will be generally determined on this basis:

    A        90  -  100 %
    B        80  -   89 %                     60%   Regularly Scheduled Test
    C        70  -   79 %                     20%   Lab Reports and Lab Quizzes
    D        60  -   69 %                     20%   Problems and Unscheduled Quizzes
    F        Less than 60 %


    The rules of this classroom are simple and all directed to one end --- to help you and your classmates succeed in this course.  I follow one general principle --- if a student is doing anything that interferes with his or her opportunity to learn, with any classmate's opportunity to learn, or with my opportunity to teach effectively then that behavior will not be tolerated.

    1. Be in your seat with the necessary supplies on time.  Being late not only makes it more difficult for you to learn, but also disrupts everyone else.  School rules on tardies and unexcused absences will be followed.
    2. Be attentive to me when I am lecturing and to your classmates during class discussions.
    3. Observe safety rules in the classroom and lab at all times.
    4. No cell phone use is allowed in the room without permission.
    5. No food or drink in the lab and no drinks (except for water) in the classroom.
    6. No profanity.
    7. No put-downs.  The material can be difficult.  You need to encourage, not discourage, your classmates to try to answer difficult questions and to try to do challenging problems
    8. Respect your classmates, your teacher, yourself, and your school at all times.
    9. This class time is devoted to learning Physics.  You can arrange your other study times in any way that you want, but this time is "Physics Time" and we will use every minute of it.
    10. Please do not "play" with the equipment or open any of the cabinets unless you have permission.  We well have a chance to use almost everything in the room in the course of the school year.


    It is important to develop the ability to not only do assignments well, but also to do them on time.  I  If you have a question about an assignment that is due on a particular day of class, you need to allow yourself enough time to ask your question and complete the assignment before class begins.  If your assignment is not ready at the beginning of the period, 10% of the assignment value will be deducted for each class day or part of a class day that you are late.  You will be allowed one extra day for each day you are absent from class and excused.  If you have a special problem or any questions about assignments, you need to come in and see me individually.



    1. Come to class prepared each day and ready to learn.  You will have an opportunity every day to learn something if you are willing to make the effort.
    2. Do the daily assignments and lab reports, even though they don't count as much as the regular exams.  I have never had to fail anyone who did all of the assignments, simply because those assignments prepare you for the major tests and examinations.
    3. Ask questions in class.  Science is a "self-correcting" process, which means that you are expected to make mistakes and to learn from them.
    4. This course does require a considerable amount of work.  We will have an assignment of some type due almost every day during the term.
    5. Come in to see me when you have questions or problems of any kind.  I normally get to school quite early and will gladly meet with you at any time.  Good Luck!

    School Phone:                                                                  704-943-44500        Ext. 4948
    Home Phone:                                                                   704-845-6034
    My Email:                                                                   
    My Web Site:                                                         

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