We will investigate motion in the world around us; we welcome both those
who want to participate fully and those who wish to sample, cafeteria-style,
the activities of this course. Those who participate fully will experience
a course that is very different in style but equivalent (at least) in core
content to a traditional, on-campus, first-semester college-level introductory
physics course that includes a laboratory. At the same time, those who
cherry-pick selected course elements (e.g., learning the basics of video
capture and analysis of motion in one’s own surroundings) will still advance
their understanding of physics.
We aim to understand and to predict motion in the real world using a small set of powerful fundamental principles. The laboratories are the backbone of this course, providing opportunities (1) to observe and to analyze motion in our own surroundings, (2) to apply fundamental principles to build explanations of the motion, and (3) to evaluate, in a constructively critical way, our own measurements and models, as well as the measurements and models of our course peers. Other course elements (lecture videos with “clicker” questions, homework) support and extend the physics explored in the laboratories.Participants who satisfactorily complete the course will be eligible for six (6) Continuing Education Units from the American Association of Physics Teachers.