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Physics for the Next Generation - 2

  • Liberty High School 7445 Northwest Wagon Way Hillsboro, OR, 97124 United States (map)

Date & Time: July 23-25, 2018 (8:30am – 3:30pm)
Location: Liberty High School, Hillsboro, OR
Grade Level: High School
Audience: High School Educators
Course Fee: $300
Optional Graduate Credit: We are in the process of finalizing optional graduate credit

Instructors: Bradford Hill & Matt McCollum
Contact for Course Information:
Contact for Registration: or voicemail (503) 294-7428

This course is a follow up to the “Physics for the Next Generation” course (we highly recommend taking that course first). Teachers experience the patterns approach of using inquiry experiments as a mode to learn content and then apply what they have learned in engineering design tasks. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th units of the Patterns Physics course will be covered in this course, including “Engineer a Shoe”, “Waves and Technology”, and “Electricity, Magnetism, and Power Production.” See below for detailed descriptions.  Each unit focuses on three-dimensional (3D) learning through intertwining the disciplinary core ideas of Physics with the science practices and crosscutting concepts as described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Teachers experience the patterns approach of using inquiry experiments as a mode to learn content through inquiry and engineering design tasks.

Methods of Instruction Overview

This is primarily a hands-on course. Participants will experience how teacher moves can be made to engage high school students in the NGSS scientific and engineering practices. Additional experiences will have participants engage in inquiry as a vehicle to develop conceptual, graphical, and symbolic understanding of phenomenon. Participants will discuss how to enhance productive student science talk. Whiteboards and technology will be frequently used to demonstrate how evidence-based reasoning and data-informed decision-making can be implemented in the classroom through Board Discussions. Engineering projects will be experienced and time given to make them your own. The importance of creating models and explicitly discussing their limitations will also be a recurring theme.

Course Outline


1Engineer a Shoe: This day will engage participants in a project on the engineering and design of a shoe. Participants will live the student experience, collecting and analyzing data to make data-informed design decisions. Participants will connect this project to the NGSS learning progression for performance expectations around force, impulse, and momentum.

2Waves and Technology: This day introduces an NGSS-aligned learning progression through a cell phone and telecommunications project. The unit integrates project based learning, modeling, all four areas of  STEM, and the NGSS Waves performance expectations. We begin with the phenomenon of a cell phone call where the student asks on speakerphone “How are you hearing me?”. That launches us into telecommunications, including an exploration of how the ear works and coding a simple “App” to digitize a text message, transmit it, and transform it back to a text message.

3Electricity, Magnetism, and Power Production: This day engages participants in an NGSS-aligned learning progression culminating in a student designed 50-Year Energy Plan. We begin with the phenomenon of a speaker, transition to electric guitars, and then scale up to generators. To explore how generators harness energy in nature, students engage in the practices of engineering as they design wind turbines and optimize solar cells. Creating a rubric to evaluate large scale power production then launches us into climate science. Putting it all together, students consider many real world constraints and complete their 50-Year Energy Plan.

Course Cancellation Policy:

  • There is a $15 cancellation fee.

  • If the cancellation is between 8 and 14 days before the class begins, 75% of your registration fee will be refunded.

  • If the cancellation is 7 days or less before the class begins, we are unable to issue a refund.