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AP Physics 1 vs. Old AP Physics B(minus the AP test)

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So, I am trying to figure out what to do with algebra based Physics for my rising junior.  We don’t yet know what science he will do his senior year.


I guess I’m debating AP Physics 1 vs a traditional AP style Physics course using Giancoli or Knight but obviously not studying for the AP Physics B exam which won’t exist. 


Primary Goal – broad exposure to physics a subject, I love and feel is important for all people to have an understanding of(this child may not take Physics in college so this would be his only exposure)


Secondary goal – AP credit to make his college years cheaper/shorter  but we may do CC next year to accomplish the same goal(neither he nor I want to, thus an AP course is a plus, but even so I’m not convinced I have the time/ability to prepare a child especially with a new exam)


Possible options


Junior year-Do the old course (minus the AP prep)  Are there any topics I could drop from the course and cover with Physics in Your Life DVD's if the going ends up being slow?  This is a good but slow math student.


Senior year- Prepare for the AP Physics 1 exam . Would this be moving backwards?  Or would it make it an easier year and he could also do some reading of interesting physics topics and some of the physics greats and take our time and do some solid labs? 


Or the senior year he could maybe do AP Physics C with Calculus concurrently?




Thanks in advance,


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Re secondary goal: what is his intended major? If it is a major for which calculus based physics is required, he would not receive any credit for AP in algebra based physics. In that case, I would skip the exam, ignore the AP lineup and do one solid year of algebra based physics, covering both mechanics and e&m.

In fact, that is what i would lean towards even with a student who is not going into STEM. Spending an entire year on the mechanics part is rather boring.


Here is what I have answered for the question what to cover/omit for a different text - the gist is the same, your chapter numbers will differ:


I. MECHANICS (ch. 2-10)
Fundamental concepts. Must cover everything thoroughly.

Can skim; this is covered again in chemistry

III. HEAT (ch. 15-18)
cover, but not in too much detail; will be revisited in chemistry

IV. SOUND (ch. 19-21)
Cover; not too much detail needed

Must cover everything thoroughly

VI. LIGHT (ch. 26-31)
Must cover everything thoroughly

Will be covered in chemistry; interesting stuff, cover if time permits

VIII. RELATIVITY (ch. 35+36)
Really cool and interesting stuff that will probably never be covered in another class. Not necessary as prerequisite for anything, but just fascinating.


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His intended major is no where in sight:).  He is very strong in humanities.  He does fine in math but doesn't love it and isn't fast.  He liked Biology better than Chem may have been a text issue, may have been a math issue.  He says no to engineering.  Business is probably as close as he would get to a mathy major.


I just saw that post of yours a few days ago as I was looking at conceptual Physics for my rising 9th!  I even had already printed it out.  


Thank you for sharing that an entire year on mechanics would be boring.  After I typed it all up I was leaning away from AP Physics 1.  That settles it.


Thank you so much!

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