Go Beyond The Exam. Learn the Physics of Everyday Life.
February 16, 2016 | Justine Goulart
This is a guest blog post from GeorgetownX’s AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism Exam course team.
In 2014, more than 4 million students took an Advanced Placement (AP) exam to assess their level of preparation for rigorous college courses and, in some cases, to achieve college credit while still in high school. Leading up to the AP exams in May, online courses present an excellent way for students to prepare outside of traditional classroom spaces, or to supplement existing coursework.
GeorgetownX’s AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism Exam is specifically designed to help students prepare for the exam. But, this course is more than just exam prep.
Woven into the course are video interviews with Georgetown faculty and students that give online students greater insight into the field— including how they became interested in physics, the type of research they do, and how to best understand and appreciate the complex world of physics.
The course is led by two Georgetown faculty: Amy Liu, Professor and Chair of the Physics Department, and Patrick Johnson, Assistant Teaching Professor. Professors Liu and Johnson, as well as a series of guest faculty from around the country, guide students through lectures, demonstrations, practice questions, and a final exam while also adding context to their studies and helping students to think through the importance and “bigger picture” of the topics being explored. Professor Johnson kicks off the course by framing the importance of electricity and magnetism in our daily lives:
One thing that always helps keep me grounded when going through these topics is to think about all of the excellent tools which are only possible because of electricity and magnetism. Without the material covered in this course we couldn’t have computers, smartphones, email, sensors at stoplights, and so much more. I marvel at the creativity and ingenuity which has gone into coming up with all the nifty applications of this material. Perhaps the next great invention will be created by you. – Patrick Johnson, Assistant Teaching Professor, Georgetown University
While faculty interviews give insight into their interests and perspectives of established physicists, interviews with Georgetown students help make the field more relatable and understandable for those who may be just embarking on their studies in this field:
That feeling that at the end of the day when you finally figure something out, it’s worth it–more worth it than any other subject I’ve ever studied. – Lindsey Allcock, Georgetown Physics Major
Watch below to hear more from Georgetown students on what motivated them to study physics.
This eight-week course will cover five key topics: electrostatics; conductors, capacitors and dielectrics; electric circuits; magnetic fields and electromagnetism. The course also includes an optional bonus module exploring topics in Quantum Mechanics for students interested in learning more about the topic. Additionally, each of the five modules ends with a section for teachers taking the course, highlighting the pedagogical choices made in designing the lessons and sharing resources for use in their own classroom.