Physics I Labs
- Failing to attend labs will negatively affect your course grade and
evaluation. Labs are an important (and I hope fun) part of the
course. We will learn skills here that you won't get a chance to
practice in homework or discuss much in class.
- The lab participation portion of your evaluation will be based
almost exclusively on the degree with which you engage the material
and the level of cooperation with your lab partners. I'm not that
interested in "right" answers. In fact, my aim will be to sometime
give you puzzles that you hopefully won't get right away. You can
learn from mistakes, but if I gave you things you already knew how
to do, there's not as much of an opportunity to learn.
- You won't always be following a strict recipe. Instead,
you'll be led through some exercises, demonstrate some physical
principles for yourself, and be asked to draw conclusions. I think
this lab set-up is better than the more standard "cookbook" approach.
However, it probably requires more active participation on the part of
- Additionally, labs will give us an opportunity to try out some
of the situations discussed in the textbook.
- After completing the lab, your group should hand in a sheet
with your calculations and observations.
I will look over the lab "report",
assign some sort of a grade (check plus, check, check minus),
and hand it back to you.
- Typical labs will be around two hours, but some may be
- It is possible that we go outdoors. We won't go out if it's really
really yucky, but we might go out in drizzle and cold.
- Lab work will not spawn a significant amount of work beyond the
two to three hours we spend together.
- Sometime around week 7 there will be a mini project instead of
a lab. This will be a group investigation of one of several
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