Lindsey Nelson holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Engineering Education, and is the Education Chair for GHF. Lindsey loves engaging gifted and twice-exceptional learners with big, juicy questions and believes that the best classes are fueled by students’ curiosity. Lindsey’s classes rely heavily on discussion and frequently incorporate video resources to allow learners to see engineering design in action. Lindsey uses open-ended homework challenges (such as “Design your own ultimate writing tool”) to offer students an opportunity to 1) use engineering design processes, 2) think outside of the box, and 3) pursue creative solutions.
Build a firm foundation to understand physics while exploring motion.
Physics is all around us. Observation and explanation are at the foundations of physics. Through discovering how to make quality observations and integrate our observations into robust explanations, we can hone our skills as physicists.
Foundations of Physics is a course designed for learners ages 13 to 18. We will be taking a close look at how to measure and analyze motion. Learners will discover the tools and challenges associated with measuring distance, velocity, and acceleration. Through a combination of hands-on experiments and virtual simulations, learners will hone their powers of observation while applying mathematical reasoning.
This course incorporates algebraic calculations, analysis of right triangles, and conceptual ideas of calculus. In order to be successful in this course, learners should be comfortable manipulating algebraic expressions to solve for a variable and have familiarity with sine and cosine in right triangles.
The final project of this course is an accurate throwing machine. Learners will choose the object they want to throw, the throwing distance, and the target. What would it take to throw a small pumpkin 75 feet into a Hula hoop? In this class, we’ll discover how to do just that.
Sample Course Outline
This course meets over 8 weeks, exploring big ideas of physics while working on a final project.
- What are the challenges of predicting where a throw will land?
- Historic experiments used to analyze motion in 1 dimension
- How can we accurately measure distance and time?
- Historic experiments used to analyze motion in 2 dimensions
- The relationships between distance, velocity, and acceleration
- Analyzing velocity-time graphs
- The importance of equipment consistency
- Sharing final projects
Foundations of Physics is offered Fall 2019.