Science Curriculum

Physics 1 introduces the central concepts of physics, including kinematics, dynamics, the conservation laws (mass, energy, and momentum), electricity and magnetism, and waves. This laboratory-centered course utilizes an approach that is inductive and mathematical as well as conceptual.

Last Updated: 08/17/12 10:34 AM
Standard 1

Benchmark 1.a
Define the Components of a System
Indicator 1.a.1
Identify the components of a system
Indicator 1.a.2
Differentiate between open and closed systems

Benchmark 1.b
Select and Use Instruments to Extend Observations and Measurements
Indicator 1.b.1
Measure and record position, time, etc. using appropriate technology
Indicator 1.b.2
Use lab equipment safely and appropriately

Benchmark 1.c
Record and Present Information in an Organized Format
Indicator 1.c.1
Create graphs, charts, and tables to communicate experimental results
Indicator 1.c.2
Formulate and implement a procedure for testing hypotheses
Indicator 1.c.3
Synthesize various points of view from group members
Indicator 1.c.4
Debate theories and ideas with peers in group discussions
Indicator 1.c.5
Collaborate with peers to design presentations

Benchmark 1.d
Recognize the Limitations of the Experimental Apparatus and Design
Indicator 1.d.1
Distinguish dependent & independent variables, constants, controls
Indicator 1.d.2
Analyze experimental errors qualitatively (precision and accuracy)
Indicator 1.d.3
Recognize that no measurement is complete without its uncertainty
Indicator 1.d.4
Determine accuracy of measurement
Indicator 1.d.5
Determine precision of measurement using range or standard deviation
Indicator 1.d.6
Determine percent error in a calculated result from experimental data
Indicator 1.d.7
Represent uncertainty in measurement as an error bar on a graph

Benchmark 1.e
Recognize the Limitations of Measured Quantities
Indicator 1.e.1
Verify the results of calculations using order of magnitude estimates
Indicator 1.e.2
Apply rules of significant figures in measurements and calculations
Indicator 1.e.3
Minimize errors in measurement by averaging data from multiple trials

Benchmark 1.f
Understand the Uses of Models and Simulations
Indicator 1.f.1
Use simulations to model physical phenomena
Indicator 1.f.2
Manipulate simulation software to model scientific investigations

Benchmark 1.g
Use Technology To Gather & Analyze Data and Communicate Results
Indicator 1.g.1
Generate and analyze a graph using a computer
Indicator 1.g.2
Perform a lab that uses technology
Indicator 1.g.3
Demonstrate proficiency using probeware for data collection, etc.
Indicator 1.g.4
Discriminate computer-collected data by extracting useful data
Indicator 1.g.5
Design presentations that employ current media technologies
Standard 2

Benchmark 2.a
Translate a Physical Problem Into a Mathematical Statement
Indicator 2.a.1
Use equations or inequalities to model physical phenomena or events
Indicator 2.a.2
Use dimensional analysis in analyzing data and solving problems
Indicator 2.a.3
Use dimensional analysis to verify appropriate units
Indicator 2.a.4
Provide a mathematical rationale for a conclusion

Benchmark 2.b
Determine Relationships by Using the Shape of a Curve Through Data
Indicator 2.b.1
Use graphical depictions to describe physical phenomena
Indicator 2.b.2
Interpret and explain graphs to describe the motion of objects
Indicator 2.b.3
Explain math relationships between quantities using graphical analysis
Indicator 2.b.4
Develop a linear graph and function from non-linear data

Benchmark 2.c
Calculate the Slope of a Linear Relationship
Indicator 2.c.1
Calculate the slope of a linear relationship with appropriate units
Indicator 2.c.2
Develop mathematical models to explain experimental results
Indicator 2.c.3
Explain of the significance of the y intercept

Benchmark 2.d
Use Interpolated, Extrapolated and Analyzed Trends to Make Predictions
Indicator 2.d.1
Make predictions using interpolation/extrapolation/analysis of data
Indicator 2.d.2
Make predictions using the area under a curve

Benchmark 2.e
Understand Methods Used to Analyze Situations with Vector Quantities
Indicator 2.e.1
Use vectors to describe physical quantities and their interactions
Indicator 2.e.2
Solve vector algebra problems using trigonometric & graphical methods
Indicator 2.e.3
Represent an object’s motion by drawing vector diagrams
Standard 3

Benchmark 3.a
Analyze Scientific Sources to Develop and Refine Research Hypotheses
Indicator 3.a.1
Critique & summarize a scientific article using logical argumentation
Indicator 3.a.2
Identify a current research subject in physics; explain its importance
Indicator 3.a.3
Analyze scientific sources to develop and refine research hypotheses
Indicator 3.a.4
Evaluate research topic limitations and propose additional questions

Benchmark 3.b
Analyze How Science Explains and Predicts Relationships
Indicator 3.b.1
Analyze data to identify trends and relationships

Benchmark 3.c
Evaluate Evidence for Scientific Theories
Indicator 3.c.1
Defend a scientific theory using sound logic based on scientific data

Benchmark 3.d
Examine the Effects of New Discoveries on Theories & New Paradigms
Indicator 3.d.1
Identify examples of a paradigm shift
Indicator 3.d.2
Cite sources used in conducting investigations
Indicator 3.d.3
Distinguish between scientific law and scientific theory
Indicator 3.d.4
Review & revise procedures while conducting a scientific investigation
Indicator 3.d.5
Understand the contributions of Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, etc.
Indicator 3.d.6
Evaluate the impact of new scientific discoveries on existing theories
Indicator 3.d.7
Trace the development of physical science: ancient cultures to present
Indicator 3.d.8
Explain the reasons for the quest to develop a Grand Unified Theory
Indicator 3.d.9
Discuss the achievements of the space program
Indicator 3.d.10
Analyze and evaluate peer research proposals

Benchmark 3.e
Construct and Defend a Scientific Viewpoint
Indicator 3.e.1
Explain the interaction between human nature & the scientific process
Indicator 3.e.2
Write and present a formal lab report
Indicator 3.e.3
Write a logical conclusion that is supported by experimental evidence
Indicator 3.e.4
Compare and contrast science and pseudoscience
Indicator 3.e.5
Evaluate what constitutes a valid scientific conclusion
Indicator 3.e.6
Share experimental results with peers for review, analysis & criticism
Indicator 3.e.7
Discuss the significance of the error found in results
Standard 4

Benchmark 4.a
Investigate and Understand Examples from the Real World
Indicator 4.a.1
Propose and evaluate various explanations for scientific phenomena
Indicator 4.a.2
Design, build and test a device to solve a real world problem
Indicator 4.a.3
Evaluate the influence of physics principles in understanding problems
Indicator 4.a.4
Create a device to model a physical system
Indicator 4.a.5
Identify a problem that can be solved using new technologies
Indicator 4.a.6
Evaluate the impact of satellites

Benchmark 4.b
Explore the Roles and Contributions of Science and Technology
Indicator 4.b.1
Develop an awareness of real-world applications of physics
Indicator 4.b.2
Describe the importance of physics in advancement of various fields
Indicator 4.b.3
Utilize scientific information from a variety of sources
Indicator 4.b.4
Use texts and references to gather information, conduct research, etc.
Indicator 4.b.5
Understand the contributions of scientists: Coulomb, Ampere, Ohm, etc.
Indicator 4.b.6
Distinguish between science and technology
Indicator 4.b.7
Determine the physics principles behind various technologies
Indicator 4.b.8
Explain how physics is applied in visual art, music or medicine
Indicator 4.b.9
Identify the contributions of scientists: Becquerel, Curie, etc.
Indicator 4.b.10
Evaluate the societal influences on research priorities
Indicator 4.b.11
Discuss the interconnectivity of physics principles in technology
Standard 5

Benchmark 5.a
Investigate and Understand Linear Motion
Indicator 5.a.1
Analyze the motion of objects undergoing constant acceleration
Indicator 5.a.2
Distinguish between average and instantaneous velocity
Indicator 5.a.3
Predict motion of objects & forces from different frames of reference

Benchmark 5.b
Investigate and Understand Uniform Circular Motion
Indicator 5.b.1
Distinguish between centripetal and centrifugal force
Indicator 5.b.2
Explore the relationships between radius, force, speed & acceleration
Indicator 5.b.3
Analyze situations: centripetal force is a component of another force

Benchmark 5.c
Investigate and Understand Projectile Motion
Indicator 5.c.1
Apply the force of gravity to study free-fall and projectile motion
Indicator 5.c.2
Describe independence of horizontal & vertical motion of a projectile
Indicator 5.c.3
Analyze projectile motion to solve for range, height & time of flight
Indicator 5.c.4
Analyze projectiles launched at an angle

Benchmark 5.d
Investigate and Understand Newton's Laws of Motion
Indicator 5.d.1
Classify forces as either contact forces or field forces
Indicator 5.d.2
Explain the effect of the force of friction on the motion of objects
Indicator 5.d.3
Apply Newton’s Laws of Motion to analyze the effects of applied forces
Indicator 5.d.4
Understand the importance of Newton's Three Laws of Motion
Indicator 5.d.5
Solve problems involving forces with vertical & horizontal components
Indicator 5.d.6
Analyze a system with multiple masses

Benchmark 5.e
Investigate and Understand Gravitation
Indicator 5.e.1
Calculate the gravitational force between two objects
Indicator 5.e.2
Using the concept of gravitational field, distinguish mass vs. weight
Indicator 5.e.3
Calculate the gravitational potential at a given distance from a mass
Indicator 5.e.4
Describe the gradient of the potential

Benchmark 5.f
Investigate and Understand Planetary Motion
Indicator 5.f.1
Combine universal gravitational & centripetal force to solve problems
Indicator 5.f.2
Investigate the interactions of planetary systems using software

Benchmark 5.g
Investigate and Understand Work, Power and Energy
Indicator 5.g.1
Calculate work done on a body & the power generated by applied force
Indicator 5.g.2
Formulate the relationship between power, energy, and time
Indicator 5.g.3
Apply the work-energy theorem in solving problems
Indicator 5.g.4
Calculate the work done by a non-constant force
Standard 6

Benchmark 6.a
Investigate and Understand Kinetic and Potential Energy
Indicator 6.a.1
Analyze the interaction of objects in a closed system
Indicator 6.a.2
Understand when mechanical energy is a conserved quantity

Benchmark 6.b
Investigate and Understand Elastic and Inelastic Collisions
Indicator 6.b.1
Provide and explain examples showing linear momentum = mass x velocity
Indicator 6.b.2
Use collisions to analyze the interaction of objects in closed systems
Indicator 6.b.3
Use collisions and explosions to analyze the interaction of objects
Indicator 6.b.4
Derive the impulse-change in momentum theorem from Newton’s Second Law
Indicator 6.b.5
Analyze a force-time graph to determine impulse

Benchmark 6.c
Investigate and Understand Mass/Energy Equivalence
Indicator 6.c.1
Understand mass/energy equivalence
Indicator 6.c.2
Understand when to apply the principle of mass/energy equivalence
Standard 7

Benchmark 7.a
Understand the Transfer and Storage of Energy Among Systems
Indicator 7.a.1
Compare and contrast electric energy transfer properties
Indicator 7.a.2
Distinguish between various types of energy
Indicator 7.a.3
Analyze the energy and momentum transfers in an open system
Indicator 7.a.4
Explain heat flow & entropy in terms of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
Indicator 7.a.5
Define heat and distinguish between heat and temperature
Indicator 7.a.6
Use the kinetic theory to predict quantitative relationships

Benchmark 7.b
Investigate and Understand the Efficiency of Systems
Indicator 7.b.1
Analyze interactions in which energy is NOT conserved
Indicator 7.b.2
Use real world examples to evaluate energy transformations
Indicator 7.b.3
Apply the 1st Law of Thermodynamics to analyze energy transformations
Standard 8

Benchmark 8.a
Investigate and Understand Wave Characteristics
Indicator 8.a.1
Develop a wave model for mechanical energy transfer
Indicator 8.a.2
Explain the relationship between wavelength, wave speed, and frequency
Indicator 8.a.3
Understand that both waves and pendulums follow Simple Harmonic Motion
Indicator 8.a.4
Write displacement of a mechanical wave as a trigonometric function
Indicator 8.a.5
Predict changes in wave energy

Benchmark 8.b
Investigate and Understand Fundamental Wave Processes
Indicator 8.b.1
Use the wave model to explore interference of mechanical waves
Indicator 8.b.2
Distinguish between superimposed waves: in-phase vs. out-of-phase
Indicator 8.b.3
Compare and contrast mechanical waves and electromagnetic waves
Indicator 8.b.4
Graphically illustrate reflection, refraction & diffraction of a wave
Indicator 8.b.5
Describe the Doppler effect

Benchmark 8.c
Investigate and Understand Light and Sound in Terms of Wave Models
Indicator 8.c.1
Compare, contrast, and illustrate transverse and longitudinal waves
Indicator 8.c.2
Use the wave model of light to explain polarization, diffraction, etc.
Indicator 8.c.3
Explore a system that is resonating
Indicator 8.c.4
Investigate beat frequencies
Standard 9

Benchmark 9.a
Understand Properties/Behaviors/Relative Size of Electromagnetic Waves
Indicator 9.a.1
Analyze different electromagnetic wavelengths, frequencies & energies

Benchmark 9.b
Investigate and Understand the Wave/Particle Dual Nature of Light
Indicator 9.b.1
Understand both wave & particle models are necessary to explain light

Benchmark 9.c
Understand Current Applications Based on the Respective Wavelengths
Indicator 9.c.1
Investigate uses of various bands of the electromagnetic spectrum
Standard 10

Benchmark 10.a
Investigate and Understand the Inverse Square Laws
Indicator 10.a.1
Explain the gravitational attractive force between two objects
Indicator 10.a.2
Explain the strength of an electric force
Indicator 10.a.3
Calculate the electrostatic force between any two charged bodies
Indicator 10.a.4
Calculate electrical field strength and sketch the field lines
Indicator 10.a.5
Compare and contrast forces between charged objects of known mass
Indicator 10.a.6
Identify electric fields around conductors and make comparisons
Indicator 10.a.7
Calculate net electric field at a point from multiple charged objects
Indicator 10.a.8
Describe the gravitational field strength (g)

Benchmark 10.b
Investigate and Understand Technological Applications
Indicator 10.b.1
Explain the effects of moving electric charges and of moving magnets
Indicator 10.b.2
Create or analyze a model for magnetism to explain magnetic fields
Indicator 10.b.3
Explain the generation of various magnetic fields
Indicator 10.b.4
Apply the right-hand rules to predict field behavior & particle motion
Indicator 10.b.5
Explore the voltage & current generated by a changing magnetic field
Indicator 10.b.6
Relate the behavior of fields to explain the operation of devices
Standard 11

Benchmark 11.a
Investigate and Understand Ohm's Law
Indicator 11.a.1
Apply Ohm’s Law to analyze various electric circuits

Benchmark 11.b
Investigate and Understand Series, Parallel, and Combined Circuits
Indicator 11.b.1
Combine various electrical components to construct circuit diagrams
Indicator 11.b.2
Calculate the effective resistance for electrical components connected
Indicator 11.b.3
Analyze combination circuits

Benchmark 11.c
Investigate and Understand Electrical Power
Indicator 11.c.1
Measure & analyze current and voltage for electrical system components
Indicator 11.c.2
Calculate dissipated power in circuit elements
Indicator 11.c.3
Apply conservation of charge to explain how objects become charged
Indicator 11.c.4
Explain the relationships: charge, potential energy, potential diff.
Indicator 11.c.5
Perform a cost-analysis to determine the energy usage of circuits
Indicator 11.c.6
Derive expressions for electrical power
Indicator 11.c.7
Describe the concept of internal resistance of an electrical cell

Benchmark 11.d
Investigate and Understand Alternating and Direct Currents
Indicator 11.d.1
Recognize how DC power and AC power are supplied
Indicator 11.d.2
Describe practical applications of circuit design
Standard 12

Benchmark 12.a
Investigate and Understand Wave/Particle Duality
Indicator 12.a.1
Explain and apply the wave/particle duality of light
Indicator 12.a.2
Explain the phenomena that led to the particle/wave duality

Benchmark 12.b
Investigate and Understand Wave Properties of Matter
Indicator 12.b.1
Explain the electron’s rotation around the nucleus as a standing wave

Benchmark 12.c
Investigate and Understand Matter/Energy Equivalence
Indicator 12.c.1
State and apply Einstein's mass-energy equivalence

Benchmark 12.d
Investigate and Understand Quantum Mechanics and Uncertainty
Indicator 12.d.1
Predict the momentum or location of a moving particle
Indicator 12.d.2
Understand the contributions of scientists to quantum mechanics

Benchmark 12.e
Investigate and Understand Relativity
Indicator 12.e.1
Express the general and special theories of relativity
Indicator 12.e.2
Find time dilation and length contraction

Benchmark 12.f
Investigate and Understand Nuclear Physics
Indicator 12.f.1
Describe the processes of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion
Indicator 12.f.2
Distinguish among the four fundamental forces of nature
Indicator 12.f.3
Define mass defect and binding energy
Indicator 12.f.4
Discuss the issues faced by the developers of the atomic bomb

Benchmark 12.g
Investigate and Understand Solid State Physics
Indicator 12.g.1
Explore solid state physics: semiconductors, diodes, transistors

Benchmark 12.h
Investigate and Understand Nanotechnology
Indicator 12.h.1
Provide examples of technologies used to explore the nanoscale

Benchmark 12.i
Investigate and Understand Superconductivity
Indicator 12.i.1
Explore the nature of superconductors and semiconductors

Benchmark 12.j
Investigate and Understand Radioactivity
Indicator 12.j.1
Explain natural radioactivity
Indicator 12.j.2
Determine the half-life of a nuclide from a decay curve

Essential - Standard, benchmark, or indicator from the VDOE Standards of Learning document. In the absence of VDOE standards for a given course, content subject to testing such as AP and IB can be labeled Essential.
Expected - Standard, benchmark, or indicator added by the FCPS Program of Studies to provide a context, a bridge, or an enhancement to the Essential SBIs.
Extended - Standard, benchmark, or indicator added by the FCPS Program of Studies generally used to differentiate instruction for advanced learners (Honors/GT)