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Syllabus / SOP

SOP ~ Physical Science (General and Honors)  

Physical Science (SOP)             Student:  ________________________________________

Prattville High School               Period:  _______

Teacher:  Scott Hethcox 

Phone:    (517 - 6078)

Office Hours: 6:30 - 7:40 am everyday.  This is for any help.  Come prepared with attempted work and questions.

Physical science is an introduction into the study of matter and energy.  We will be exploring both chemistry and physics concepts.  Studying is a must.  I expect my students to study their notes on average 20-30 minutes per night Don’t ask if they have homework, they always have homework.  Set a time aside for expected study.  

(Study tips, Help links, and a link for a site on Studying all subjects can be found on my school web page)

My goals for this class are: 

* Teach how to effectively take notes and study.

* Expand the analytical and critical thought processes of the student.  

* Prepare the student for future classes and tests (i.e. chemistry, physics, ACT)

Parents please understand that this will be a rigorous class.  Along with chapter tests that will reflect the notes derived from the textbook, I have put together a chapter that will cover the various graphs, charts, and analytical reading seen on the ACT science section and other standardized tests.  This will be the second “chapter” of notes for the students.  They will have a Test on this “chapter” and there will be 2 - 3 scheduled quizzes each semester on this material.


Also, unlike most classes, chemistry and physics concepts build on each other from chapter to chapter.

Students must learn the material rather than just memorize.  We incorporate some memorization, math, reading comprehension, and analytical skills.  My focus is to teach the students how to apply the terms, concepts, data, and calculations in critical thinking processes.


In order for the students to achieve as much as they possibly can we must abide by a few rules of conduct. 

1.  All students will demonstrate respect for each other, personal property and the personal space of others.

     I will not tolerate students that disrupt or disturb the students that are doing their best to excel.

2.  Students must be prepared for class each day.  Calculators, pencils, paper, etc… must be with them as they 

     enter the classroom.  No sharing of calculators during tests will be permitted.  I will not lend them

     supplies or let them go to their lockers to get them.  

3.  Homework must be turned in at the beginning of the class period that it is due.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

     I do not accept homework or allow make up quizzes missed do to absence.  

     They will receive an exemption for an excused absence (no grade) or a zero for an unexcused absence. 

4.  An excused absence is required to make up a test.  

     All make up tests should be taken the first morning the student returns to school during my office hours

5.  Cheating will not be tolerated, giving and/or receiving answers will result in a zero for the assignment.

     Cell phones,  iWatches, or any data device (including notes) out during a test will result in a zero.

6.  NO Eating allowed in the classroom.

7.  Attendance is extremely important!

     If a class is missed, it is the responsibility of the student to get notes from a reliable student.

8.  All PHS and ACBOE rules will apply in my classroom.



Syllabus ~ Physical Science  

The following is a general outline of what will be covered during the course:                         

Ch. 0 - Taking Notes & Studying

Ch. 1 - Skills

  •  Terms and Math skills for Physical Science

Ch. 1.5 -  Graphs, Charts, Analytical Reading 

  •   ASPIRE and ACT directed material  

Ch. 2 - Matter

  •   Break down of matter and definitions
  •   Physical and chemical properties
  •   Physical and chemical changes

Ch. 3 – States of Matter

  •   Discuss the Kinetic Theory and its relevance to states of matter
  •   State changes
  •   Phase diagrams and graphs
  •   Explain the concepts of density and bouyancy
  •   Explain Pascal’s Principle
  •   Explain Bernoulli’s Principle
  •   Discuss pressure, Boyle’s Law, Charle’s Law

Ch. 4 – Atoms and the Periodic Table

  •   Know the names and symbols of common elements
  •   Identify the subatomic particles and describe in terms of properties and location
  •   Discuss isotopes
  •   Reading the periodic table (groups, periods, average atomic mass, etc..)
  •   Understand and use the trends of the PT
  •   Lewis dot diagrams

Ch. 5 – The Structure of Matter

  •   Why atoms bond
  •   Compare and contrast ionic and covalent bonding
  •   Compare and contrast polar and non-polar covalent bonds
  •   Determine oxidation states and use to write formulas of compounds
  •   Polyatomic ions
  •   Nomenclature

Ch. 6 – Chemical Reactions 

  •   Explain what role the Laws of the Conservation of Mass and Matter play in balancing equations
  •   Balance chemical equations
  •   Classify reactions 
  •   Endothermic verses Exothermic

 Ch. 7 - Solutions

  •   Components of a solution
  •   Explain the dissolving process
  •   Compare the rate of dissolving between substances
  •   Polar verses Non-polar when dissolving
  •   Solubility and concentration
  •   Types of solutions

Ch. 1- Physical Science and Measurement 

  •   Steps of the Scientific Method         
  •   Law verses Theory
  •   Significant Figures
  •   SI base units and unit conversions    
  •   Derived units            

Ch. 8 – Acids, Bases, and Salts

Ch. 9 – Nuclear Changes


Ch. 10 - Motion 

  •   Describe motion
  •   Calculate:  speed changes, velocity, acceleration
  •   Graphing and interpreting results
  •   Force and velocity relationship
  •   Newtons 1st Law of Motion

Ch. 11 - Forces 

  •   Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion                                          
  •   Explain the relationships between force, mass, acceleration
  •   Explain and identify the relationships between:  friction, air resistance, gravity, weight, momentum
  •   Explain and mathematically justify momentum           
  •   Newtons 3rd Law of Motion

Ch. 12 – Work and Energy 

  •   Law of Conservation of Energy
  •   Distinguish between Kinetic and Potential Energy
  •   Conversion of Kinetic to Potential Energy
  •   Types of Potential Energy
  •   Kinetic Energy formula
  •   Joules

Ch. 13 – Heat and Temperature 

  •   Distinguish between heat and temperature
  •   Define thermal energy                                                    
  •   Explain specific heat  
  •   Calculate specific heat
  •   Explain the 3 methods of the transfer of thermal energy
  • Compare and contrast conductors and insulators

Ch. 14 - Waves

  •   Explain waves in terms of energy and matter
  •   Compare and contrast transverse and compression waves
  •   Define the various parts of a standing (transverse) wave                          
  •   Explain the relationship between wavelength, frequency, amplitude
  •   Compare and contrast constructive and destructive interference


Ch. 15 - Sound and Light

  •   Explain sound waves in terms of compression waves
  •   Explain how the medium effects sound waves
  •   Explain the relationship between temperature and sound
  •   Differentiate between intensity and loudness
  •   Explain the relationship between frequency and pitch
  •   Discuss the Doppler effect

Ch. 16 - Electricity

  •   Describe static electricity in terms of build up and transfer
  •   Compare and contrast conductors and insulators
  •   Explain electric currents in terms of:  circuits, resistance, power 
  •   Describe circuits in terms of Ohm’s Law

Ch. 17 - Magnetism

  •   Explain the cause and effect of magnetic fields
  •   Explain the relationship between electric current and magnetism