Learning Recommendations:

  • Familiarity with the steps in the scientific process, investigative design and basic lab skills.
  • Because of the foundational nature of Physics Laboratory Methods and the role it plays in preparing students for General Physics, we encourage students interested in taking higher level physics courses to take this class.
  • Physics Lab Methods may be taken in conjunction with SCI125 - Chemistry Laboratory Methods as a yearlong course.
  • Concurrent enrollment of MTH100 - Common Core Algebra 1 or higher math level.

General Description: In this semester long course students explore through inquiry the fundamental concepts of physics – such as kinematics, dimensional analysis, applications of Newton’s Laws and energy transformations. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of major concepts will be covered.

Skills taught in this course will provide students with the content and lab techniques necessary to move into higher level physics courses. An emphasis is placed on critical thinking, problem solving and scientific inquiry.

This course fulfills college prep requirements as outlined by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) as a lab-based science course.

Content: Students will be actively engaged in learning and experiencing the following:

  • Kinematics
  • Application and integration of Newton’s laws of motion
  • Various applications of energy and waves
  • Energy transformations in a wide range of experiences
  • Lab safety and the use and care of lab equipment

Skills taught in this course:

  • Fundamental laboratory techniques and lab safety
  • Increased use of metric units and conversion techniques
  • Graphical Analysis and interpretation fundamentals
  • Use of electronic tools for data collection and manipulation
  • Scientific communication and technical writing


  • Inquiry based laboratory work with emphasis on critical analysis of data and student designed experiments
  • Use of electronic tools for data collection and manipulation
  • Demonstrations of scientific principles
  • Student projects, research, and presentations
  • Cooperative learning groups
  • Lecture/discussion

Equipment to be provided by student: colored pencils, basic calculator, three ring binder.