Redlands High School currently teaches three levels of physics. Two of these (Physics and Physics E) are survey courses that are available to all students in good standing. AP Physics is a second year course for students looking to go into math, sciences and engineering for college majors. Each course is briefly described below.
Physics is a year long lab science accepted by the UC and CSU systems. The course surveys the topics of mechanics, thermodynamics, waves, electricity and magnetism and modern physics emphasizing concepts over mathematical problem solving. Students should have completed integrated math 1 or equivalent math class covering the Pythagorian theorem and algebraic manipulation of linear equations prior to enrolling in the class. Students completing the class with a grade of B or better are eligible to take AP Physics the following year.
Physics E is a year long lab science accepted by the UC and CSU systems. The course surveys the topics of mechanics, thermodynamics, waves, electricity and magnetism and modern physics emphasizing mathematical problem solving and well as concepts. Physics E students have a longer weekly homework assignment and more difficult tests than physics students. They also have semester projects. Students should have completed integrated math 2 or equivalent course covering the Pythagorian Theorem and basic right triangle relationships as well as the ability to solve simultaneous equations with an A or B in the course. Students completing the class with a grade of B or better are eligible to take AP Physics the following year. There is no summer assignment for this course.
AP Physics C is a second year course covering only mechanics and assumes that students have completed or are concurrently enrolled in a Calculus class. Labs emphasize students designing, performing and interpreting their own experiments. Several at home projects where students use their physics knowledge to build something or make a calculation. The class has a seven week summer assignment in which students preview Calculus and learn the graphical analysis method that is used in labs throughout the course. This summer homework is part of the first semester grade. The College Board sets the curriculum for these courses and administers tests at the end of the school year for each. Universities and colleges are free to give students whatever credit they deam appropriate for whatever AP score. History has shown that most schools use these tests to select between students for admission but often give the students only elective credit for taking the class and passing the exam.