Saturday, March 10, 2012

Invitations to AP Physics

As you can see from the post below, I'm not shy about marketing my Physics course.

While I do my best to blanket the school with my "Physics—you don't want to miss it" ads, I market our AP Physics course only to those enrolled in Physics.

My course is AP Physics B, and I teach it as a second year course. (Just like AP Biology is a second year course and AP Chemitry is a second year course and AP Physics B is designed to be a second year course.) So the only real market for my AP Physics pitch is my Physics students.

I also like to let my top Physics students know that they should consider enrolling in AP Physics. You'd be surprised how many top-performing Physics students hadn't even considered AP Physics.

For several years, I have prepared a list of top performers and then sent each one a personalized invitation to AP Physics. I do not give them the invitations in class. Rather, I ask the student aides in the school's main office to deliver them during my prep period.

That way, each invitee's accomplishment is made known to another teacher, and the invitation creates a stir in the non-physics classroom. Well-earned pride is allowed to beam, and I get nice comments from colleagues about what a nice gesture it is and what a great student the invitee is.

When I found out that AP Physics wouldn't run without at least 32 students last year, I put my invitation program on hiatus. But it went back into action on Thursday as we ramp up for 2012-13.

We have had AP Bio and AP Phyz at Rio since I came to the school in 1986. AP Chemistry was added in the 1990s. We will offer AP Environmental Science next year. So there is reason to wonder if there is enough of a market to sustain AP Physics. We shall see.

This year's AP Physics Invitation.


Julia (Cuny) Meyer said...

I hope you get enough students. Elly has been talking it up to her friends, STRONGLY hinting they should take it next year.

Kurt Zeppetello said...

Invitations sounds like a great way to get students. We already had our course selection last month at at Seymour HS in CT. We would be lucky if any our AP Science classes have over 20 students. We started with AP Bio 4 yrs ago then AP Environmental was offered once 3 yrs ago and has not run since. We have never run AP Physics. AP chem was first offered last year with 13 students and this year I have 10 students. Supposedly we are running AP Bio, AP Env, and AP Chem next year but I am not confident of the numbers, at least for the Chem. I need to attract more students...
Your school must have large student body in order to require such a large number of students to run the course. Good luck!

Lincoln Physics said...

Thank you for your post. We have been promoting Physics classes at Lincoln HS in East LA for a few years now. We went from four sections to eleven. I was lucky that we did not get resistance from our science department. Our colleagues were very supportive. I will be trying a team-teaching experiment next year with 9th grade Algebra 1 students. Not "conceptual physics" (whatever that is), but algebra-based, introductory, HS Physics (CA standards-based Physics). The algebra will need to be scaffolded, but this will be a class that will bolster these students' algebra skills while giving them a foundation to continue into chemistry and biology. Basically, "Physics First" with coordination with their math teacher.
I believe that no student should graduate HS without Physics. Period.
Thank you for all of your Phyz resources!