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Stage 1 Physics involves the study of the natural world and the underlying principles and forces that govern the universe. The subject requires the interpretation of physical phenomena through the study of motion in two dimensions, gravitational fields, electric and magnetic fields, vibrations and waves and particle physics. The students learn skills in experimentation, analyzing issues, scientific literacy and specific mathematical skills is a focus at stage 1, especially for those seeking to pursue further study of Physics.
In semester 1 students study the principles of motion. Starting with Newtons fundamental laws of motion and extending in into the relationship between force, velocity, acceleration, time, displacement, and in term 2, mass and momentum. Issues involved in best use of satellite technology and space exploration are explored during the unit.
In semester 2 students study electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic waves and nuclear physics. They look at the interaction between fields and their effect on physical objects, superposition is a focus. Students use a range of experiments to observe these interactions and to control or use them where possible. Issues involving nuclear power generation, pollution, dangers of EM radiation, PET scans and both medical and airport x-rays are studied during the unit.
Assessment in Stage 1 Physics is entirely school based. Students undertake tasks within the following:
Skills and Applications tasks 40%
Investigations Folio 60%
Skills and application tasks
The skills and application tasks comprise of 2 tests based on the topics and information covered. Tests are arranged into short answer and extended response questions of approximately equal length and are assessed at the end of each unit.
The Investigations folio consists of one practical report and one issues analysis per semester.
The practical report is conducted during the first term of the semester and allows students to apply knowledge and understanding to design conduct and present scientific information.
The issues analysis is a research based assignment which asks the students to inquire into a contemporary issue of concern or a particular phenomenon related to physics and present alternative views on the issue