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BHS Physics Department
My son is considering taking AP physics next year as a Senior. I have some vague memories of hearing through the grapevine that this can be a killer class. I've looked through the archives and find 2 comments from BHS science teachers that no longer teach there.
Can anyone give me any input about the class from the last year or two? How did your student do? Did they enjoy the class and learn a lot? Was it too intense? How much time did they spend on homework?
Does anyone know which teacher(s) teach it? If yes, do you have any feedback?
My son is doing well in AP Chemistry this year w/ Mr. Glimme and is taking Honors Math Analysis which is a bit of a challenge for him. In college he may major in math or some field of science.
We're also interested in info on AP Environmental Science classes.
Many thanks in advance! a BHS mom
Mr. Salser says AP Physics is one of the hardest classes at BHS, but if your son likes math and likes to work hard, he should take it. One thing to know is that once you're in an AP class, it is next to impossible to get out of it.
I don't know much about AP Environnmental Science, but his friends taking the class say there is a lot of busy work.
Ap Physics has hours of homework a night, a 7:30 am lab, and
tests every two or three weeks, but I think the majority of
the students would say it's worth it.
If your student is interested in math/science in college I would find
out which level of Physics gets the best teacher next year and take that one --
my daughter finally had an o.k. Physics experience by taking it freshman
year in college.
Sorry not to be more encouraging, but that's what happened with my
More Impressed with Other Courses
In reply to the woman seeking an inspiring tutor for Berkeley High physics:
I'm a physics teacher at Berkeley High School, and the short answer to your question is easy: if you need a tutor, check with the excellent UCB Parents group recommendations here
Also, physics teacher Steve Salser is often available for free tutoring up in the school's Student Learning Center on the 4th floor of the C-Building.
A longer answer is this: Occasionally, students feel that they need a tutor because the material appears to be so difficult, but private tutoring isn't always necessary. Physics is notoriously challenging for students at all levels, and if your daughter is having difficulties or feeling overwhelmed by the material, she is definitely not alone! All the usual strategies for doing well in a difficult course should be applied here: show up to class and show up on time, pay close attention during classroom lectures and discussions, have a well-organized notebook in which to keep your work, take good notes on everything that happens in class, including examples and demonstrations, don't be afraid to ask questions during the lecture, do the homework, be prepared to ask questions about any homework problems you can't do, turn in work on time, find a "study buddy" or 3, etc.
Many students find the first 6-8 weeks of physics the most difficult. It's not that the material is that hard, but looking at the world "through physics glasses" takes a little getting used to. There is an adjustment period at the beginning of the year that ALL students go through, and she shouldn't feel that she's alone in that process.
Most importantly, if she hasn't done so already, I would strongly encourage her to talk with her teacher about her feelings (especially if I'M her teacher!)
Hope this helps...
Physics, AP Physics
Berkeley High School
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