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Physics 1

Connie Wells

Connie Wells has a Master of Science Degree in Physics from The University of Kansas and is currently an adjunct instructor of physics at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. She has taught Physics, AP Physics B, AP Physics C and AP Physics 2 at the high school level for over twenty five years. She has been active in test scoring and development for The College Board since 1995, serving on the AP Physics B and C Test Development Committee from 1997-2001. In 2006, Connie was appointed to the AP Physics Redesign Commission and served as Co-Chair of the AP Physics 1 and 2 Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee; she became co-chair of the AP Physics 2 Development Committee from the time it formed until 2015. As a workshop leader and College Board institute consultant, she has presented teacher training institutes throughout the United States and abroad—including Edmonton (AB, Canada), Hawaii, Saipan (Northern Marianas Islands), Barranquilla (Colombia), Bangkok, Skopje (Macedonia), Shanghai, Tokyo, Harbin (China), Taipei (Taiwan), Hangzhou (China),
Beijing, and most recently in Pudong, Shanghai. In August, 2015, she was named Woman Physicist of the Month by the American Physical Society.

Course Description

Participants in this summer institute will have the opportunity to meet and learn from others who are developing Advanced Placement Physics programs in their schools.  Current and aspiring AP Physics 1 teachers will strengthen their knowledge of the subject, become familiar with the AP Physics  program and its changing scope and sequence, and develop laboratory and demonstration materials for use in their own classrooms.  They will come away from the institute with many materials, including the College Board AP Physics packet, tests and solutions from past years, sample course syllabi, and the solutions to the 2022 free response exams. The College Board has developed an extensive array of training materials for AP Classroom, so these will be discussed extensively. Time will be spent working on problem solving techniques and discussing approaches to teaching AP Physics —including the role of vertical teaming, development of a course syllabus, and designing labs and assessments that address higher order thinking skills. Participants will be given the opportunity to work in small groups to model inquiry-based laboratory design increasingly emphasized by the AP Physics courses, selecting the lab work from a variety of options that best fit the teacher’s course needs. Materials for AP Physics 1 will be provided, allowing teachers to select from activities that are most needed for their classrooms. Everyone will develop a course syllabus—either using their existing audit syllabus or starting the framework of a new syllabus. 

In advance of the institute, please do the following:  (1)  Ask your school AP Coordinator or other official to authorize your permissions to your AP course for 2022-23 so you can gain access to AP Classroom. (2) Download a copy of the Course and Exam Descriptions for Physics 1 to your computer. (3) Bring a laptop (optional), calculator, lab notebook (optional), a few tools (optional, such as scissors, screwdrivers, and small hacksaw or PVC cutters.


Day 1

8:00am-9:45am                      Morning Meeting Session I

  • Introductions
  • Institute Goals
  • The AP Physics 1 Course and Exam Description

9:45am-10:00am                    Break                                                       

10:00am-12:00pm                  Morning Meeting Session II

  • Course and Exam Description (CED)
  • Introduction to the basics of AP Classroom, followed by a “live tour”

12:00pm-12:45pm                   Lunch

12:45pm-2:45pm                    Afternoon Meeting Session III

  • Demos related to topics in AP Physics 1
  • Group work on 2022 Free Response exams: After being assigned a group and a problem number, create a poster to show how to work the problem, distribution of points, correlation to LO’s,teaching strategies, related demonstrations or labs used to teach these concepts.

2:45pm-3:00pm                      Break                                                           

3:00pm-4:30 pm                     Afternoon Meeting Session IV

  • Work with your group to finalize your problem presentation


  • On your own, work through all the FR and bring in questions
  • Set up the outline of your Course Plan
  • Select and watch on AP Daily video


  • Confirm with your school administrator that you are approved to teach the course (so audit page will open)
Day 2

8:00am-9:45am                      Morning Meeting Session I        

  • AP Classroom Tour: Evaluations using Personal Progress

Checks, teacher-prepared quizzes, and Topic Questions

  • For more information on how to use Topic Questions:


9:45am-10:00am                   Break

10:00am-12:00pm                  Morning Meeting Session II

  • Finish AP Classroom Tour
  • Discuss test results on Classroom and the Instructional Planning Report [Access? Go to MyAP.collegeboard.org  select AP Exam Scores]
  • Start FR problem presentations as time permits.

12:00pm-12:45pm                  Lunch Break

12:45pm-2:45pm                    Afternoon Meeting Session III

  • Demonstrations for Physics 2 topics
  • Select laboratory experiments to complete in small
  • Equipment is arranged by topic and LO.
  • Complete problem presentations, if needed

2:45pm-3:00pm                          Break

3:00pm-4:30 pm                        Afternoon Meeting Session IV

4:00 p.m. (optional)                        Complete your AP Audit, if necessary.

Day 3

8:00am-9:45am                                  Morning Meeting Session I

  • Access and Equity Discussion: What is your school’s story?

9:45am-10:00am                                Break

10:00am-12:00pm                              Morning Meeting Session II

  • FR presentations
  • Start working in small groups on the assigned MC.

 12:00pm-12:45pm                              Lunch Break

12:45pm-2:45pm                                Afternoon Meeting Session III

  • Construction and testing of PVC Rotational Devices
  • Activities and Demos for P1 and P2
  • Meeting the Laboratory Design and Time Requirements

2:45pm-3:00pm                                   Break

3:00pm-4:30pm                                  Afternoon Meeting Session IV  

  • Construct Photoelectric Effect Viewers and gather data
  • Work on assigned Multiple Choice questions in groups
  • Laboratory Design Investigations


  • Work on the Course Plan
  • Complete MC presentations
  • Prepare Best Practices presentation (optional)
  • Select and view a YouTube Faculty video


Day 4

8:00am-9:45am                                  Morning Meeting Session I

  • Best Practices presentations
  • Discussion of Strategies and Pedagogical Tools                                                

9:45am-10:00am                                Break

10:00am-12:00pm                              Morning Meeting Session II

  • Presentations and Discussion of Multiple Choice

12:00pm-12:45pm                                          Lunch

12:45pm-2:45pm                                Afternoon Meeting Session III

  • Demonstrations and Activities for P1
  • Lesson Plan Discussion in groups and full class

12:45pm-2:45pm                                Afternoon Meeting Session II                                                    

  • Demonstrations and Activities for P2 classrooms                              

2:45pm-3:00pm                                              Break

3:00pm-4:30pm                                  Afternoon Meeting Session IV

  • Reflections Activity
  • Final Q&A
  • Drawings and Evaluation

This course will be assessed a $35 lab fee