Physical Science Lab Skills

Physical Science Lab Skills Syllabus

Instructor: Mr. Andy Stephens
Class Website:
Credits: 1.0

Course Description

This course holds many exciting adventures in science. During this academic year, you will learn how to apply scientific processes to analyze and solve problems by interpreting scientific data and drawing logical conclusions. The class will be unique in that the concepts learned can be widely applied to real life. Emphasis will be on developing process laboratory skills including data collection & analysis, evaluation of information, and oral & written communication of experimental results. In addition to lab work, we will learn about the following units.
  1. Nature of Science
  2. Introduction to Physics
  3. Introduction to Chemistry


Be in high school!


  1. Develop an awareness of the nature of science to understand how we know what we know.
  2. Safely design and execute experiments using appropriate technology to increase knowledge of the world around us.
  3. Communicate and evaluate scientific knowledge related to physical science.


  1. Schoology Account-Join our class using a teacher provided class code. This is where you will turn in all of your assignments.

  2. Google account-

  3. Charged computer

  4. Good Attitude-We will spend 60 hours together in class and are working together to create the best experience for everyone.

  5. Some organized way of taking notes


  1. Work hard.
  2. Follow New Vista's Core Values.
    • Practice respect-Be helpful, be kind, value differences, don't swear.
    • Its about teaching and learning
      • Students-Attend, engage, and pass with B's or better
      • Teachers-Make it interesting and interactive
    • Support each other-Positive encouragement for everyone, use confidentiality and emotional support
    • Keep school and school activities substance free
    • Have fun together
    • Participate-Make these values real everyday, become members of the community; plan, organize, and be on communities
  3. Cell Phones-Cell phones should remain out of site during class time.  If you take out your cell phone during class without permission it will be confiscated until the end of class.
  4. Music-Music players (mp3, iPod, etc) should remain out of site during class time.  If you take out your music player during class without permission it will be confiscated until the end of class.
  5. Tardy-If you arrive late, please write your name on the board and the number of minutes late you arrived. You will stay after class to help clean up, organize the class, or put up chairs during break or after class ends.
  6. Absence-YOU are responsible for making up the work you miss, don't wait, use the website.
  7. Food-Healthy food may be consumed during non-lab activities in the classroom as long as it does not distract from anyone's learning or teaching.  Examples of healthy food include: fruits, vegetables, and sandwiches.  Examples of unhealthy food include: candy, soda, and twinkies.  If you are unsure about whether a type of food is healthy, ask.  
  8. Leaving Class-I expect you to stay in class unless it is an emergency or you are meeting with school faculty or staff.  However, I understand that you may need to use the restroom during class time, get a drink, or take a quick walk.  Therefore, I will give you twenty extra credit points per quarter which can be spent on leaving class at a cost of 5 points per trip.  You can keep the extra credit, spend 20, or incurr a debt, its up to you.


Category Percent
Labwork/Fieldwork1 25%
Tests/Quizzes2 25%
In Class/Projects3 25%
HW/Participation4 25%

1. The major assignments in this category are lab reports. Two students will be randomly selected one day prior to the report due date to present their lab reports to the class. Every student will present once per quarter. The presentation is worth the equivalent of one lab report grade-30 points.

2. Each student is allowed to use one page of original notes on unit tests.Tests will be self-reviewed in class using red pen only. This exercise increases retention of information and confronts misconceptions. Your complete academic honesty is expected. If you fail to meet this expectation you will fail said test.

3. The major assignment in this category is the class website. You will make a web page for each unit, peer review it, and it will be worth 40 points each time.

4. The major assignment in this category is a participation self evaluation.

A A- B+ B B- C+* C* C-* IP*
93-100% 90-92% 87-89% 83-86% 80-82% 77-79% 73-76% 70-72% 60-69%
*C's, D's, and IP's are not passing at New Vista

An A means the student has completed proficient work on all course content standards and class requirements, and advanced work on some course content standards and class requirements.

A B means that the student has completed proficient work on all course content standards and class requirements

A C means that the student has completed proficient work on some, but not all, of the course content standards and class requirements.  For continuing classes a student has demonstrated enough proficiency to continue on to the next level.

A C minus means that the student has completed partially proficient work on the course content standards and class requirements.  For sequential classes a student may not continue on to the next level.

An IP means that the student has demonstrated insufficient progress in course content standards and class requirements.

Updated grades are posted on infinite campus.

Late Work

Work is accepted on time with no penalty. Deadlines are two weeks after the due date. Work is accepted after the due date but before the deadline with a 10% penalty.

Students who miss school due to excused absences are allotted the number of missed days to make up the assigned work. This does not apply to group projects.

If at the end of the grading period for the course you have earned a grade below a B, you have not met expectations. If there were extenuating circumstances that prevented you from meeting expectations you may write a typed one page request for an extension that outlines why you deserve more time, a list of your missing work, a timeline of when you will turn in each assignment and a signature from a parent/guardian. Such requests will be considered if received by the end of that quarter’s exhibition day.

Academic Honesty

Cheating will earn you a zero on the assignment/test on which you cheated. If you purposefully give away your work to cheaters you will also receive a zero. No make up work will be given. Often times it is more difficult to cheat than to learn. Just learn, it is more fun.

Letter of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are an important component of college admissions and I love writing letters of recommendation for students who excel in my classes. However, these letters do take time and must be revised so that I can make you sound as awesome as you are. Therefore I have developed some guidelines:

  1. Ask me in person.
  2. Give me at least 7 full days of notice before the due date.
  3. Complete a one page resume in which you answer the questions I am asked and include personal highlights you want me to hit upon.
  4. Give me all of the paperwork with self-addressed and stamped envelopes.
  5. Don't ask me if you have proven unworthy in my classes.