More Physics, Please: Course Spawned by Student Interest

Not long ago, CA Advanced Placement Physics students at Colorado Academy, Meg Bost, Nick Fahrenkrog, and Jared Moskowitz (Class of 2013) approached a faculty member and made a request:  having successfully completed a challenging college-level physics course and having mastered a number of advanced topics, they were ready for more. The students proposed an independent study course of AP Physics C, a calculus-based physics curriculum that studies Newtonian mechanics, electricity, and magnetism, and that mirrors coursework required of undergraduate science and engineering majors.

Fewer than 40,000 high school students worldwide complete AP Physics C. Says instructor Holley McBroom, “Only the truly ambitious would consider it as an independent study.” Because of those students, the course was offered last year, and now, AP Physics C has become part of CA’s Upper School science curriculum, with 15 students enrolled for the fall.

McBroom honored the students with the school’s Achievement in Science Award at the end of the last school year saying, “Through their insatiable scientific curiosity and love of learning, [these students] have made a significant impact on CA’s US physics curriculum, establishing a program that will serve CA students for years to come.”

“That is in part,” says McBroom, “the beauty of a small independent school where students can both discover and pursue their interests.”