Starting this year, the AP Physics course changed from a one year course to a two year course.
Due to this change in the course, juniors are now able to take AP Physics 1 and take AP Physics 2 in senior year if they want to.
According to AP Physics teacher Andrew Vitek, AP Physics 1 is very difficult class. On the first day of school, he showed the AP Physics 1 students a list of the hardest AP tests. The easiest test on the list was AP Calculus BC, while the hardest was AP Physics 1.
Junior Nicholas Kanno, who is enrolled in AP Physics 1, says, “[The class] has a lot of independent work so if you struggle, you have to go in on your on time to ask questions. Because it’s a lot of independent work, it’s a lot like a college course.”
Senior Nicole Burgess, who had not taken any Physics courses before taking AP Physics 1 this year, says, “I think that the class is extremely difficult material wise. Since I didn’t take Physics in my Junior year, the concepts are hard for me to grasp. As for the Math part, I think that it is relatively easy since I enjoy math.”
Vitek does his best to make the class fun and interesting, but he teaches with a serious attitude. Kanno states, “He teaches very well. He knows his concepts very well and gives specific examples in each case.” Burgess adds, “I think that Mr. Vitek is an amazing teacher. He makes the material relatable and applicable to our everyday life, which I enjoy. Also, he livens up the class and makes AP Physics an enjoyable class to come to.”
Senior Blaise Takushi also credits Vitek with making the difficult course more accessible. “Mr. Vitek knows the material really well,” Takushi says, “and he pushes us so that we not only can do the problems but understand the concepts.”
AP Physics 1 covers concepts such as gravity and how all objects fall at the same rate due to gravity. An example used in the class is if a cat falls out of a tree and you want to shoot it, you shoot directly at the cat instead of shooting under the cat to hit it, because the bullet is also falling at the same rate as the cat. Students also examine the differences between mass and weight.
Like all other AP classes, AP Physics 1 has a heavy homework load. Vitek recommends to his AP students they they work on homework for one to two hours a day. It takes Kanno and Burgess each an hour to hour and a half to finish their homework. Takushi says, “We have homework daily, at least one assignment per night and it takes me at least an hour to do the homework.”