How can I appreciate and understand what I see on a deeper level by studying matter/energy and how it behaves?

Why Take This Course?


Through STEM 8 A, you will realize how many daily activities have physics behind them.

Have you ever tried walking off a balcony with nothing below you? (I bet you haven’t!) Have you waited on a roller coaster as it tipped over the edge of a hill? Ever shocked someone after rubbing your feet on the ground? Don’t think you understand physics? You’re experiencing it every day! Nature makes sure of that. In this Middle School STEM course, students learn to identify the principles of physics through amusement park experiments, superhero tales, and by analyzing their own daily experiences. Students will develop confidence and the basic foundation needed for success in higher level physics courses.

Expedition: Amusement Park Physics

The expedition that drives our study this term is Amusement Park Physics. Through a series of examples, projects and experiments we learn about physics at work in mundane daily tasks and in thrilling roller coaster rides. We also participate in a school-wide science fair competition, applying what we’ve learned to address puzzling problems and demonstrate STEM concepts in action.

Course Framework

Unit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4
How do Scientists think?What are the basic laws of matter and energy?How do we apply physics?How do I put it all together?
How can we know things without directly experiencing them?What kind of projects can I do for the Young Scientist Competition?What is Kinematics?What impressed me about my peers presentations?
What makes a deductive argument valid or invalid?What is the old school of physics?What is Dynamics?What can I learn from watching my peers’ presentations?
What makes an inductive argument sound or unsound?What is the conservation of energy?
How can I use the Scientific Method to further my learning?What is energy?How does Conservation of Energy apply to amusement park physics?

Texts and Materials Students Must Purchase

Bobby MercerJunk Drawer Chemistry
Bobby MercerJunk Drawer Physics


  • Recommended Grade: 8th
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Versions & Estimated Weekly Hours: *Classic: 6 Hours / Honors: 8 Hours
  • Format: Live
  • Credits: 0.5

*Help from parents will be necessary to complete some of these projects. All classes will include supplemental projects and optional readings.

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