• Mr. Douglas Petrick

    Mr. Douglas Petrick

    Physics Teacher, Science Department

    Athletics: Cross Country Coach, Indoor Track and Field Head Coach, Spring Track and Field Head Coach

    Thanks for visiting my USCSD welcome page!  

    Current Teaching Assignments: 
    Teaching physics is very rewarding at Upper St. Clair High School, and I have been teaching at Upper St. Clair High School since Fall of 2002. Currently I teach two different courses- AP Physics 1 and Academic Physics.   
    AP Physics 1 is a course that includes topics both in classical and modern physics. It is equivalent to a first semester college course in algebra-based physics. The content covered in this course will be Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and an introduction to electric circuits. Knowledge of algebra and basic trigonometry is required for the course.
    Performing inquiry-based investigations and understanding of the basic principles involved and the ability to apply these principles in the solution of problems is a major goal of the course. Consequently, the course will utilize guided inquiry and student-centered learning to foster the development of critical thinking skills. This course is focused on a series of learning objectives that clarify the knowledge and the skills students should demonstrate to promote a more engaging and rigorous experience for AP students. Each learning objective combines the physics content with one or more of seven foundational big ideas in physics. Inquiry-based investigations will be emphasized for this course.
    Students will develop and use physics knowledge by applying it to the practice of science inquiry. These investigations will foster student engagement in the practice of science through experimenting, analyzing, making conjectures and arguments, and solving problems in a collaborative setting, where they direct and monitor their progress toward an academic goal. This is a rigorous course with selected lecture times. Benchmark assessments, variable lab times, and mastery model assessment will be used. Inquiry-based investigations and appropriate scientific reasoning will be used as a guide in learning the concepts.
    Students enrolled in the course will be prepared to take the AP Physics 1 Test in the spring.  Throughout the year in AP Physics 1, students will work on skills that are needed to perform on the AP Physics 1 Exam.
    Academic Physics is a course designed to provide an understanding of important physics topics. Physics is the study of the physical world and is the foundation for many principles in other sciences.  Modern technology is provided by the discoveries and innovations developed by physicists. Fundamental theories in physics explain everything from the motion of the galaxy, to the attraction of particles within an atom, to sending a text to a friend. Physics is a relevant and important science that all students should learn.

    The course goals in Academic Physics are...
    To develop critical thinking skills in both problem solving and interpretation of data.
    To develop an understanding of fundamental laws of physics.
    To integrate mathematics (Algebra I & II and basic Trigonometry) with the laws of physics.
    To relate physical concepts to the world in which we live.
    All my sections of AP Physics 1 and Conceptual Physics are taught in room 226.   As a science teacher, my desk resides in room 131 (Science Planning), but my homebase is room 226.  
    Educational Background: 
    Prior to joining Upper St. Clair School District, I worked as an architectural engineer.  My undergraduate degree was earned from Penn State University- Bachelor of Architectural Engineering Degree (specialization in structural design). Upon my graduation from Penn State University in 2000, I spent time as an engineer in the design-construction field.  
    Always interested in education, I decided to pursue a career change by enrolling at California University of Pennsylvania.  In the Spring of 2002, I earned my Master of Arts Teaching degree with certifications to teach Physics and Mathematics at the secondary level from Cal U.  I began my teaching career promptly in the Fall of 2002 at Upper St. Clair High School as a Physics and Mathematics Instructor.
    I currently coach all three sports seasons for Upper St. Clair High School.   During the Fall, I coach Boys and Girls Cross Country with Mrs. Maureen Chermak.  During the Winter, I am Head Coach for the  Co-Ed Indoor Track and Field Teams with Mr. Matthew Cosgrove and Mr. Greg Wagner.  In the Spring, I serve as Head Coach for the Co-ed Outdoor Track and Field Teams.  
    We take a great deal of pride in working with student-athletes and seeing them progress as young men and women.   We have had a great deal of success with athletes during all three seasons in WPIAL competitions and PIAA State Championship events.  I'm excited to help continue to build the culture of these programs and work with an amazing group of USC coaches.
    Additional Activities: 
    As a resident of Upper St. Clair, I am invested in the township as a teacher, coach, parent, and community member.   I enjoy spending time with family when I am not teaching or coaching.   Running, writing, and reading are three of my favorite pursuits.  As a life-long learner, I try to continually evolve in all areas of my life.  
    I have written blogposts and recorded podcasts for The Wiley Network to share my experiences as an educator with others.  Additionally, I have written articles been a podcast guest to discuss my knowledge and experiences with running and coaching.
    Contact Information: 
    The most direct way to contact me is via email:   dpetrick@uscsd.k12.pa.us
    You may also call me at 412-833-1600, extension 2623.    I will do my best to respond to both emails and phone calls in the most efficient manner possible.
    Click on this link to access Canvas, sign in, and navigate to my course pages.  Canvas Sign In Link