• Mrs. Tracy L. Smith

    AP Physics 1 Teacher
    IB Physics SL & HL Teacher

     

    Background:

    I have a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University, a Master of Science in Automotive Systems Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Michigan.   During my time in college, I had the opportunity to gain valuable work experience at Delphi Packard Electric Systems and NASA Langley Research Center.  Once I graduated from college, an appreciation of engineering and physics in real world applications led to my employment at DaimlerChrysler as a product engineer.  After spending several years in the automotive industry, I decided to integrate my passion for science/engineering and teaching and started my career as an educator at Upper St. Clair High School in 2003.  

    Feel Free to contact me at:
    Phone: 412.833.1600 X2650
    Email: tsmith@uscsd.k12.pa.us

    Courses Taught:

    AP PHYSICS 1

    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.
     

    IB PHYSICS SL

    The Diploma Program physics course allows students to develop traditional practical skills and techniques and increase facility in the use of mathematics, which is the language of physics. It also allows students to develop interpersonal skills and information and communication technology skills, which are essential in modern scientific endeavor and are important life-enhancing transferable skills in their own right. This course is a one-year course. Preparation for the IB Physics Standard Level test is a priority. Students enrolled in this course must take the IB exam at their own expense.

    IB PHYSICS HL1 (HIGHER LEVEL- 11TH GRADE OF TWO YEAR COURSE)
    IB PHYSICS HL2 (HIGHER LEVEL - 12TH GRADE OF TWO YEAR COURSE)
    The Diploma Program physics course allows students to develop traditional practical skills and techniques and increase facility in the use of mathematics, which is the language of physics. It also allows students to develop interpersonal skills and information and communication technology skills, which are essential in modern scientific endeavor and are important life-enhancing, transferable skills in their own right. This course is a two-year course. Year is in conjunction with the IB Physics SL course. Year two will review year one material and cover the remainder of the topics. Preparation for the IB Physics Higher Level test at the end of year two is a priority. Students enrolled in these courses must take the IB exam at their own expense.