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Physical Science Syllabus


Contact Information

            Teacher: Steven (Luke) Barker                      School Phone: (870) 895-3293

            Email:        School Website:


Course Description

Physical Science serves as an introduction into two main branches of science: Physics and Chemistry. Our time in this class will be divided among both of these branches. Physics covers broad subjects such as motion and forces, while chemistry is based on activity at the molecular level.  Physical Science will provide the knowledge, prerequisite skills, and habits of mind needed for problem solving and provide a basic foundation for advanced studies in chemistry. 


Student Expectations

ü  Students are to bring to class daily: textbook (Physical Science: Concepts in Action), 1” (or larger) 3 ring binder, pen (blue or black), pencil with eraser, paper, and calculator.

ü  Students are to follow all lab safety rules and classroom rules at all times!  In addition, all students are required to clean up after themselves and to return all equipment to its proper place after class and lab activities.

ü  Follow directions the first (and only) time they are given.

ü  Students are to hand in all required assignments on time to successfully complete this course.

ü  If you are absent, it is your responsibility to look up any assignments you missed.  Ask a classmate or look in my assignment folder.  You must see me before or after class in order to retrieve any handouts.  Do not ask me once class has started.  For each day you are absent, you get one day to turn in the assignment.

ü  If you are absent for a lab, please see me upon your return to make up the activity.

ü  If you are absent for a test, you must make it up within one week.

ü  If the bell rings, remain in your seat until I dismiss you.

ü  Extra-credit assignments are periodically offered to the entire class but not on an individual basis.


Required Assignments and Grading

All assignments, projects, labs, quizzes, and tests will be given a point value.  To determine your grade, divide your earned points by the total points possible.  There will be a cumulative final exam each semester.  This exam is worth 20% of your grade.


Homework: Assignments must be neat and handed in on the due date.  If the homework is late, you may turn it in the next school day for half credit.  You will not be allowed to retrieve your homework from your locker after the class has started!


Quizzes and Tests: Quizzes will be given periodically throughout each unit.  Most of them will be announced, but there will be surprise quizzes.  For a test, you will be given a one week notice.


Labs, Projects, and Activities: When working during a lab, the safety code must be maintained at all time.  If you choose to put yourself or your classmates in danger, you will receive a zero for the lab.  If this happens, the school’s discipline policy will be enforced.  When given a special project, a complete grading rubric will be handed out to ensure a good understanding of what is expected.  When working in groups, there must be equal participation.  If you choose not to do your fair share, your grade will reflect your effort.


Technology Critiques: Students are required to complete a monthly technology critique on any area dealing with physical science (chemistry or physics) related technology. A critique contains a paragraph summary and a paragraph opinion. Critiques may be turned in at any time during the month and can be turned in months in advance. Each critique is due on the last class day of the month—no excuses! Extra credit will be assessed to each student who turns in all nine critiques (September through May).


Binders: Binders must be in class everyday.  Notes, labs, handouts, and homework should be kept in your binder at all times.  It is very important to keep your binder neat and in-order because you will be receiving a grade for your binder!


Participation: Participation is important!  When you participate, you may be helping other students as well as yourself.  If you feel that you need help, come ask for it!



The following assignments will be graded using a rubric. Each rubric will be reviewed prior to turning in the assignment. All rubrics can be found on my web page or in the rubric organizer in my room. Rubrics can be attached to the front or back of your assignment. The assignment is then placed in the “turn in tray” in my room. Graded assignments can be found in the homework return box on the bookshelf.

·       Lab Reports—a standard rubric is used to grade all lab reports. Please remember to fill out the top of each rubric before turning in your assignment.

·       Notebooks—a list of all required assignments and handouts will be given to you a week or two before the end of the marking period. It is good practice to keep all handouts and assignments in order in your notebook throughout the marking period so when this time arrives, you can easily organize it.

·       Critiques—a simple rubric will be used to grade your monthly technology critique.

·       Projects—depending on the project, a rubric will be used to explain what details are needed to successfully complete it.



Any copied work or plagiarism will result in a zero for the entire assignment.