AP Science Practices

These are the 7 essential science practices put forth by AP central that all AP science students should work towards understanding. These basic practices will be developed throughout any AP science course (physics, chemistry, biology) and will be tested in some way on any AP science exam. A practice is a way to coordinate knowledge and skills in order to accomplish a goal or task.
  1. The student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems. 
  2. The student can use mathematics appropriately. 
  3. The student can engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course. 
  4. The student can plan and implement data collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question. (Note: Data can be collected from many different sources, e.g., investigations, scientific observations, the findings of others, historic reconstruction and/or archived data.) 
  5. The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence. 
  6. The student can work with scientific explanations and theories. 
  7. The student is able to connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts and representations in and across domains. 


The Physics 1 and 2 course content is based around 7 "Big Ideas" as given below.
  1. Big idea 1: Objects and systems have properties such as mass and charge. Systems may have internal structure.
  2. Big idea 2: Fields existing in space can be used to explain interactions.
  3. Big idea 3:  e interactions of an object with other objects can be described by forces.
  4. Big idea 4: Interactions between systems can result in changes in those systems.
  5. Big idea 5: Changes that occur as a result of interactions are constrained by conservation laws.
  6. Big idea 6: Waves can transfer energy and momentum from one location to another without the permanent transfer of mass and serve as a mathematical model for the description of other phenomena.
  7. Big idea 7:  Thee mathematics of probability can be used to describe the behavior of complex systems and to interpret the behavior of quantum mechanical systems.

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