Physics Programs at West Coast Education
We teach physics in a way that no one else does. How can we be so sure? Because we invented the way we teach physics. By struggling through our own physics courses at the university level, we created unique ways of solving equations, conceptualizing physical problems, and representing motion and mechanics. Suddenly, we realized that we were rewriting physics and had managed to make the subject far easier for us than how any one of our own teachers or professors had tried to teach it to us. We were successfully utilizing methods that even the authors of our textbooks either didn't know, or chose not to use. In fact, our approach to teaching physics is so unique that other educators and institutions have hired us in the past to train their teachers, build their resources, and share some of the tips and tricks we have developed to teaching physics successfully.
We now recognize that the main reason physics is challenging for students is that there are simply too many situations that can be modelled for every type of problem. We find that a student can study and practice a concept for weeks, but on the test, if a problem has the smallest curveball, even if the procedure is the exact same, they can be completely thrown off course. For instance, a student can master a type of question with a ferris wheel, but if instead the same question on the test involves a roller coaster, they may have no idea where to start.
Most students in physics find, and this is often confirmed by their teacher, that in order to succeed, they need to do ALL types of questions, over and over again. In a perfect world that may work, but we know that this is a tedious and time-consuming way to have any student learn. With our students juggling several courses and extra-curriculars, there is often not enough time for this approach. This strategy also requires a lot of memory work and memory often fails us, especially in test situations. Besides, physics is unlike any other subject in that there is NO way to really expose a student to ALL types of questions; there are so many real-life applications for every field of physics. Teachers are often innovative when they write tests, resulting in us seeing new questions all the time.
So we adopt a strategy with our physics students where we emphasize that they truly understand only a small, manageable number of concepts, and then we train them to apply those ideas seamlessly, no matter the situation. We treat certain fundamentals and laws of physics the same way math teachers treat times tables, drilling these concepts to the point of fluency. Once students have mastered these basic skills, we find that they develop an incredible natural ability to apply physics to all sorts of situations. At West Coast Education, we recognize that this is a very valuable gift and we are so thrilled to be able to draw on our own personal and professional experiences to provude our students with a life skill that we know is critical for any future education in the sciences, trades, and more!
We encourage you to explore our services pages to learn more about our many programs, and if you want to know more about how West Coast Education is your complete physics solution, take a look at what others have to say about us and contact us to book a free consultation!
Throughout the early sciences, students are introduced to concepts related to physics, incuding motion and forces, gravity, electricity, magnetism, lenses and mirrors, and astronomy. However, we find that students generally retain very little of this knowledge, and when they begin learning physics in more depth in senior high school courses, they have no foundation on which to build the new skills.
We know that physics often seems abstract to younger students, but we also know that it can be taught in a way where children can appreciate it's applications and relate to its usefulness in daily life! Using this attitude, we successfully promote a basic physics skillset in our young students that can be retained and used in the future. This creates students who are naturally open to physics and we guarantee that with our support they will see far more success when they explore physics and other sciences in the future.
Early Physical Sciences
We love when we have the opportunity to work with students in Science 10 because our specialty is ensuring that their first serious experience with physics is not a bad one. By encouraging understanding of concepts, and not just memorization of confusing formulas, we help our students make sense of physics material from day one, so physics never turns into a subject of frustration and tears, the way it was at one point for us.
Science 10 is also a critical period where students begin to make decisions about which areas of science they might be interested in pursuing for their senior science courses, and even for their careers. This is also the time where students begin to doubt whether they can achieve the education and career goals they had set out for themselves, as they gain a concrete understanding of the work and commitment required. We make a point of helping students have a positive experienve with each of the sciences, so that they can make an informed decision about the stream that they enjoy and feel confident with.
We also have all the tips and tools students need to ace the Science 10 provincial exam, almost a quarter of which is made up of the physical study of motion, velocity, and acceleration.
Physical Sciences in Science 10
Physics 11 and 12 are senior level science courses offered in BC. Students in BC require a grade 11 science course for graduation, and for admission to many post-secondary programs, a science 12 is also needed.
Students gain some exposure to what they will be studying in Physics 11 during Science 10. However, the jump from Science 10, to Physics 11, to Physics 12 is something that students often complain about, and in general we would say that Physics is probably the most difficult stream of science in the sense that there is a level of expectation at the beginning of the course that the teacher has of the student: to remember the prior year of material and be ready to jump right in to a more advanced level.
Fortunately, we are experts in not only teaching the material, but helping students to quickly adapt to the expectations, and as a result they see amazing results! We are also skilled in preparing students in early sciences for the future physics courses they will take, as well as administering summer prep programs to help ease the transition for any student starting physics in the fall.
Physics 11 explores motion, dynamics, momentum, work and energy, waves, optics, and depending on the teacher and district, nuclear physics as well. Physics 12 starts off as a continuation of Physics 11 up until work and energy, and then introduces new topics including circular motion, electricity, and magnetism. Both courses are crucial for preparing students looking into careers in engineering and sciences, but the level of difficulty can alienate students who are just trying to get the science credit. We are able to achieve the perfect balance of enriching our students for university physics where applicable, while also ensuring that students who are not as interested in the subject, still have a positive and enriching experience, and get the grade they want and deserve!
Physics 11 and 12
AP Physics, IB, and University level Physics
IB and AP Level physics are two of the more challenging higher level sciences offered at the high school level in BC. The jump from Physics 12 to these courses is a big one, and many students find themselves having bit off a little more than they can chew mid-way through these courses. AP and IB Physics 12 have many topics that the average physics teacher is very unfamilar with. However, since we have experience with physics at the higher university level, this is no problem for us, and we can assist students through every chapter and topic.
We are also experienced in teaching physics and engineering courses at the post-secondary level. Whether you go to UBC, SFU, BCIT, TRU, Douglas, Langara, Capilano, or another insitution, we can help you work through assignments and labs, and can help you prepare for all aspects of your exams!
Online Courses, Continuing Education and Homeschool Programs
At West Coast Education, we are one of the most diverse facilitators of cross-curricular
BC online course tutoring in the Lower Mainland. We have thousands of hours of experience guiding students through distance-learning physics courses, so our students can enjoy all of the perks of flexible, self-paced education, which is especially valuable to our many student athletes, with the added benefit of the structure and facilitation that comes with professional, personalized tutoring and instructional support.
Summer School and Physics Prep
Students are taking more responsibility with their education than we have ever seen in the past, and as a result many choose to continue their schooling in the summer vacation. We help support students through intense summer school courses, facilitate our own online courses with students who register through us, and we also encourage prep for students anticipating difficulty in physics in the coming year, or for those who are just hoping to get ahead. We approach prep in an open and flexible way, so you can tell us what you need, or we can assess the situation ourselves.