Learn the Fundamentals of Physics in Your Home, at Your Own Pace

by Linda Pliagas

Science can be very intimidating for some children -- even for adults.

Classroom Classics

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In college, I waited to take physics until the last possible semester because I was so afraid. After a few classes, I shamelessly dropped out of the course. While I take full responsibility for my failure, upon retrospect, I realize it was not entirely all my fault.

Our instructor spoke English with a very heavy accent, making it extremely difficult for me to comprehend the scientific concepts he was dishing out to us at 100 miles per hour. Plus, every time I raised my hand to ask a question, he made me feel as if I were bothering him and holding back the entire class.

After the disappointment and anxiety wore off, I found Classroom 121’s High School Physics DVD Series and made an interesting discovery: Physics is actually fun!

How can it not be fun to learn and understand how the laws of our universe actually work?

If I had known about Classroom 121’s High School Physics’ home-study DVD program in college, I surely would have been able to keep up with the class and would have even passed with flying colors. I’m confident the extra help and clarification I would have received from the series would have enabled me to really grasp the concepts that I found so intimidating.

“Physics is everywhere, it’s in all aspects of our lives,” says Doug Fackelman, M.A. “Our bodies are physics labs in motion,” he says and explains that when we eat, sit, stand and move, we are putting the laws of physics into actual application.

Fackelman has won numerous awards for his teaching excellence. He has over 14 years of experience as a high school physics teacher and currently lives and teaches in Colorado. He has taught conceptual physics, physical science, college prep physics and AP (advanced placement) physics.

The first thing that came to mind when I saw Fackelman on the DVD was the fact that he presents physics unlike anyone I have ever seen: He’s enthused and engaging. He admits that he has a “passion for physics.” He wants his classroom and home-study students to actually think about what they are doing, not merely to memorize concepts and theories and forget about them after they take a test.

If you think physics is boring, then you have to see this. Forget about yawning your way through this series, with his outdoor demonstrations and his vibrant indoor lectures, Mr. Fackelman keeps viewers glued to their seats. His humor and personality make learning enjoyable, plus easy. He presents difficult scientific concepts in layman’s terms and makes it easy for teen and adult learners to understand the physical rules that govern our world.

One of my favorite scenes from the DVD was when Fackelman, in an attempt to explain the law of gravity, leaps forty feet from a tree and slides down a zip line while being supported by a line hook. It’s evident that Fackelman is a dedicated teacher!

In fact, Fackelman is so dedicated that he initially created this series for the sheer benefit of his students. He began to use his DVDs as refresher courses right before an exam or he would offer it to a student as a way for him/her to catch up after being sick or absent.

He then began to think about sharing it with schools that didn’t have a full-time dedicated physics teacher. After he received a compliment from a substitute teacher (the sub used the series and praised it), Fackelman decided it was time to begin mass marketing it to the public. Now his series is being used in schools in Canada and the United States in bilingual, general and advance placement physics courses.

Classroom 121’s DVD series contains 100 DVDs and 100 hours of instruction. Learning physics in the privacy of your home is perfect for those students or adults who may find science intimidating and difficult. The series meets all state standards for education. By learning at home with DVDs, students can go at their own pace and replay as many times as they want, until they fully grasp a concept. Each lesson begins with specific objectives, followed by a conceptual introduction, then a full lecture, and concludes with an example section with numerous examples containing complete step-by-step, worked-out video solutions. Each lesson also includes a quiz and you can print out the example solutions if you need to review.

Classroom 121’s DVD series provides flexibility for parents: They can purchase one lesson, a module or the entire curriculum. The individual DVDs are only $20 each and a parent can pick and choose the ones their child will need most. The series is also divided into different topics and can be purchased in this way. (The Mechanics bundle is $400; Electricity and Magnetism is $250; and the Light and Optics, Thermodynamics and Modern Physics module are only $150 each).

Studying and learning physics has practical aspects to it. Physics is not a random subject that can be simply forgotten after taking a final exam.

Once physics became a subject that I could comprehend, I realized that when one learns the way our world works, the same laws can be directly applied to our everyday life to maximize our potential in both our personal and professional life.

For example, Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Translated into every day life: The more you give to others (by sharing of yourself, your knowledge, and your gifts), the more you will get in return (more opportunities, a promotion, etc…).

Learning and understanding physics helps teens and adults realize the laws that affect our universe, our planet and our lives. Just like how gravity will cause a person who loses his balance to fall, the laws that govern our world, once they are understood, can be directly applied so we can avoid pitfalls.

Physics makes it possible to live a life to the fullest! LP


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