MA in Physics Areas of Study

WGU Master of Arts in Science Education (5–12, Physics)

The Master of Arts in Science Education (5-12, Physics) is a competency-based degree program that prepares already licensed teachers to be licensed to teach physics in grades 5-12 and provides the opportunity to develop skills in science curriculum development, design, and evaluation. All work in this degree program is online and includes Mathematics Content, General Science Content, Physics Content, and Science Education courses. All students complete a culminating Teacher Performance Assessment.

General Science Content

Integrated Physical Sciences
This course provides students with an overview of the basic principles and unifying ideas of the physical sciences: physics, chemistry, and Earth sciences. Course materials focus on scientific reasoning and practical and everyday applications of physical science concepts to help students integrate conceptual knowledge with practical skills.

General Chemistry I
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include measurement, elements and compounds, properties of matter and energy, the periodic table and chemical nomenclature, quantities in chemistry, chemical reactions, the modern atomic theory, and the chemical bond. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to examine the physical and chemical characteristics of matter.

General Chemistry Laboratory I
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include measurement, elements and compounds, properties of matter and energy, the periodic table and chemical nomenclature, quantities in chemistry, chemical reactions, the modern atomic theory, and the chemical bond. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to examine the physical and chemical characteristics of matter.

Mathematics Content

Precalculus and Calculus
Precalculus and Calculus provides instruction in precalculus and calculus and applies them to examples found in both mathematics and science. Topics in precalculus include principles of trigonometry, mathematical modeling, and logarithmic, exponential, polynomial, and rational functions. Topics in calculus include conceptual knowledge of limit, continuity, differentiability, and integration.

Physics Content

Conceptual Physics
Conceptual Physics provides a broad, conceptual overview of the main principles of physics, including mechanics, thermodynamics, wave motion, modern physics, and electricity and magnetism. Problem-solving activities and laboratory experiments provide students with opportunities to apply these main principles, creating a strong foundation for future studies in physics. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Physics: Mechanics
Physics: Mechanics introduces foundational concepts of mechanics, including motion, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and collisions, rotational motion, static equilibrium, fluids, and oscillation.

Physics: Waves and Optics
Physics: Waves and Optics addresses foundational topics in the physics of waves and optics.Students will study basic wave motion and then apply that knowledge to the study of sound and light with even further applications to optical instruments. They will also learn about thermodynamics and theories governing the physics of gases.

Physics: Electricity and Magnetism
Physics: Electricity and Magnetism addresses principles related to the physics of electricity and magnetism. Students will study electric and magnetic forces and then apply that knowledge to the study of circuits with resistors and electromagnetic induction and waves, focusing on such topics as: Electric charge and electric field, electric currents and resistance, magnetism, electromagnetic induction and Faraday's law, and Maxwell's equation and electromagnetic waves.

Space, Time and Motion
Throughout history, humans have grappled with questions about the origin, workings, and behavior of the universe. This seminar begins with a quick tour of discovery and exploration in physics, from the ancient Greek philosophers on to Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Einstein’s work then serves as the departure point for a detailed look at the properties of motion, time, space, matter, and energy. The course considers Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, his photon hypothesis, wave-particle duality, his General Theory of Relativity and its implications for astrophysics and cosmology, as well as his three-decade quest for a unified field theory. It also looks at Einstein as a social and political figure, and his contributions as a social and political force. Scientist-authored essays, online interaction, videos, and web resources enable learners to trace this historic path of discovery and explore implications of technology for society, energy production in stars, black holes, the Big Bang and the role of the scientist in modern society.

Physics: Content Knowledge
Physics: Content Knowledge covers the advanced content knowledge that a secondary physics teacher is expected to know and understand. Topics include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics and waves, heat and thermodynamics, modern physics, atomic and nuclear structure, the history and nature of science, science technology, and social perspectives.

Science Education

Science, Technology, and Society
Science, Technology, and Society explores the ways in which science influences and is influenced by society and technology. A humanistic and social endeavor, science serves the needs of ever-changing societies by providing methods for observing, questioning, discovering, and communicating information about the physical and natural world. This course prepares educators to explain the nature and history of science, the various applications of science, and the scientific and engineering processes used to conduct investigations, make decisions, and solve problems. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Science Methods
Science Methods provides graduate students seeking additional licensure or endorsement in the sciences for grades 5-12 with an introduction to science teaching methods and laboratory safety training. Course content focuses on designing and teaching with the three dimensions of science: disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices. Laboratory safety training and certification will include the proper use of personal protective equipment and safe laboratory practices and procedures in science classrooms. This course has no prerequisites.

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