Marc Reif

  • College Board endorsed consultant for AP Physics
  • This session is offered in Event 1:June 22-25 as Physics C: Mechanics 
  • This session is offered as Physics C: Mechanics and E&M (Combined) in Event 2: June 28-July 1

Meet your Consultant for AP Physics C: Mechanics and E&M, and read the APSI Online Course Description

Marc Reif teaches science at Fayetteville High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has been teaching AP Physics since 1998 and has presented more than 50 AP and Pre-AP Science workshops in the United States and abroad. Mr. Reif is a member of the AP Physics 2 Outside Working Group, and an Outside Item Writer for AP Physics C. He authored the AP Physics 2 Curriculum Module on Capacitance and has contributed to other AP Physics publications. He is a past chair of the SAT Physics Subject Test Development Committee and a past member of the College Board Science Academic Advisory Committee. Mr. Reif was a reader for the AP Physics exam from 2002 through 2007. He is the current Vice President of Northwest Arkansas STEM, a grassroots professional development effort. In 2002-2003 he worked with Physics Professors at the University of Arkansas reforming physics and education courses as PhysTEC Physics Teacher in Residence. He served as PhysTEC Visiting Master Teacher from 2011 to 2015. Mr. Reif has presented at national meetings of the American Association of Physics Teachers and Teachers Teaching with Technology. In 2016 he was named the recipient of the College Board Southwest Region AP Award. He holds an MAT in science from the University of North Carolina and renewed his National Board Certification in Teaching Science in 2015.

Why should I take this?   This APSI is a fast-paced, intensive introduction to the most important aspects to teaching the course and preparing students for the exams. Teaching both exams for AP Physics C (Mechanics; Electricity and Magnetism) is challenging, rewarding, and fun! My emphasis is on sharing and transmitting the Pedagogical Content Knowledge that we all need to be successful in teaching this course. AP Physics C has the subject matter of a traditional calculus-based physics course, but it is taught to high school students using guided inquiry. The AP exam contains problems that are both mathematically and conceptually difficult, with many traditional, predictable problems but also some surprises.

Who is this for?   This workshop is intended to be especially helpful to new and lightly-experienced teachers, helping them identify the skills and resources they need to be successful in their first years. More experienced teachers will learn new tricks, new labs, new resources and find a chance to collaborate. The content sessions will be split approximately 50/50 over both halves of the exam. Due to time restrictions, I will pick and choose from among the content to hit the most important points of both exam’s content. The content in Electricity and Magnetism is abstract and presents calculus concepts that students don’t encounter in the typical AP Calculus class. The emphasis will be on introducing the major ideas in ways that incorporate Guided Inquiry methodology, a student-friendly conceptual background, and mathematical formality.

This workshop is ideal if you are teaching both courses, or expect eventually to be teaching both courses.* During content sessions we will address both the conceptual underpinnings of the material and the mathematical complexity of the AP Exam. The pace will be brisk, but as much as possible the workshop structure is intended to be collaborative, flexible, and interactive. Teaching both parts of the course can be done in different ways and presents unique challenges. During asynchronous sessions, participants may work individually or in small groups, with a choice of subjects, in order to meet their most immediate needs.

* – Participants who will not be teaching E&M and who are weak on Mechanics content and/or calculus should consider attending a Mechanics-only institute; I am presenting one of those at Walton, and there are some others around the country.

What information unique to this course will be addressed?     There is a lot of content to be covered in 4 days in this workshop! There will be a balance presented between underpinnings for newer teachers and more advanced topics for more experienced teachers. The most difficult topics for students will be emphasized, and will include forces, rotation, oscillation, electrostatics, and the laws that distinguish APCE from other physics courses: Gauss’s Law, Biot-Savart Law, and Ampere’s Law.

I have taught students spanning the range of calculus proficiency, from the occasional student who enrolls with no knowledge of calculus to students who have already completed AP Cal BC when they take AP Physics C. There are options for how you deal with calculus learners, and we will discuss several of them. Resources and ideas will be shared that will allow you to structure your course for whatever level of student you have.

The College Board expects us to teach AP Physics with “Guided Inquiry”. Incorporating inquiry into AP Physics is a teaching skill I have worked on for more than 20 years. Inquiry is not just for the lab, but can be incorporated into most aspects of the course. I will model individual, group, and whole-class guided inquiry activities.

AP Physics C is expected to model a college-level lab approach. There are lots of ways to accomplish this, and it does not necessarily mean using the same approach as you did in college. I will present models for inquiry lab work, including ways to structure whole-class labs. We will work on labs that can be taught in a variety of ways: using traditional meter stick and stopwatch tools, computer-based data collection, video resources, or simulations. If you teach Mechanics in a full year, there is time to have students do projects or do extended labs. We will explore options for interesting, open-ended and student-designed labs, as well as experiment problems and challenges.

Resources Shared    I will share an extensive collection of classroom-ready resources, including “teacher notes,” labs, quizzes, tests, problem sets for group work, and College Board documents. My goal is to connect you to what you need to teach effectively, wherever you are at right now. I will do my best to find what you need, even if I don’t have it ready at hand.

Quotes from 2020 APSI Evaluations

“Marc is an excellent instructor. He shares ideas, best practices, and insights he has learned through his own Professional Development, and through administering professional development to others. He goes out of his way to help teachers have what they need to successfully teach the course.”

“Marc Reif was an excellent instructor, very engaging.”

“The instructor was amazing. He seemed genuinely concerned if participant was struggling with logging in to the class at anytime. He worked well with any technology set back. I think I received more content by learning online.”

“Marc Reif was a great instructor. He was very helpful and had lots of resources to share with us. I really enjoyed taking the course with him.”

See Marc Reif’s blog about Physics Teaching at fysicsfool.wordpress.com