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Canadian physics, Maths question

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posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 02:29 PM
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In Canada, what would you expect to be taught in Physics and Maths when you are about 16 - 17 years old ?




posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 04:21 PM
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By 16 and 17, you should have a full grasp of friction, its effect on acceleration and velocity, gravitational forces and how to predict them, a full understanding of how wind turbulence works... lift, drag, etc.
You should also have a good grounding in thermal dynamics at that point, and the option to have a full understanding of radioactive effects on materials.

Am I leaving anything out? Oh yeah, general photonics understanding (light refraction and control).

You should also have an understanding of electricity and how superconductors work and are used in electronic control.

Problem is, I'm part of the old curriculum. So I'm not sure what the new generation is studying.

I can ask my little sister, shes at that age now.

Stupid double cohort curriculum switch almost cost me a place in post secondary.

[edit on 22-4-2006 by johnsky]



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 04:24 PM
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That would be about where an american student would be at in reagrd to physics, at that age I was studying biology as well as chemistry.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 04:52 PM
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I took high school in Canada (Edmonton, to be precise) and am now a few days away from finishing my university degree. 16-17 years old; for me, I turned 16 near the end of grade 10, so this range would represent about grades 11-12.

Grade 11 math, we mostly spent our time working with functions, and how to graph them by hand, usually fairly simple things, like second order (x^2 type) functions or trig functions. Grade 12 math was better, we did some more trig, more complex functions, logarithms, some basic statistics and probability, conic functions, things like that. I also took high school calculus, where we learned limits and derivatives of a single variable, and a little bit of integration.

Grade 11 and 12 physics might be difficult to separate in my mind, since I had the same teacher for both (plus I think they rearranged the curriculum right before and after I took them) but the content, I think, is still similar, it just might be presented in a different order. We did basic mechanics, with velocity and acceleration, newton's laws, that sort of thing. A bit of simple optics; mirrors and lenses and index of refraction. Some simple electric circuits, a bit on electric and magnetic fields and forces. (like coulomb's law, lorentz force, etc) We did the concepts of work and energy. Near the end of grade 12 physics, we did a bunch of nuclear/atomic physics stuff, like E=mc^2, planck quantization of energy E=hf, radiation and particle decay; some of that stuff I had felt was more like chemistry than physics, but it was still interesting nonetheless.

One important note is that our physics was non-calculus based. (although, naturally, most/all of what we did was derived from calculus; we just didn't know it at the time!) Also, my sister, who took high school math a few years later (she is 5 years younger than me) found that the math courses had been dumbed down quite a bit; they just did everything on graphing calculators, and her class couldn't even plot the basic functions that I learned at the beginning of the course.

When I took those courses (math 20, math 30, math 31, physics 20, physics 30) I didn't have much trouble with them, for the most part. A few concepts in physics, like the optics, gave me some trouble in high school, though I have since taken a fourth year course in optics at university and got A-, so I don't have trouble with it anymore, lol. I also had trouble with some of the electric circuits stuff, yet somehow decided that electrical engineering would be a good choice; perhaps my motivation to learn that stuff was higher in university, since I now know it quite well. (I wouldn't be graduating this term otherwise, I don't think)

Here's a website from a local high school (not mine) that has some stuff about the diploma exams. (what we call the exams for a core grade 12 course) www.melazerte.com... When I went there, they said the website would be down for the 21st/22nd, so maybe wait a few days before checking it out. It has a bunch of study material and past exams, so you can see what they are teaching now. (as opposed to what they were teaching in 1998/99, as I described above, when I was 16/17.)

Here's a link to a set of course descriptions for my old high school for the coming academic year. www.ainlay.ca... I looked through the math and physics sections, and they have changed somewhat, in both good and bad ways, but seem to be substantially the same, except for the division of the math curriculum into 'pure' and 'applied' math streams, which did not exist for my year. I notice in particular a few subjects in 'math 30 applied' that I did not study in high school, like matrices. (which would have helped a LOT in my first year of university!) The physics seems to be virtually identical to what I did in those two years, only, like I said, they have shuffled some stuff from grade 12 to 11, and vice versa, and they mention using a lot of practical examples, which we didn't have when I took it.

Yeah, so that is my incredibly long-winded answer to your question. It's always nice when somebody here asks something I have direct experience with; it makes it so easy to answer



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 06:11 PM
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Yep, I asked my little sister. They've done the same thing with her curriculum.

Hand graphing is out, graphing calculators are in.

By the sounds of it, the physics are pretty much the same thing now as they were back when I was in high school.



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 02:59 AM
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thanks a lot


I currently am doing my IGCSE's. This is an british exam board. I just wanted to compare the syllabus we do, to the one you guys did in Canada because i have a feeling we are behind. Recently I looked at a class 11 book for physics that is used in India, and I was totally shocked. That stuff was hard, I could hardly do any questions. They had questions like : how much work had to be done to assemble the Earth to its current diameter ?
They even had to use integration and some differentiation to do some of the physics questions. It was quite disturbing to look at that book. It gave me a feeling of foolishness.

We do topics like : momentum, work - energy - power, pressure, thermal capacity, basic circuits, a little bit of electronics ( transistors, capacitors, diodes), radioactivity (uses, half - life), light (refraction, diffraction).

In maths I do topics like : matrices, differentiation basics, integration basics, vectors, trigonometry ( upto trig identities), Permutations and combinations, Binomial theorem, Sets, quadratic equations, logarithms.




posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 12:20 PM
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Ok it sounds like you are slightly ahead of what we did in Canada, then. In high school, I never did any transistors/capacitors/diodes in physics. I've done tons of it by now, though, given that I'm studying electrical engineering. The physics otherwise sounds like what I did in high school, although I did discover when I went to university (I took a year off between high school and university) that the study of momentum was discontinued after the year I took grade 12; my year-younger classmates had no clue what it was in university. The math also sounds like what I did in high school, except that I didn't do matrices.


Recently I looked at a class 11 book for physics that is used in India, and I was totally shocked. That stuff was hard, I could hardly do any questions. They had questions like : how much work had to be done to assemble the Earth to its current diameter ?


Yikes, that sounds like something from first year university, here. I'd be very interested in seeing that Indian physics book, or at least a similar one, to see what they are doing for myself.



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by siddharthsma
thanks a lot


I currently am doing my IGCSE's. This is an british exam board. I just wanted to compare the syllabus we do, to the one you guys did in Canada because i have a feeling we are behind. Recently I looked at a class 11 book for physics that is used in India, and I was totally shocked. That stuff was hard, I could hardly do any questions. They had questions like : how much work had to be done to assemble the Earth to its current diameter ?
They even had to use integration and some differentiation to do some of the physics questions. It was quite disturbing to look at that book. It gave me a feeling of foolishness.

We do topics like : momentum, work - energy - power, pressure, thermal capacity, basic circuits, a little bit of electronics ( transistors, capacitors, diodes), radioactivity (uses, half - life), light (refraction, diffraction).

In maths I do topics like : matrices, differentiation basics, integration basics, vectors, trigonometry ( upto trig identities), Permutations and combinations, Binomial theorem, Sets, quadratic equations, logarithms.



Since you are in the British school system, I would like to know how an HnC or HnD compare with a full fledge engineering degree ?

Thanks in advance.



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 03:37 PM
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Ok it sounds like you are slightly ahead of what we did in Canada, then. In high school, I never did any transistors/capacitors/diodes in physics.


You didnt?! Are you new curriculum or old curriculum... I'm old curriculum, and we studied that...

... perhaps our learning curve wasnt standardised across canada?

One would think that they would standardise the education so that everyone gets an equal education eh?



posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 09:53 AM
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What is an HnB and HnC when compare to a degree ?


Sorry, I have never heard of HnB or HnC before


I have not really thought much about University yet, as I haven't even done my IGCSE's, or Ordinary level. IGCSE is the Cambridge system. I have my IGCSE's in 2 days !!



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