Quest for Education and Arts
Provides unique and experiential education opportunities through collaboration with community experts and use of emerging technology to offer the best possible training for every student.

Jr. Physics

Contact Info:

Valerie Clapero


Class Syllabus

EngradePro Info

How to Login to engradepro:

  1. Go to
  2. Type the username (provided in the email)
  3. Type the password (provided in the email)
  4. I have registered all students enrolled in my classes on engradepro.   
  5. Select one of the classes.
  6. It will show you the grade thus far as well as any assignments that we have done together in class.  

** If you need a login or password, let me know and I will arrange for it to be sent on to you.  

How do I change my password?

  1. Click on the little grey person in the right hand corner.
  2. Select "Manage Account"
  3. Type your new password and confirm that password
  4. Type in your old password.

Optional Brain Builders:

  • Attend the Science Fair and tell me about one exhibit that was interesting to you.  (10 points)
  • Participate in the Science Fair and complete a Science Fair project. (50 points)
  • Independently complete a "Super Baseball Science" experiment using different types of balls.  Record your observations and return your lab sheet to class.  Remember, those balls roll awfully far, so you will need a long patio/flat space to complete your experiment.  (20 points)

Optional Brain Builders:

  • Create your own "Inertia Tower" at home.  Use cups, or blocks, or other stackable objects.  Place a 3 x 5 card between the objects and quickly remove the card (just like we did in class).  See how many objects you can keep on the tower as you remove the cards.  Take a picture and email it to me for an automatic 10 points.
  • Science Fair will be held the week of February 20th.  Students with a shining, well prepared project will receive 50 points extra credit.  All participants should check in with Dr. Thai as soon as possible to ensure that your project is off to a good start and will represent your brilliance well at the Science Fair.  
  • Mark your calendars for February 21 and 22.  That is Science Fair week!  The Science Fair will be held at the Desert Museum.  Any student attending the Science Fair will receive 10 points extra credit when they tell me about one amazing exhibit that they saw while touring the Science Fair.

Optional Brain Builders:

Optional Brain Builders:

  • Prepare a project for the science fair.  This is worth 50 additional extra credit points.

Homework due 5/1

Our last QUEST Class will be held on 5/1.  I can hardly believe it!  Thank you for sharing this year with me!

  1. At the beginning of the year we started a KWL.  Bring it with you to class or print out another copy.  You will need to write 25 things that you learned or observed in our time together in class.  Do not write them down until you have come to class. (50 Test/Quiz points)
  2. Complete your Rube Goldberg Machine.  Email me any videos before 4/29.  You will present your machine to the class on 5/1.  I can't wait to see them!
  3. If you were unable to complete your Mechanical Advantage Quiz in class, finish it this week and turn it in on 5/1.  

Kids that were absent on 4/24... OPTIONAL

We completed an in class Mechanical Advantage Quiz together.  If you are able, please complete the activity.  You can use the PowerPoint presentation to help you better understand mechanical advantage. 

Homework due 4/24

  1. Work on your Rube Goldberg Machine project.  See instructions in yellow boxes from several weeks ago.  Projects will be due 5/1.  (50 - Test/Quiz points).  Here are some Rube Goldberg Machine Ideas to help you get started.
  2. Organize your notebook.  We will have a notebook check next week 4/24.  You should have your lab sheets, reading sheets, and writing assignments organized.  I don't care so much about perfect organization, but that you have your resources collected and organized from early assignments (at the front of the notebook) to later assignments (at the back of the notebook).  All pages should be hole punched and in the binder.  (20 points - Homework points)
  3. Print and read the reading sheets on pulleys , wheel and axle , and inclined plane.  Add them to your notebook.

Homework due 4/17

Happy Easter!  No homework! 

Homework due 4/10

  1. Read the Pulley Reading Sheet (attached).  Print and add to your notebook.

Looking Ahead:


Dum-Dum Question:

These two parts act as one simple machine.  They roll and are found on cars, bicycles, and wheelbarrows.  What are they?

Homework due 4/3

  1. Complete the Catapult Challenge worksheets (from class), pages 1-4.  On page 4, rank the distances of each of the catapult throws (1st place, 2nd place... so on and so forth). (20 Homework points/20 Lab Sheet points)
  2. Read Simple Machines
  3. Watch Science Trek - Simple Machines

** FINAL PROJECT:  Your final project will be a "Rube Goldberg Machine."  A Rube Goldberg machine is a machine that uses an extremely complicated process to complete a simple task.  You must use at least 3 simple machines in your project.  An instruction sheet will be coming in the weeks to come, but start thinking of a plan or some machines that you would like to include in your project.  Sibling groups and friends CAN work together on the project. 100 Test/Quiz Points


Dum-Dum Question:

Which group number had their projectile distance to the furthest distance?

Homework due 3/27

  1. 11-13 Year Olds:  Complete your Sir Isaac Newton Writing Assignment.  Take your time and do your very best.  This is worth 50 Quiz points.  Instructions are attached in an earlier yellow boxes posting.
  2. Complete page 1 of the Catapult Challenge (printable from last week).  Add it to your notebook.
  3. Watch Levers
  4. Print out "Meet the Levers".  Read it and add it to your notebook.
  5. Print out the levers worksheet.  Complete it and have it ready to turn in next week.

** Check  If you have any missing assignments, complete those assignments.  Check your notebook to see if maybe you completed the assignments, but forgot to turn them in.

** If you haven't already, take the projectile reading quiz on engradepro.  You can use your reading sheet to help you answer the questions.  

Dum-Dum Question:

Complete your lever worksheet.  You give me the worksheet and I will give you a 3x5 card for the dum-dum drawing.

Homework due 3/20

  1. 11-13 Year Olds:  Work on your Sir Isaac Newton Essay.  I have extended the due date until March 27th.  This is worth 50 points, so take your time and do quality work.
  2. Print out Catapult Challenge (attached).  Bring it with you to class next week. 


  • Get outside!
  • Run and play!  
  • Build a Lego creation!
  • Explore!
  • Go admire some wildflowers!
  • Bake cookies!
  • Play a game!

Homework due 3/13

  1. We will be measuring trajectory next week so get your graph paper set up and ready to go (just like we did in class).  There is a printout to help you remember how to set the graph up.  
  2. 11-13 Year Olds:  Collect facts about Sir Isaac Newton and his Laws of Motion.  Add those facts into your bubble web that we worked on together in class.  Bring the web with you to class on 3/13.  We will start the writing process together next week.

Dum-Dum Question:

What is one example of a projectile?

Homework due 3/6

  1. Read Projectile Motion Reading Sheet.  Take the engradepro Projectile Motion Reading Quiz.  You can use your reading sheet to help you answer the questions.
  2. Print 3 sheets of graph paper.  Bring it with you to class next week.
  3. 11-13 year olds (Bonus Points for Anyone Else):  

We will be working on a writing project for several weeks.  At the end of each class, we will have break out sessions where we can talk through organizing the your writing.  Print out "Laws of Motion Writing" Instructions and add it to your notebook.   To help in planning your writing, print out 4 sheet of the Writing Web.  Bring these items with you to class next week and we will start working on the project together.


Dum-Dum Question:

___________ is defined as the path of a projectile. 

** If you would like to relaunch your rocket, bring your rocket with you to QUEST.  I will be relaunching with kids from 11:15 - 12 noon and from 1-1:15.  Remember, if at first you don't succeed... try, try again!  Modify and improve your rocket and bring it back.  Let's see how high it can go! 

Homework due 2/27


  1. Make a rocket from a 2 liter soda bottle.  You can make one rocket to share between a sibling or a friend.  Just make sure that you have BOTH of your names on the rocket.  You also need to let me know that you will be working with a partner/sibling.  Bring your rocket with you to class next time (2/28).  Here are some instructions/ideas to help you build your rocket you don't have to use the suggestions, but they might get you thinking in the right direction.  Let's see whose rocket is in the air the longest!  Ready... set... blast off!


  •  Rocket meets all regulations (cone, fins, and opening on the bottom) and launches(25 points)
  •  Time aloft x 10 =  Unlimited points (expected to go up for at least 5 seconds)  You could really get a lot of points racked up here!
  • Completed In-Class Lab Sheet (20 points)

***If you haven't already taken the Newton's Laws of Motion reading quiz on engradepro please do so!  Thanks!

Dum-Dum Question:

What do the initials in NASA stand for?

Homework due 2/13

  1. If you haven't already done so, please take the Newton's Three Laws of Motion Quiz found on engradepro.
  2. 11-12 year olds:  For those of you that forgot to bring your "Kinetic and Potential Energy Worksheet" on 2/6... Complete the potential and kinetic energy problems and turn them in to me next week.  
  3. Please bring a 2 liter soda bottle with you to class next week.  If possible, make sure that it is a sturdy plastic bottle.  We will need it for a project that you will be working on that will be due on 2/27.

Dum-Dum Question:

What is the name of the publication in which Sir Isaac Newton first introduced the Laws of Motion?

Homework due 2/6

** 10 and 11 year olds (AND younger kids that want a challenge):  If you would like to work through the Work and Energy practice sheet with me, please come to class at 1:00.  These are the printables that we started together several weeks ago.  Make sure to bring a pencil and a calculator... and your brilliant minds!  If you would rather complete them independently at home, do so this week and bring them turn them in at the beginning of class.

** Class will start for everyone at 1:15 next week.  I will need a few extra minutes to work through some calculations with the more advanced students.  The door will be closed so that we can do some great thinking, but when I open the door at 1:15, make sure that you are ready to go! 

  1. Watch Newton's First Law of Motion
  2. Watch Newton's Second Law of Motion 
  3. Watch Newton's Third Law of Motion
  4. Print out Newton's Laws Reading Sheet.  Take the Newton's Laws of Motion reading quiz on engrade before next week.  It will be available on engrade on 2/3.

Dum-Dum Question:

What is another name for the First Law of Motion?  (Hint:  The Law of _____)

Homework due 1/23

  1. If you haven't already, complete the Work and Energy Reading Quiz found on  I know that there have been some technical difficulties with the new web design.  There is no deadline to complete this, but you will want to get it done as soon as possible so that you don't get behind on your work.
  2. 10-12 Year Olds:  Print out the Potential and Kinetic Energy Calculations worksheet.  Be thinking about how to solve the problems.  Please hold off on the calculations until next week.  Bring a calculator with you to class to help you solve the problems.   


If you could collect paper towel tubes and toilet paper rolls to help replenish our QUEST supply, that would be a blessing.  Bring them in with you when you come to class.  Thanks!

Dum-Dum Question:

What is one example of a pendulum in the world around you?  This can be a tool that is around now, or something that was used in the past that we don't see today.

Homework due 1/16

  1. Print out and read the Work Reading Sheet and Energy Reading Sheet
  2. Go to and take the 20 point reading sheet quiz.  You can use the reading sheets to help you answer the questions.
  3.  11 and 12 year olds:  Print out the Real World Problems Sheet Complete the front side of the worksheet.  Bring it with you to class next week and we will work on the calculations together.  

Homework due 12/12

  1. Study the Study Guide (last week's printable) to help you prepare for our Jr. Physics midterm next week.  (50 points)
  2. There will be an engrade practice test available beginning on Thursday(12/8) that you can take to practice for the midterm.  You will receive up to an extra 20 homework points (depending on your score) when you take it.
  3. Have all of your papers organized in your binder in chronological order.  Look on yellow boxes to see the order of the printables.  There will be some additional lab sheets and note sheets.  Just place them next to whatever concept that lab/note was teaching about.  I'm terribly sorry that we ran out of class time to go over this together.  Your notebook does not have to be in perfect order, but it does need to be straightened and organized.  It is an easy 50 points.  

Dum-Dum Question:

No dum-dum question this week!  

Homework due 12/5

  1. Read the "Friction Reading Sheet" and take the Friction quiz on engrade. The quiz will be available on 11/30.(20 points)
  2. Make sure that you have all of your printables, reading sheets, and lab sheets printed and with you next week.  If you would like to prepare, you can go through yellow boxes and place the items in the binder in the order that they appear in the yellow boxes listings. (50 points toward your midterm)
  3. Print and complete the study guide.  Use it to help you as you being studying for your midterm on December 12th.  Come with any questions that you have about the study guide next week.  We will take 10 minutes at the end of class to go over it together.
  4. Build a paper airplane and bring it with you to class next week.  If you arent sure how to build an airplane, go to and search for instructions or use the "Classic Dart" instructions


**You will need your colored pencils next week.

**Please remember to bring a pencil with you to each class.  Having your supplies ready and with you is a part of your participation grade, so be prepared!    

Dum-Dum Question:

Who was the first aviator (pilot) to travel around the world solo?  How long did it take him?

Jr. Physics Homework due 11/14

  • No Homework or printables.  
  • Read Physics4Kids - Friction Basics
  • Go outside and play.  I think that you will find that there is some physics at work when you play!  Pick one observation of physics when you were playing and be ready to share what you noticed with your tablemates.      

Dum-Dum Question:

__________ is a force acting to slow down or stop an object that is moving.    

Hint:  This force often generates heat.

Homework due 11/7

  1. Print out and read "Gravity".  Add it to your binder.  
  2. Watch Crash Course: Gravity


Print out and have several "Lab Sheets" available in your notebook.

Dum-Dum Question:What item is thought to have made Sir Isaac Newton begin to think about gravity and it's affects on us here on Earth?

Homework due 10/31

  1. Print out and read the reading page Force .  Add it to your binder.  
  2. Take the quiz on engradepro titled "Force."  You can use the reading sheet to help you answer the questions. The quiz will be available Wednesday 10/26 at 10 am.
  3. Watch Force and Motion   
  4. Read Force and Motion Facts and 

Dum-Dum Question:

What are the two natural forces that we experience every day?  

(Hint:  From the Force and Motion Facts reading)

Homework due 10/24

  1. Watch Motion and Balance
  2. Read Force Reading Sheet


Print the first page of Lab Report.  Print out several copies to keep in your Physics notebook.  We will use them to record lab results for experiments in the weeks to come.  

Dum-Dum Question:

What force opposes motion?

HINT:  The answer is found in the video.

  1. Print out and read Particular Particles, Solid and Liquid Matter, Gases, and Change in State of Matter.  Add the pages to your Jr. Physics Binder.
  2. Watch How Can You See an Atom and Just How Small is an Atom?
  3. 9-12 year olds:  Write a paragraph about solids, liquids, or gases.  Your paragraph must have a topic sentence, 3-5 supporting sentences, and a closing sentence.  

Dum-Dum Question:  

How many elements are known to man?

Homework due 10/3

  1. Watch The Properties of Matter
  2. Bring one item with your from home.  We will be testing the properties of matter next week.  The item must fit inside the "dum-dum" basket (the blue basket that we put our dum-dum questions in).

Dum-Dum Question:

What is the fourth state of matter that has been observed?  

Hint:  It is not a solid, liquid, or a gas.

Jr. Physics Homework due 9/26

  1. Read Famous Physicists.   Add to your notebook.
  2. Watch BrainPop - The Scientific Method

Printables:  Print these and bring them with you to class.  We will work on them together or read them in the weeks to come.  If possible, please print reading sheets from front to back.

Dum-Dum Question:  What are the seven steps of the Scientific Method?

Monday, September 12

  1. Print out and read "What Physics is All About".  If possible, print on the front and back of a paper.  It will save you a lot of space (and paper) in your Jr. Physics binder.   Add it to your Jr. Physics notebook.
  2. Print out the KWL.  Write two sentences  stating something that you know about physics (matter, energy, or mechanics).  Then, write at least 2 things that would wonder about physics.  Remember questions start with what, where, when, why, or how.  These questions can be about electricity, magnets, energy, mass, matter, circuits, batteries or something else that you brain is pondering (as long as it has to do with matter, energy, or mechanics).   Be ready to share them in class. 
Printables: Please print these items for our lab, experiment, or activity in class next week.  The Scientific Method.pdf
Dum-Dum Question:
_________________and __________________ work together to create the mechanics of physics.
** Write your name on one side of a 3x5 card.  On the other side, write the dum-dum question and the answers to fill in the blank.