Ten Ways to Enjoy Physics
Ten Ways to Enjoy Physics The applications of Physics are everywhere that is why it becomes very interesting to understand its different laws and principles. But we can’t deny the fact that in school, a lot of students are having difficulty enjoying their physics subject. Why? Some would say it is because they don’t find math easy as well, and we know that math is a part of physics. Others would tell you that physics is hard to understand or that their teacher doesn’t teach that well, and a number of other reasons. But the real reason behind this difficulty is that they do not have good study habits and strategies that could help them top not only physics but as well as their other classes.
Let me share with you a few things that I have shared with my students to enjoy Physics:
Stop hating physics.
I understand that we cannot force people to like something that they don’t. But physics should not like to hate it. Physics can not be that you really like but do not treat it as it is your enemy enemy. Every day start getting involved in the subject to learn something new. You will be surprised to find a lot of things about your daily life.
Do not follow back.
If you make a small piece of bites smaller than instantly eating, one pie can eat easily. I mean you can better understand the concepts, rather than having a bit of information instead of having a bit of information at once, and staying with one-time study instead of reading everything. If you fall behind, there is a greater possibility of a negative impact in your performance in the subject. If that happens, you might go blaming physics again for being so “hard”.
Scan your notes before class
Lessons in physics are interrelated. It is good that you understand the previous ones so that it will be easier to take in new lessons. Scanning your notes before your class will help you understand what your teacher will say and you will have enough time to ask questions that might be confusing. You will not also need to write down everything your tutor might tell you.
Allot ample time to study at home.
Home study time doesn’t need to be too long. After all, you spent almost one-third of your day in school already. But you need to make sure that you browse through everything you had for the day for at least an hour or so. This will enable you to absorb more concepts rather than reading large portions every week.
Join or create study groups.
Three heads are better than one (I had a small study group back in highschool consisting of me and two other friends, thus three heads). Joining study groups could help a lot in understanding physics and help all of you to excel. But you must keep in mind that the study group should be very close to communicating closely, but every member of the group will be able to understand the concepts.
Browse previous test papers.
Browsing your past exams will help you get the “realization” of the real test. Try to identify strong and weak points. How much time do you spend in one test item? Which questions were you able to answer better, conceptual questions or ones that involved a little computation? This will help you assess yourself for the next exam and you can concentrate on your weak points but not taking the strong points for granted.
Learn to like math too.
Oh no. Don’t give me that look. We simply cannot do without math in physics. You have to be good in math to do well in physics calculations. The trick here is to understand the concepts behind the equations and not just memorizing formulas. Believe me, you will see that a = F/m, v = d/t or E = mc2 (oh well, that’s a little too complicated, but still an example) will have a whole different meaning and wouldn’t look so scary if you know what it means.
Enrich your physics vocabulary.
Before there are equations, there are terms. The definitions of these physics terms don’t need to be memorized. As I always tell my students, understanding the meaning of the terms is a lot better than just remembering the definition given by the book or dictionary. There are a few words that have a different meaning in physics from its English meaning. You have to take note of these as well.
Have fun in the lab sessions.
Laboratory activities are inevitable in physics classes. And believe me when I tell you that you might learn more when you do the hands-on as compared to the lecture. Though there are a lot of do’s and don’ts inside the laboratory, you can still enjoy your laboratory activities as much as you want to. For as long as you follow the procedures specific in the lab experiment sheet, exhibit a curious attitude, cooperate with your groupmates and ask questions related to what you are doing, you will never get bored in the laboratory.
If others can do it, why can’t I. Always remember this and have good, positive confidence. Have the right attitude and believe in yourself. Think positively, work your way to you goal and you’ll find yourself slowly living up to your expectations of yourself.
Maria Lexie B. Policarpio has a BS in Physics for Teachers, graduate of the Philippine Normal University. A Physics and Math teacher who believes that teaching is beyond providing the concepts to the students but also involves making sure the concepts are understood and put to good use.