Years 7 through 8
Objectives and tasks Physics teaching in primary school expands upon the integrated contents of the subjects ‘Environment’ and ‘Nature’ taught in lower Years. In primary school, the aim of teaching physics is drawing pupils’ attention to nature, and more specifically, to physical phenomena. This interest is instrumental in laying the foundation of further scientific literacy. Simple occurrences and practical examples are used to demonstrate that natural phenomena may be examined and understood through experiments, and that the knowledge obtained in this way can be used in everyday life. It is very important to make pupils aware of the fact that our knowledge in physics, through technological development, has a decisive effect on the quality of our life. At the same time, physics can also be used to protect the environment.
Physics classes will only become an interesting experience and therefore effective if the syllabus is focused on the demonstration of phenomena and contains many well-selected experiments. When introducing concepts and describing laws, technical, but as far as possible, simple language should be used. Abstract thoughts, which hinder rather than facilitate understanding, should be avoided. Of physical concepts, teaching in the primary school focuses on those which are linked to actual experimental observations and do not require too much abstraction.
If possible, the introduction of physical concepts and laws should always be based on observations, demonstrations or actual experiments. Here, attention should be paid to teaching pupils to become adept at precise observation of occurrences and at giving an accurate description of them. Experiments which pupils may carry out themselves are especially valuable.
Of the scientific subjects, physics is one which can make pupils understand already in primary school that natural phenomena can be denoted quantitatively, using the language of mathematics. In primary school, mathematical denotation, however, is limited to the simplest correlations – proportionality, inverse proportionality. But in these cases, it is very important to apply the laws learnt in simple mathematical examples. Beside practising, problem solving may also contribute to better understanding if the teacher present the pupils with problems where the data are determined appropriately in advance and where the result can be controlled through experiments. Such problems make pupils realise that physics problems are not simple mathematical problems but descriptions of nature, which give real, measurable data as result. Apart from problems where calculation is necessary, the solving of qualitative problems appropriate for the knowledge level of the pupils is also important in developing physical thinking. These may include questions concerning the explanation of everyday phenomena or the interpretation of an experiment seen in the classroom.
Developmental requirements Learning, knowledge processing and application skills Pupils should have the ability to consciously observe physical phenomena and processes while observing previously defined aspects, strive for their understanding and differentiate between material and unimportant factors.
They should be able to present the findings and the results of the experiments in various formats (tables, graphs, schematic drawings), as directed by the teacher. They should be able to read and interpret data from graphs, tables and schematic drawings, and make relevant simple conclusions.
They should coherently describe and explain physical phenomena, laws and related practical applications thereof on the level appropriate for their knowledge.
They need to execute simple experiments and measurements, and be adept at using the experimental materials and tools safely.
They should be well-versed in using SI units of measurement covered in the syllabus, as well as non-SI measurements commonly used; also, they should be practised in converting units of measurement used in everyday life.
The need to be able to peruse various lexicons, collections of formulas and tables and multimedia educational software in accordance with previous instructions. The need to be aware of the availability on the web of data and information helpful for physicians. They should understand the information contained in books, articles, TV and radio programmes corresponding to their level of intellectual development, and be critical towards ‘sensational novelties’ and hypothesis lacking scientific evidence.
They should appreciate the beauty of nature and know that we are responsible for the protection of nature and the environment. They should be familiar with the conservation and environmental aspects of the syllabus, and make efforts for their utilisation.
Familiarity with matter, orientation in space and time They should recognise the attributes – covered in the syllabus – of materials found in their natural and man-made environment, and be able to group materials by the attributes covered.
They should know that natural phenomena occur in space and time, and that physics is concerned with instant occurrences in invisible microcosms, just like changes in stellar systems, which take millions of years to happen.
They should be adept at estimating distances and durations encountered in everyday life, as well as their comparison, and have an understanding of the orders of magnitude found in nature.
Familiarity with scientific learning and the evolution of science Pupils should be aware that scientific learning is a long process, and hat what we know about the physical world is much more than what was known in previous centuries, but certainly much less than what later generation will know. With respect to pieces of physical knowledge covered, pupils should know in which era major breakthroughs were made, and by whom. They should be familiar with the work of outstanding Hungarian physicians, engineers and scientists.
They should understand that physics and other scientific disciplines are closely interrelated, and that though they apply different methods to investigate different aspects, they explore the same physical reality.
Number of teaching hours per year: 74 New Activities Observing simple mechanical and thermal phenomena, summarising findings orally, independently.
Exact meaning of physical terms which are also used colloquially, correct use of new terms.
Designing mechanical and thermal experiments which require only simple, everyday components using a compendium of pupil experiments; demonstration and interpretation individually or in groups.
Recognising correlations in simple mechanical and thermal experiments.
Recording the data obtained from simple measurements, presenting them in tables and by graphs, qualitative interpretation of the function presented graphically.
Determining average speed by measuring distance covered and time used, outside the school (eg. walking, running, cycling, mass transportation).
Association of basic mechanical and thermal concepts learnt at the school with everyday occurrences; explanation of simple phenomena.
Elementary calculations using linear physical rules.
Introduction of materials in the school library on physical topics (lexicon of natural sciences, physics thesaurus, compendiums of experiments, scientific informative publications for children), under the teacher’s supervision.
Introduction to selected materials on the school computer network in smaller groups, under the direction of the teacher.
Movement of bodies
Constant linear movement
Simple measurements of time and distance covered.
Recording and interpreting measurements.
Creating and interpreting route-time graphs.
Recognising the correlation between distance covered and time taken.
The concept and calculation and speed.
Calculating distance covered and time used.
Movement at constant acceleration
Experiments aimed at movement with constant acceleration (eg. pulley on a slope). Recognising changes in speed, the concept of acceleration.
The concept of momentary and average speed; explanation through examples.
Simple experiments to demonstrate and examine free fall (eg. with a string).
Characteristics of the movement of bodies in free fall.
Conditions of floating on and below the surface and of sinking.
Solving simple problems to practise the law of Archimedes.
Elementary phenomena in thermodynamics
Temperature and its measurement.
Thermal expansion in solid objects and liquids, thermal expansion in everyday life.
Heat and energy
Experimentation with heating objects, specific heat capacity and its measurement, heat of combustion.
The conservation of energy during thermal interactions.
States of matter, changes between states
Atomic structure of matter, states of matter.
Description of changes in the state of matter – melting, freezing, evaporation, boiling, condensation – using examples from everyday life.
The concept of melting point (freezing point) and boiling point.
Explanation of heat fusion (freezing heat) and boiling heat.
Calculating changes in energy during changes of the state of matter.
Work and energy
Heating bodies by doing work on them, using thermal energy for work: basic principles of heat engines.
Types of mechanical energy, energy conservation
The concepts of positional, motion and spring energy.
Understanding energy conservation and qualitative aspects through simple examples.
Explaining different types of energy through simple experiments.
Capacity and efficiency
The concept and calculation of capacity with and without conversion of units of measurement.
Prerequisites of moving ahead Pupils should be able to observe simple phenomena and experiments in a focused manner, and describe their observations.
They need to be able to explain and use units of measurements of physical amounts covered at school (distance covered, mass, force, temperature, energy, capacity) which are also used in everyday life.
They should be familiar with the concept of weight, and know that weightlessness does not mean a lack of gravitation.
They should recognise changes of state of matter learnt at school in everyday life (eg. melting snow, drying clothes).
They should be aware of the fundamental quality of the law of energy conservation. They should understand that simple machines only save us force but note work.
They need to be able to carry out and interpret experiments and measurements in smaller groups, in cooperation with their peers.
Number of teaching hours per year: 55 New Activities Observing simple electrical and light phenomena, analysing and summarising observations.
Recognition of causal relationships in simple experiments.
Observations with magnifying glass, microscope, telescope.
Expansion of the technical vocabulary, correct use of technical terms.
Promoting the willingness to experiment: preparing and demonstrating relevant, simple (electrostatic, optical) experiments taken from pupil experiment compendiums (eg. the books of Öveges) in groups.
Reading simple circuit diagrams, creating circuits on the basis of circuit diagrams.
Measuring electric voltage and current in simple circuits.
Familiarity with and observing elementary shock-hazard protection and safety rules with respect to extra-low voltage and normal voltage.
Reading simple circuit diagrams, creating circuits on the basis of circuit diagrams.
Pupils should know what to do if an electrical accident occurs, and know what to do to avoid being struck by a lightning.
Associating the elementary electric concepts learnt with everyday phenomena, using their knowledge to explain simple phenomena (eg. triboelectric spark, fuse, rear-view mirror).
Understanding data indicated on common electrical household appliances (consumers and power sources), determining the consumption of various consumers.
Collecting relevant supplementary information (eg. biography data of great physicians, interesting bits of the history of science etc.) using the school library’s manual section and informative publications intended for children.
Introduction to the basic function of electronic data carriers, multimedia and educational software, with teacher guidance.
Basic electrical phenomena
Basics of electrostatics
Analysis of electrostatics experiments; the electric charge.
The concept of electric current, and its perception through its effects.
Simple electric circuits
Parts of a circuit, creating simple circuits, current and its measurement.
Ohm’s law, the concept of electric resistance, Calculating resistance, its unit of measurement.
Simple experiments related to Ohm’s law (eg. parallel and serial connection of consumers, factors determining the resistance of conductors).
Simple problems related to Ohm’s law.
Electric work and capacity
The effects of electric current
Thermal effect of the electric current
Experimental investigation of the thermal effect of the electric current. Devices based on the thermal effect of the electric current (fuse, bulb, electric heater).
Electric work and electric capacity
Calculating electric work and capacity.
Capacity and consumption of household appliances.
Chemical and physiological effects of the electric current
Demonstrating the chemical effect of electric current (e.g. electrolysis of copper sulphate, electrolysis of water).
Physiological effect of the electric current, safety rules.
Magnetic effect of the electric current
Elementary magnetic phenomena.
Qualitative investigation of the magnetic effect of the electric current through experimentation.
Practical application of the magnetic effect of the electric current (eg. electromagnet, electric bell, electromotor, measurement devices, the functioning of the telephone).
Electromagnetic induction, alternating current
Qualitative experimental investigation of elementary induction phenomena, demonstration of movement and still induction (factors affecting the potential generated).
Generating alternating current through induction.
Characteristics and effects of the alternating current.
Practical application of electromagnetic induction
Experimental investigation of the transformer (correlation between the number of transformer coils, voltage and current).
Practical application of the transformer.
Power network, power supply.
The power network
Economy in power consumption
The global, strategic importance of economy in power consumption.
Applying power economy principles in everyday life.
Attributes of light
The propagation of light in straight line, hole camera, shadow phenomena
Reflection of light
Experimental investigation of light reflection, the law of reflection from mirrors.
Experimental investigation of the image formation of spherical and plane mirrors.
Practical application of spherical and plane mirrors.
Experimental investigation of light refraction.
Experimental investigation of image formation by lenses.
The practical application of convex and concave lenses (eg. magnifying glass, projector, camera, the human eye, glasses, microscope, telescope).
Colour-break of white light
Breaking of the white light into colours, reunification; the colour of bodies.
Prerequisite activities of moving ahead Pupils should recognise the electric and optical phenomena learnt school, both in class and in everyday life.
They should be familiar wit the effects of electric current and its practical application.
They should be familiar with shock protection and safety rules, and observe them. Under the teacher’s guidance, they should be able to create simple circuits, to measure voltage and current. They should be able to explain data indicated on electric appliances.
They should be familiar with the importance of economy in power consumption in the household, as well as the ways to implement it.
They should be able to categorise materials by their electrical and optical characteristics.
They should be familiar with the functioning of the human eye, as well as its protection, and also the function of glasses and everyday optical devices.
They should be able to find information in lexicons, manuals, scientific books and journals found in the school library.