There are significant benefits to building an upper school science sequence around an introductory physics course in 9th grade. On the other hand, there are serious weaknesses and missed opportunities associated with the common practice of placing all students in biology in 9th grade. In this seminar we will explore the physics- first sequence in detail for both science and mathematics from 6th grade through 12th grade.
John D. Mays has logged 16 years teaching in high schools and colleges in a teaching career that dates back to 1985. After receiving his BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, Mr. Mays spent 14 years in industry in engineering and engineering management. Vocationally drawn toward education, Mr. Mays completed an MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Houston in 1989, and subsequently completed 36 hours of graduate study in Physics at Texas A&M. He joined the faculty at Regents School of Austin in 1999 and completed an MLA at St. Edward’s University in 2003. Mr. Mays served as the Math-Science Department Chair at Regents School from 2001 until 2009 when he became Director of the Laser Optics Lab at Regents. He founded Novare Science and Math in 2009, and is the author of The Student Lab Report Handbook (2009), Teaching Science so that Students Learn Science (2010), and Accelerated Studies in Physics and Chemistry: A Mastery-Oriented Introductory Curriculum (2012). He continues to teach physics and mathematics at Regents School of Austin and to develop the Laser Optics Lab there.