Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"We covered vectors, distance vs displacement, and the general concepts of gravity and projectile motion. The student did very well with the concepts."
"We reviewed physics in preparation for his upcoming physics midterm, and we focused primarily on free body diagrams, solving for the various required forces, equation set-up, and graphing. We practiced how to draw an accurate free body diagram, which forces will always be present, and how to use equal and opposite forces to solve for values that you are interested in. He followed the process well and was able to manipulate the equations for what was needed. We went over a detailed problem set-up for any physics equations involving writing out the necessary equations, identifying the given information, the unknown values, the required values, a diagram of the motion, and a free body diagram if necessary. We went over the review and solved many of the problems involving vector addition, summation of forces, parabolic motion, frictional forces, centripetal acceleration, period of revolution, circular/rotational motion, momentum, work, and energy. We practiced using geometry and trigonometry to solve incline problems as well. There were many areas of prior material where he did not feel confident, and when reviewing the lecture notes and materials provided, we found that he has missed quite a bit in explanations. I filled in any major gaps as much as I could within the time that we had, but I feel he needs more time reviewing the prior material covered. He has said he will continue studying and let me know if he needs anymore help in review, and I am going to email him some materials that will help him review. He said he will continue to use the memorization application and flash cards that cover his material."
"This was my first session with the student. We had to learn a semester's worth of material in a brief amount of time. We resolved to approach the material in order of what he learned. We began the first session by talking about kinematics, or the study of moving objects. We went over displacement, velocity, acceleration, vectors, vector addition, and the two main kinematic equations. We went on to discuss projectile motion, the most common problem which is strictly kinematic. We reviewed that the x portion of the velocity is a constant over the curve of the projectile, and that the y portion of the velocity is equal in magnitude at the beginning and end of the projectile motion, but are in different directions. We then found an equation that we could use in order to obtain how long the projectile was in the air by first examining how long it took to get to the top of it's motion, and then figuring out how long it took to take to fall to the earth. I explained that it was better to do it this way, because you never know what type of question you'll be given, but you can always find the time it takes to get to the top of the arc, and then multiply that by two if it is a "normal" projectile motion problem. We went over a couple of examples, including one that he remembered getting wrong on an exam that he took. We worked through it together. We then went on to discuss motion in two directions and Newtonian mechanics. I gave him the seven step process: 1) Draw a picture. 2) Define your axes (for rotation, define counter clockwise as positive). 3) Draw your force vectors and your lever arms if it is a torque problem. 4) Find the sum of the forces in the x and y directions and the sum of the torques based on the lever arms that you have drawn compared to the force vectors you have drawn. 5) Find what this is equal to (equal to mass times acceleration for linear movement, equal to the centripetal force for rotation). 6) Write down other useful equations. 7) Solve your system of equations and state your answer. I explained to the student that he can use this approach to any question having to deal with forces. We worked through a classic problem together of a mass being pulled up an inclined plane by another mass attached to a pulley at the top of the inclined plane. To end this session, I gave him a couple of homework problems in order to further drill the seven step process and to make sure that he understood projectile motion. We finished by writing out flashcards with useful equations that he just needs to memorize. Overall, this session was incredibly efficient."